Why stick to New Year’s Resolutions? To lose weight? To get more exercise? It is often these broad statements that keep people from achieving their precise goals – and living a longer, healthier life. But this year, we encourage you to break that trend by being more specific and intentional with your health goals and their outcomes.
Cost savings from Healthy Behavioral Changes
Simply put, healthier diets and increased exercise lead to lower healthcare costs. Healthier choices mean fewer trips to the doctor, less medications, fewer copays and the absence of other health-related costs, that you normally have to pay on top of your monthly premiums. In short, this means you’ll have more to spend (or save!) for other priorities, like family, friends and even retirement savings.
Rewards to Keep You on Track
HealthyCapital’s data (consisting of 530 million healthcare claims) shows just how much money can be saved (based on things like your age, gender, health or chronic health condition and weight), through simple health-related behavioral modifications – like taking your medications as prescribed or limiting your salt intake.
For Example: A 40-year old man with high blood pressure, who begins to take his medications daily (instead of being forgetful) and reduces his salt intake, would on average save $2,400 annually in out-of-pocket healthcare costs. The savings are significant. Incentive enough to help you stick to your resolutions?
Healthier Behaviors May Lead to Longer Lives
The greatest benefit of these simple changes, however, is creating a longer, healthier life. According to the data, when resolutions become long-term changes, the 40-year-old man will likely live more than one year longer. Similarly, a 35-year old woman with type 2 diabetes stands to live more than 4 years longer, on average, due to the changes she can make (following a diabetic diet and exercising).
The cases above are not the only ones that stand to gain, financially and physically, by a few simple changes. According to HealthyCapital’s data, 50% of Americans have chronic conditions. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity. As such, 50% of Americans stand to live longer and save money every year, so long as they adopt simple lifestyle and health changes. And the same applies for those who are already moderately healthy – because the healthier you are the better.
Value of Annual Healthcare Savings
Reducing healthcare expenses by a few thousand dollars a year may not maintain someone’s commitment to their resolutions. It is, for this reason, that HealthyCapital also projects a person’s savings value at age 65; assuming that they put it into an investment account. So, whether someone wants to save for a beach house or a new car. Pay off some long-term debt or even add to their disposable income, this is the way they can.
Putting the numbers to work:
For the 35-year-old woman, if her annual savings from improved health were invested, she would have increased her savings by more than $250,000 at age 65.
Together for Wellness
New Year’s Resolutions are often set for the right reasons – to be healthier, overall. Couple that with the knowledge that being healthier can help you save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few decades and extend your life so that you can spend more time with your family and the original hurdle of creating lasting motivation can be solved. Using technology to support that (like the HealthyCapital app) can help to remind you what you’re working towards and give you tips for staying on track along the way.
To find out more about HealthyCapital, read Building Wealth Through Wellness.