Your Money Or Your Health
James Clear Tweeted the following;
Wealth is a game that compounds. Health is a game that plateaus (and then declines). As we age, we should spend more time staying fit and less time making money. Increasingly, working to ward off the effects of aging and allowing the effects of compounding take over.
This resonated with me on multiple levels. A big thing for me is self-sufficiency in every aspect of life which of course includes financial self-sufficiency. Everyone knows what it takes to be financially self-sufficient, that's simple but actually getting there is not easy although it is crucial to figure out.
I like to say every aspect of your life will be easier if...and to Clear's point being in your 50's and being financially self-sufficient will make the rest of your life easier. Aside from the obvious financial benefit, it allows more time, even if just emotionally, for making sure your fitness is where it should be. Feeling crappy because of various financial stressors is common and people often use stress to justify not doing things they know they should, like exercise.
While we know this is not the case across all of society, at some point well into your 40's or 50's you should have some visibility on your retirement. Hopefully for this audience, visibility includes financial visibility and if that is the case then it allows the freedom (physically and emotionally) to allocate more time to taking care of yourself, this is Clear's point.
We've explored many times how being relatively healthier than the typical retiree as a function of good behaviors you take on can save a lot of money in retirement by not needing to pay for a bunch of prescriptions. Not being beholden to a regimen of pills is a form of self-sufficiency. Being fit enough to do what you need to around the house (bending, lifting) is another expression of self-sufficiency.
I equate both financial and physical self-sufficiency to being ahead of the game. If you're 50 and know you are well on pace to have enough for your financial plan to work out you are ahead of the game and that makes enduring things much easier. And things could include days where the stock market freaks out over whatever it is you think caused today's freak out.
As I have been saying for a while now in this cycle, this one is either the big one or it isn't and if it is we know what will happen because we've been here and done this before. The market goes down enough to scare people, we are still well within the down a little phase so hopefully you are not freaked out. At some point it stops going down for maybe no reason at all. After that it will go back up and eventually make a new high. The only variable is how long it takes.
By being ahead of the financial and physical games you have removed a couple of stressors that might contribute to making bad decisions like panic selling with no discipline or strategy. When your head is clearer you will have an easier time remembering and knowing that the above paragraph is true.