LOUISE FAIRSAVE – Health makes wealth
A pivotal aspect of building wealth is maintaining a healthy mind and body. Wealth and health are deeply related – more than you think.
Obviously, we all need to be well to attend work and earn a living, but how many of us have realized that a major health concern could wipe out our cash savings in short order.
Any one of us could possibly be reduced to a vegetable state of existence from a fall or road accident. Alternatively, a major illness may immobilize us. Even with medical insurance coverage, if overseas medical attention is required, the cost of medical care could still be onerous, utilizing all the family savings and still leaving the family in debt.
There have been countless appeals to Government and to the general public for assistance with the cost of local or overseas medical care for loved ones. This just highlights one of the major and oft-times unpredictable risks of catastrophic health care costs.
Then, for example, do you recognize that if you are working for a business (like a shop) that is operated as a sole proprietorship, your employment is terminated on the death of the owner?
Your means of earning is heavily dependent on the health of the owner; the business is more likely to fail if the owner is sick for an extended period. The sole proprietor is more often than not the pivotal marketing person, representing most of the reputation and credibility of the business; his/her absence for any reason for an extended period can lead to a significant business setback.
Recent pension reform measures require the younger generation to work for a longer period before being entitled to full National Insurance pension. Will they live long enough to collect a worthy portion of the pension and social security payments for which they would have worked hard?
Did you realize how important your personal health is to your ability to earn, and to your capacity to build and to enjoy wealth?
Given any aspiration to gain wealth, have you considered your future health and your life expectancy? What is your likely wealth/health legacy?
Your pattern for building wealth depends on these answers and may be totally different from anyone else’s that you know.
Avoiding or reducing stress is a more prominent thrust of today’s world. When your finances are in order, you are more likely to be at ease than if you are burdened with worrying debt or bills you cannot find cash to pay.
Then, too, addictions like gambling present mental and psychological health problems that can drown anyone and their family in debt. Sometimes, family members are forced to cut themselves off from the addicted relative in order to save their own sanity and finances.
Illness, whether physical or psychological, which threatens one’s ability to function normally is an antithesis to wealth. In extreme cases, this will manifest itself as overwhelming debt.
The crux of the matter is that a healthy lifestyle is fundamentally important to our avoiding debt and to our sustaining manageable finances. We must all look out not only for our personal health, but for the health of all our relatives and dependents in trying to build wealth.
Yet, bear in mind always that the course of life is never entirely in our control. Setbacks in health and wealth can happen to anyone, any time.
• Louise Fairsave is a personal financial management advisor, providing practical advice on money and estate matters. Her advice is general in nature; readers should seek advice about their specific circumstances.