Many of us know that it’s wise to start an IRA and retirement plan early, and continue to add to it annually, in hopes of having plenty of money to make our retirement comfortable. But does it cover your health too?

Health Costs vs Health Conservation

Maybe you are a big saver, and have already factored in the cost of health bills for your retirement years when contributing to your IRA. According to Fidelity, the average couple will need approx. $295,000 for medical expenses in their retirement years and that’s not including long term care. That is $10,000 a year for 30 years just for medical bills in the future. Are you currently contributing more than that for your IRA?

But what if you could just have a plan to have good health? Let’s call it an IRHA- Individual Retirement Health Account. Let’s pretend you can preserve a little bit of your health now for your latter years. Chances are you would do that right? Just like your IRA, you would get a chance to take a small portion of good health now, to save it for later. If you could, when would you start saving? When you are 30? 40? 50? If you ask a 50 year old if they could have the energy of a 30 year old just for 1 week, do you think they would decline? (the answer is no!)

The good news is that you CAN preserve your health for retirement. While we can’t stop the aging process, you can take time NOW, to keep your organs, bones and mind youthful so that they perform for a longer period of time. The concept of living life to the fullest is great, but unfortunately if you overload your body now, it won’t be healthy enough for later. Nutrition is the one area in your current lifestyle that you follow more carefully, in order for long term gains.

Prescriptions vs Plants

This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little something extra on occasion, but on a regular basis, many studies have proven that a plant-based diet can help keep your body operating in prime condition. Meat heavy, gluten heavy, and artificial heavy diets along with prescriptions medicines and alcohol, have all become factors in many scientific studies for cancers and other major diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. In most studies, it is usually the group with plant-based diets, that are at a noticeably lower risk for the disease they are studying.

So if your doctor said to you – you can live 10 extra years, in good health if you start eating a plant based diet today – chances are, most of us would switch – right?!

But what is really happening is, that many people don’t want to switch to a plant based diet, and therefore ask doctors to prescribe them something. They aren’t willing to make dietary changes, but still want the benefits of feeling healthy and losing weight. A prescription all too often usually leads to another, and then another. Before too long, a person is feeling unhealthy anyways, despite all the medicine. And it becomes too complex for a doctor to unravel.

The most common medicine fix, has to do with weight loss. This is because people do not want to give up their favorite foods. They don’t want to see that what they are eating is unhealthy, or is too much for their body, or they are just consuming too many calories for their lifestyle. This is when they ask for pills that help them with appetite control, glucose absorption, glucose conversion, or ketosis. But it taxes the heart rate, or it can tax the liver, or it can affect brain function, or it can impact the function of other organs.

Start your IRHA now

The simplest way to put off this see-saw of prescriptions is to start with 1) eating more plants. In fact- eat plants 90% of the time. 2) moving more. In fact- moving your body all the time. 3) sleeping. In fact- 8 hours a night.

Those three things are your formula towards the fountain of youth. While it doesn’t preclude you from other environmental or genetic factors, it can put you on a long a healthy road for your retirement, and maybe keep that $300K in your IRA a little bit longer.

Additional Resources:

Commit to Change

Get Moving Tool

Eat Well Tool

Stay Motivated Tool