Money Kuel Category Expert: Joy Alford-Brand
As women of a certain age, we have a lot of physical issues to consider.
Should we eat soy or not? How can we stop those hot flashes that are keeping us up at night? How long is perimenopause going to last?
While it is important to make well-informed choices about our health for our continuing vitality, it is also important financially. As a bankruptcy attorney for nearly twenty years, I have seen how poor health choices can have dire financial consequences on individuals, and families, too.
In the last few years, you may have heard of a phenomenon called a “medical bankruptcy.” This type of bankruptcy is really a standard consumer bankruptcy that has been brought on by an overwhelming amount of debt caused not by credit cards, but by medical debt. As deductibles and premiums continue to rise, this seems to be an issue that is growing more and more each day.
The good news is there is a way to keep your medical costs down. All you need to do is get healthy! Losing weight and eating right is not just good for your waistline, it is also good for your bottom line. In 2017, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did a study on how losing weight at any age can save you money.
The study found that a 40-year-old person who went from being obese to a healthy weight would save between $18,262 and $31,447 in direct medical costs and lost productivity. They also go on to state that being overweight leads to an increased chance of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. That should not be a surprise to anyone, these days.
What it boils down to is that as we age, maintaining our health becomes a financial issue as well as a well-being issue. The more we can maintain better health, the better off we will be physically and financially. Those are two really, really good reasons to get healthy and stay there. The problem is, how do we get motivated to get fit when it has not been a habit throughout our lives.
One good way to get started on the road to health is to get an accountability partner. Something we, as women, are really good at is building a community around us for support.
It is pretty well known that having other women in our circle to lean on is critical to our mental health and thriving as women. This is especially true when starting an exercise regime. Get a couple of girlfriends and hit the path. Walk and talk together! This makes exercising an opportunity to socialize as well as get healthy.
Consider enlisting a menopause-based health coach to help you with your nutrition needs. I happen to know a great health coach who focuses on menopausal women right here at Kuel Life! Lorraine Miano of themagicofmenopause.com can help you figure out the best way to structure your diet and supplements to optimize your health during perimenopause and beyond. Her book, products and services are inexpensive and the money you spend will far outweigh the money you save in future medical debt. Look at it as an investment in you, the best investment you can make!
At the very least, make one small change at a time.
For example, if you drink more than one soda a day, start by cutting out two or three a week. Not only will this help you lose weight and begin getting healthier, it will save you money! Soda isn’t free and can be an expensive habit, if you drink several a day. You’ll be surprised how much small, consistent changes like these add up to big differences in your health over time.
No matter how you get started, a commitment to your health is worth the investment and effort. We deserve to feel fit and wonderful every day of our lives. Getting healthy is self-care at it’s very core. Put yourself first for once and focus on your health. After all, you are worth it!
About the Author:
Joy Alford-Brand is an author, public speaker and attorney. She graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio in 1994 and she received her Juris Doctor from Ohio State University College of Law in 1998. Her main area of practice is Bankruptcy. She is admitted in North Carolina where she lives and works. Joy founded newcashview.com in 2015 as a platform through which she could help others work toward financial freedom and peace of mind! For more information, check out newcashview.com.