Building a Legacy on Health AND Wealth

There is mounting evidence that the issues of financial, physical, and mental health are linked.  A lasting legacy should be built on more than just money.  A lasting legacy is created by intentional habits and discipline. When you establish a legacy whose foundation is built upon wealth building, health promotion, emotional wellbeing, and discipline – that is a priceless gift to provide to your family.  While I have shared the pillars that form the base for which I am building wealth for my family, health is also an important pillar of my legacy plan. What good is money if you have no health, quality of life, or have had your life cut sure due to preventable health issues. My great grandmother and grandmother both died in their 40s from breast cancer, therefore I never had the opportunity to know them. My mom is a breast cancer survivor who realized the importance of health early enough to make a difference and I am grateful that she is around to see her great grandchildren and grandchildren as I am enjoying being a grandmother. Oh what joy!  Time is money and your health buys you time, energy, and the discipline needed to execute your legacy wealth plan and the ability to prepare the next generation to build upon the habits that serve as the foundation of your legacy.

I just completed two series that provided valuable information as you embark upon your wealth building journey (Creating a Legacy Wealth Budget and Building a Legacy Wealth Portfolio), now I want to shift focus and begin the conversation on how health and wealth are inexorably linked. Studies have shown a positive correlation between good health and higher income. That is people who earn more money tend to have less disease and better health, overall. Poor health and higher rates of disease are associated more with those in lower income groups. Health is a kind of human capital as well as an input to producing other forms of human capital. Being unhealthy depresses the ability to work productively and/or the ability and incentives to invest in human capital. Our health gives large meaning to our life and is very valuable. In many aspects, health is wealth!  Becoming healthy as an individual will greatly improve your financial health.

Ways physical health can impact your wealth:

  1. More Time Means More Money. While there are a number of factors that quantify a “healthy” individual, one factor is certain – healthy people live longer than unhealthy people.  In fact, a medical study found that nonsmoking, normal weight, and physically fit men live an average of 12 years longer than those men who do smoke, are overweight, and out of shape. While this study highlights both extremes, the point is that healthy individuals live longer. With an extra 12 years by simply being in shape, you’re able to make 12 additional years’ worth of money. So, if you’re making $80,000 per year, you’ve been able to make an additional million-or-so dollars. Ideally, you’re investing in passive income that will grow during that time to further help expand your wealth. As obvious as it sounds, being healthy gives you more time to make more money, undoubtedly affecting your overall wealth.
  2. You Develop Useful Habits. Habits are critical when it comes to building wealth. However, habits are just as important when it comes to bettering your physical health. Simple habits such as creating a routine are extremely important to the success of your physical health journey. Aspects such as tracking what you eat, going to the gym routinely, doing cardio, etc., all encourage routines. Building wealth requires strict routines as well. Working hard and efficiently at building multiple streams of income doesn’t happen overnight. In this regard, physical health and building wealth are very similar. The average person struggles to do either effectively. Take, for example, that 80% of overweight dieters fail in losing 10% or more of their body weight and keeping it off for more than a year. More importantly, is that of the few who keep that weight off, 91% of people claimed they made previous unsuccessful attempts at losing weight prior to that. In other words, most successful overweight people who got in shape had failed prior to their success. Sound familiar? It should, because the majority of the world’s wealthiest people, like Jeff Bezos and Walt Disney, failed numerous times before finding success. Finding success in whatever you do ultimately comes down to mindset, including physical health. Strengthening your mindset in one area of life ultimately strengthens your mindset in other areas. Put simply, building your physical health requires many of the same habits, routines, and the mindset that it takes to build wealth. Succeeding in physical health will help in your wealth-building success.
  3. Health Reduces Stress. It’s no secret that finances and money are some of the biggest stressors you’ll face in life. In fact, roughly 75 percent of Americans say their biggest stressor is money. Perhaps that’s what encouraged you to begin building wealth in the first place. Whether you’re there now or you’re working to get there, achieving financial freedom should take a load of stress of your shoulders. Not everyone sees that in the same light, though. Depending on your industry or income streams, more money may bring on more stress. Fortunately, there are other ways to reduce stress during the process – like exercising and eating well. Focusing first on proper diets, science tells us that stress negatively affects bodily functions like blood pressure and blood flow. By stressing over money or building your wealth, you essentially increase your blood pressure and tamper with your blood flow. Eating healthy foods helps to reduce these effects from stress, ultimately leading to lower stress levels. Foods with omega-3s, vitamin E, etc., all help in lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. Not only will your body thank you, but your mind will too. However, eating healthy isn’t the only way to reduce stress. Studies have shown us time and time again that exercise lowers stress. This is true for a mix of reasons, mainly along the lines of releasing chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine which are vital to your mood and stress levels.  Moreover, exercising allows you to take your mind off of stressors during that allocated exercise time.  Ideally, you’re both eating healthy and regularly exercising to help combat stress levels. In doing so, you’ll have a much easier time building wealth.

If you want more information on building legacy heath and wealth habits, commercial real estate investing, or need help with creating a legacy wealth budget for your household, please do not hesitate to contact me for help.

Charleese Hasan, PhD, The Budget Dr, Health and Wealth Consultant, Qualified Sales Coordinator – JuicePlus, Accredited Commercial Real Estate Investor – OH Charlie LLC:

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