Budgeting for Preventative Healthcare

Similar to other millennials, I feel a sense of invincibility when it comes to my health. My rational brain knows that this mentality is ill-advised (pun intended), so I’m trying to do as much as I can to keep my health great for as long as possible.

After all, what’s the point of early retirement if we can’t enjoy all those extra years?

Time and money are both valuable resources; time, arguably, more valuable than money. And so, my approach to maintaining my own health is focused more on the time that I spend making conscious and positive decisions where the overall wellness of my body and my mind are concerned.

By investing time each month into my mind and body through a few simple preventative healthcare activities, I know I’m able to prevent myself from being overworked, stressed out, fatigued, or sick.

My definition of “preventative” healthcare is more than seeing my doctor once a year and checking off the boxes on all the routine tests.

The traditional model for healthcare in this country is backwards. We tend to focus on symptoms instead of causes. The natural remedy for a headache might be drinking a glass of water because we are dehydrated, but instead, we opt to take pain killers to block the pain signals in our brain.

As one of my healthcare clients told me during my Big Four accounting days: “We have sick care in this country, not healthcare.”

When it comes to food, for example, no one looks twice when they see someone walking down the street eating a bag of Doritos. Perfectly normal. But, if we replace the bag of Doritos with a cucumber, then we’re going to see that person get a lot of looks. Our society views Doritos as status quo whereas eating a cucumber is weird.

If you’re curious to see more of my thoughts along with the 4 activities I focus on for preventative healthcare, then head over to my guest post over on Stefan’s blog at The Millennial Budget.

Let me know what you think!

Master Distiller

7 comments… add one
  • Jon May 26, 2016, 8:56 am

    Matt, I think that the same mindset that attracts people to personal finance also attracts them to a preventative healthcare mindset. They’re both about taking the long-term view and doing the sensible thing. I can tell you that I’m up each weekday at 5:30am and lift weights three days a week before work. The other two days I workout on a spin bike.

    Last December I started taking Taekwondo lessons with my son twice a week in the evenings as well. I will say that the TKD lessons were not a frugal choice, but the workout is awesome and the bonding with my son (age 14) is great. And, if my knees hold out for another 3-4 years and I get my black belt, that as they say will be priceless!

    Congrats on your preventative approach to healthcare and keep up the good work!

    • Amanda @ centsiblyrich May 26, 2016, 9:04 am

      I agree. I have heard one too many stories about people who have finally reached the retirement milestone, only to die within a short time after retirement. Nothing is guaranteed, but as with finances, my health is something that is under my control for the most part, so I choose to take those preventative steps to preserve my future.

      • Distilled Dollar May 29, 2016, 9:59 am

        I always cringe when I read those stories. I like to view it as staying healthy today makes me feel better today AND I get the added bonus of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle further on down the road.

    • Distilled Dollar May 29, 2016, 9:49 am

      Sounds like you have a lot of great habits! I’m in a similar boat, waking up each weekday morning at 4:30 to give myself 2-3 hours before the actual work day. If I didn’t have to be to work by 8, then I would probably switch to a 5:30 wake up time.

      I need to get back into lifting weights. My current training is focused on an upcoming triathlon, but I’m planning to switch into a light lifting program after my race.

      Thanks for reading the article and leaving a comment!

  • Jim @ Route To Retire May 26, 2016, 6:29 pm

    You are so right that we tend to focus on symptoms instead of causes. I’ve been pretty healthy most of my life without anything too major going on, but I usually skip one of the most important areas of preventative healthcare… exercise.

    I have a million excuses why I don’t get enough exercise that all revolve around time constraints… working on finding new real estate, helping raise our 5-year daughter, etc. But when it comes down to it, it’s all just excuses. However, the irony is that one of the reasons, I’m excited to quit my 9-5 is so that I’ll have time for exercise, including martial arts and racquetball.

    — Jim

    • Distilled Dollar May 29, 2016, 9:57 am

      I’ve heard similar stories from retirees about how they’re able to get in great shape because of all the added free time.

      Martial arts AND racquetball, that sounds great. I might copy that idea with martial arts and pick up something at some point.

  • Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds May 27, 2016, 7:31 am

    To be fair, walking along with a cucumber would look a bit odd, lol. If it was an apple or something that would be better! Ha. I see so many posts from the US blogs about healthcare, I’m just so grateful to live in the UK where we don’t have to worry about it – generally speaking. I feel for you guys!

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