“When health is absent, wealth is useless,” said by Herophilus, an ancient Greek physician. Another sage of classical antiquity, the Roman poet Virgil, put it another way: “The greatest wealth is health.” Gandhi once opined, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Counseled by such wise words distinguishing health from wealth, one might begin to believe that the two have little to do with one another. One would be tragically misinformed.
The relationship between your finances and your health status and behaviours are highly correlated. Let us see how:
Case 1: No health would lead to no wealth
Firstly, lets put it in simple terms, unhealthy choices are expensive. The average money spent by an individual on dining, liquor, cigarettes, hookah is 5000/- per month – especially in metro cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, etc. and the amount considered in the example is conservative in nature.
If one would have invested the same amount every month in an equity mutual fund scheme through the SIP route yielding 12% return annually for the next 25 years, he/she would have generated an astounding corpus of Rs. 94,88,175 /-. And not to mention that by consuming alcohol or cigarette, an individual reduces his life expectancy and which in turn is detrimental for wealth creation, as wealth creation requires time at our disposal.
Case 2: No wealth would lead to no health
Secondly, financial problems can lead to health problems and vice versa, a cycle that can become a costly catch. Financial stress can cause anxiety, migraines, insomnia, and other physical ailments. It can also mean skipping routine doctor’s check-ups, not discovering important revelations about your health and making poor dietary and other lifestyle choices. Over time, this can lead to bigger and costlier health problems, which in turn can produce ever-greater financial distress: higher insurance premiums, overdue medical bills, poor credit history, reduced income for retirement and even bankruptcy.
Finally, there’s the grim reality that poor health cuts live short. At the risk of sounding crass, as a financial advisor I must point out premature death due to preventable or treatable illness means thousands (or even lakhs) of rupees spent on medicines and medical bills that could have been saved and invested, plus of course the years of lost productivity, lost salary, lost investment capital and lost time for growing money through the power of compound interest.
While money can certainly help you improve and maintain your health, too much focus on earning it can be unhealthy too. Some scientists believe that the stress of competition in American society is one of the many factors that explain why the United States, despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is far from the healthiest or longest-lived. Henceforth, emphasizing that you must protect your health—and your wealth potential—by balancing work and play.
Be responsible for your career and your physical well-being, by exercising, eating right and taking time to relax and enjoy life.
The bottom line is….