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When Fitness Pays and Also Costs

“I’m in great shape for my age.”

“I just had my annual checkup and my doctor says to keep up the good work.”

Health is wealth- and it’s an important step towards aging well. But longevity can be expensive, even for the healthiest of seniors or soon-to-be seniors. A July 2019 report points out something paradoxical-sounding but true: annual healthcare expenses may be higher for retirees in poor health, but lifetime expenses are even higher for healthy retirees because they generally live longer.

Indeed, healthier and longer lives will lead to higher healthcare costs in retirement.

What can you do about that? Skip the gym trip? Not stay in shape?

No, but you can accept that those costs will be a known unknown even if you are at your fittest. Consider another observation from the same report:

61% of American workers are significantly concerned about an inability to cover future healthcare expenses, but only 26% have calculated the monthly income they will need in retirement.

You can turn that concern into action and calculate your known, guaranteed monthly expenses in retirement. Then figure out sources for monthly income. That way you can plan for what you can control and keep up the fitness routine too.