Are health & retirement readiness related?

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“Health is wealth” goes the old saying, for what’s money without health and happiness? But, could the two be more connected than first thought? While getting older is inevitable, how well we age is something we can influence. From our food to our fitness and our workload to our waistline, they’ll have an effect on how we age. Have you ever considered that the way you live might have an effect on your retirement?

Healthy body, healthy retirement?

Could just one regular healthy activity improve your retirement readiness? And if you adopt several - such as regular exercise, eating well, meditating or avoiding stress - could you rank even higher?

According to our global survey*, people who have a healthy lifestyle are more likely to take more steps to prepare for retirement than those who don’t. The survey showed that people who take care of their health have a more positive outlook about their retirement, compared to those in fair or poor health.

To top it off, they’re also more aware of the value of their retirement savings. Indeed, those in excellent health (46%) are over three times more confident in achieving a financially comfortable retirement than those in fair health (13%).

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Workers in excellent health (78%), are more aware of the need to plan financially for retirement than workers in poor health (63%). Achieving retirement aspirations requires more than saving, investing and planning; it also depends on staying in good health.

The relationship between financial security and health

Retirement planning has traditionally focused very heavily on finances, without sufficient consideration of health. Maintaining good health and being financially secure is key to a successful retirement. Health has the potential to have a major impact on people’s retirement plans.

Developing good habits

Finding ways to develop both good savings habits and a healthy lifestyle from an early age are key factors for a successful retirement. We now know that those who adopt multiple healthy activities are more likely to be financially prepared for retirement than those who don’t, but what next? Health (or lack of it), can have a major impact on people’s retirement plans. Life expectancy has improved dramatically in the last few decades and many people will now live much longer than previously expected. According to the Office for National Statistics, a 65-year-old man in the UK will live for an average of 18.5 years, while a woman of the same age can expect to live for 20.9 years**. However, this could vary hugely depending on your health. Could a happy retirement be a few steps, and possibly a few lifestyle changes, away?

Five golden rules for peak financial fitness:

  1. Instead of spending some money, paying your bills and saving what’s left, try paying your bills first, save for your financial goals and then consider what’s left as ‘disposable’ income.
  2. Prepare for retirement now, not later. While retirement might seem like it’s a long way off, the later you start saving, the more you’ll have to save and the harder it could be.
  3. Maximise your workplace pension. A workplace pension could form the core of your pension savings so make the most of what’s available to you from your employer and your scheme.
  4. Invest in your health. Good health gives you the flexibility to stay in the workforce longer and benefit from your employer’s pension contributions.
  5. If you don’t know what’s coming into your account and what’s going out, chances are you don’t know how much you’re left with to save. Tracking your expenses will allow you to set retirement goals. If you need help aligning your finances with your aspirations, a financial adviser will be able to recommend the best course of action for you based on your circumstances.

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Your Retirement Planner If you need a hand planning your retirement our tool Your Retirement Planner is a good place to start.

 

*Successful Retirement - Healthy Ageing and Financial Security - The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2017

**Office for National Statistics - National life tables, UK: 2014 to 2016

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