A: Yes! Research has shown that lifestyle choices have a much greater impact on how people age than genetics, which accounts for only about 30% of aging variability. In fact, most of what we think of as the effect of age upon the body actually is caused by the cumulative impact of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
So, in addition to saving financially for retirement, it is important to make wellness investments in midlife to support your long-term health. Healthy choices now can potentially reduce your eventual medical costs and may enable you to spend your savings in more enjoyable and meaningful ways.
You probably know some of the important lifestyle choices already, such as exercising regularly, and not smoking or abusing alcohol. But you might not know that being connected with friends and family is another key factor to a long, healthy and happy future. You can also stay physically and mentally vigorous as you get older by pursuing education or new hobbies. You can even keep yourself looking younger and reduce your chances of getting skin cancer by wearing sunscreen and minimizing sun exposure.
Unlike with some financial investments where access to your money is restricted while it is potentially developing into a nest egg for your future use, wellness investments pay dividends that are available right away. You can be physically healthier, mentally sharper, and happier now when you make the lifestyle choices that will position you to be at your best with age.