Staying healthy is important not just for quality of life and having a long life, but also when it comes to your finances. When we see estimates of how much we need to retire, most of these assume we will be in good health. Unfortunately, not many of us are in good health. If you have been to the doctor or the hospital, you know that the cost of healthcare is sky high. So what can you do to keep health related costs in line? Below are a handful of tips to help you out.
When it comes to investing, the best strategy you have for success is to look long-term. When you look long-term, you ignore the volatility that happens in the market on a daily basis. You don’t get emotional about the stock market and just keep investing, knowing that in the long run, everything will be OK.
Our health works the same way. We have to focus on the long-term. There are certain things we can do in the short-term that will allow us to be healthy when we are much older. Here are a few things you can start doing today:
Eat Well: I’m not saying you can never eat a pizza or burger again. But you need to limit how often you eat them. Work more fruit and vegetables into your diet. For me, a pizza lover, I limit it to once a week. To get my vegetables in, I make a smoothie with spinach. While I hate spinach, I cannot taste it, though it does turn the shake green!
Exercise: Staying active is a key to good health. The key to staying active is to find something you love to do. I love to bike and lift weights, so that is how I stay active. If you love to swim, then do that. It doesn’t matter if the activity is high intensity or low, just that you get up and start moving.
I recommend buying a fitness tracker of some sort. I bought one last year and it motivates me to stay active and moving.
Brush Your Teeth: This may sound odd, but having healthy teeth and gums is important. Your mouth is the best way for germs and diseases to enter your body. You need to brush and floss to keep your choppers clean and your body healthy.
Be Smart With Prescription Drugs
Even if we do our best to stay healthy, there will be some setbacks. They are part of life. Luckily, there are a few ways you can save money on prescription drugs.
Split Pills: I’m not suggesting you split what your doctor gives you, that is too dangerous. Instead, split a higher dose pill. If your doctor tells you to take 10mg of a drug, ask for a prescription of 20mg instead and ask if it is safe to split them in half. If it is OK, you just saved yourself money.
The price of most pills is the same, regardless of dosage. So instead of getting a 30 day supply of 10mg pills, you get a 30 day supply of 20mg pills and split them in half. Now you have 60 pills!
Ask For Samples: Most major drug makers leave samples for doctors. To save money here, you can ask for a 14 day supply of the sample drug to see if it helps you out. If it does, then you can get a full prescription.
Buy Generic: Most drugs these days have a cheaper generic version. When your doctor is writing your prescription, just ask if there is a generic version available. Most generics cost a good deal less than their name brand counterparts and work just as well.
When it comes to your health, staying healthy will save you a ton of money in the long run. Doctor and hospital bills along with medication and supplies can all add up quickly. For many of us, these are costs we didn’t account for. By taking the time now to stay healthy, you can save yourself money in the long-run.