Sometimes, abstract concepts like net worth and your retirement date are too far removed from being good motivators. In other cases, money as a motivator feels unworthy in comparison to other values in your life. This can make it hard to maintain the good money habits you need for personal financial success.
If either of these is true of you, consider what that financial success allows you to do, such as adding years to your life in a variety of ways.
A recent study linked financial stress to higher incidences of sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. It can even lead to more concrete symptoms like digestive problems, migraine headaches and heart trouble. All of these issues are linked with higher mortality rates and shorter lifespans. Staying out of debt and spending within your means reduces that financial stress.
Curbing Small Addictions
The “latte factor” is a method of saving money by cutting out your little addictive spending habits. For many, those habits are things like fast food treats, cigarettes, excessive drinking and sweets. Smart spending in this case also means smart lifestyle choices…and a longer life. You don’t have to cut out your favorite indulgences altogether. Just move them from a daily ritual to an occasional treat.
Getting Better Health Care
It’s a political “hot button” right now, but the fact is better finances means better health care if you live in the United States. From preventative medicine to top-level treatments to access to the best medicine, you’ll live longer if you have the money to pay for services. You never want to have to choose between medical care and another financial commitment.
Having Better Relationships
Fact: people in satisfying relationships live longer than people living alone. Another fact: money is the most-reported reason couples fight. If you make good financial decisions, you’ll have fewer reasons to fight with your spouse — leading to a better and longer-term relationship with your partner. Studies show this means adding an average of 3 to 5 years to your life.
You may have read reports of people dying within a few years of retirement because they had nothing to do with their time. These are true, but only apply to people who live a passive retirement. If you have the money to retire actively — with plenty of travel, volunteerism and money for hobbies — then you can expect a long and happy retirement. The financial habits you build now will help contribute to that happening.
Long lifespan isn’t more immediate than retirement savings, but for some people it’s a more concrete concept. After all, what’s more important than having extra days and years of your life — and the money to live them well?
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