Save Thousands on Health Care Costs by Spending an Extra $1.50 a Day

I think it’s safe to say, regardless of your political affiliation, that the future of health care is a bit uncertain. With health insurance seeming to change with every new president, it’s hard to fathom what it will be like when my generation reaches retirement.

As this article put it, “health care will likely be your biggest expense during [your] golden years.” Fidelity even estimated that a 65 year old couple that retires this year will need $245,000 to cover health care costs. And let’s be honest, we all know that number is going to increase and that’s pretty intimidating.

Health care costs graph

Projection of National Health Care Costs

How to Keep These Costs Down

While I can save money between now and retirement to cover future health expenses, I can also do some preventative maintenance to make sure those health costs stay as low as possible.

Even though some diseases or ailments will be totally out of my control, I know that living a healthy lifestyle, complete with nutritious food and exercise, will decrease my chances of getting sick and help me live longer.

However, living a healthy lifestyle is typically associated with higher costs, whether it’s for healthy food and/or a gym membership – and this might deter some people.

But that shouldn’t be the case. Like I said before, taking care of yourself now will pay off in the long run when you have a fraction of the medical bills.

One money rule that I love is to ‘pay yourself first’ and I think that can also apply to your health. Invest in your health now and you will reap the benefits in the future.

How Much Can You Save?

Now that I’ve gotten my point across, you’re probably curious about how much a person can actually save by living a healthy lifestyle. But first, we need a benchmark.

A healthy diet costs about $1.50 extra per day. This totals to $550 a year tacked onto your grocery bill.

Now let’s compare that to some of the common costs incurred due to living an unhealthy lifestyle

  1. An individual with diabetes spends $7,900 annually on costs for treating their disease.
  2. The average cost to treat someone with heart disease can range anywhere between $4,000 and $11,500 a year.
  3. The average cost of knee replacement surgery, something very common for individuals that are overweight or obese, can cost $35,000 if they were to pay for it on their own.

After seeing these costs, the extra $550 for investing in healthy groceries doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Some Ideas to Help You Eat Better and Exercise

  • Find healthy recipes for your favorite foods!
  • Challenge yourself to include some veggies in every meal
  • Explore new recipes on Pinterest
  • Join a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig
  • Get an accountability partner
  • Join a gym or commit to going more often
  • Take up a new activity like tennis or soccer

I hope this post has inspired you to start taking action against an unhealthy lifestyle. The potential financial costs are quite convincing to me!


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