Saving. It does a body good.

Did you know there are actual health benefits of saving money for retirement?

Studies show that pre-retirees who pay attention to their financial health are doing their bodies good, too:

Workers who are saving for retirement are more inclined to care of their health than those who aren’t socking money away, according to a study conducted by Lamar Pierce, an associate professor at Washington University, and doctoral candidate Timothy Gubler.

The reason has to do with something called time discounting – a person’s tendency to value smaller immediate rewards over future desired results – also known as immediate gratification or, in the modern lexicon, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.)  If you’ve got a bad case of FOMO, you may not be able to resist that new “it” restaurant in which you’ll not only drop $200 on dinner for two, but leave with a belly full of bad carbs and fats.

If you value large future rewards more than small immediate rewards (aka delayed gratification,) you’re more likely to save for retirement as well as improve your health in the wake of tests that reveal high cholesterol, high blood pressure and the like. It’s easier for you to skip the 5-star “heart attack on a plate” in favor of a homemade salad followed by a long walk and bank the $175 you saved in the process.

You could argue that it all come down to discipline. Disciplined savers are more likely to be vigilant about diet and exercise. It’s just in their nature. But, even if it’s not, there’s still time to improve your situation.

At Fit-to-Retire, we know one’s greatest wealth is good health. That’s why we give so much attention to a client’s Health & Nutrition score, one of five important measures of retirement success (in addition to Financial Security, Self Identity, Social and Personal Relationships.)

After all, if your body can’t deliver on the dream of retirement, what are you saving for?


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