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Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 01:07 AM   #1
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Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Just curious - anybody else out there consider their healthy choices as a sort of "investing" for their retirement?

For example -- do you choose to eat organic knowing it costs you additional, and would you consider that additional cost as "saving" for retirement?

Reason I ask is I've recently been educated about supplements by an Emergency MD. More or less, this guy would be considered a quacko among many of his colleagues because supplements are the big no-no in an industry devoted to corrective/reactive medicine rather than preventative medicine.

I've since realized that my supplement intake is a little on the ridiculous side. Enough so that one could probably justify putting the money into a retirement account or some other form of investing.

However, the way I see it - early retirement doesn't matter if I'm not in a healthy state to enjoy it. So in this way, I consider my cost of supplements to be a form of investing for my retirement (meanwhile providing benefits now, as well).
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 02:16 AM   #2
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Yes, definitely.

I was overweight, not eating too healthy and not exercising. I kept telling myself that when the job stress eased up, I would lose weight and start exercising regularly. A year passed. Then another. Then one day I had the realization that my job stress might **never** back off and was I really okay with sacrificing my health to MegaCorp? That was my wake-up call. Why work so hard to acheive early retirement and then not be able to enjoy it due to poor health?

So I prioritized my health higher than my job and 1-1/2 years later I had lost 50 pounds and was doing 10-15 mile hikes and training for a 200-mile bicycle ride. My job never actually suffered -- indeed, my work output was probably better than before.

Yes, I could work out at home and save the money, but the gym membership that I have gets used regularly and its a "healthy investment" that I plan to keep paying.

--Linney

p.s. I'm really leary of supplements. Organic foods seem like a good idea --- if it's not imported. But I'm highly suspicious about most herbal remedies and other supplements with just a small handful of exceptions.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 08:01 AM   #3
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

I had a co-worker who was a die hard supplement taker, before he started a rigorou workout schedule. I asked if he was eating healthy. His response was yes. My point of view as stated to him was, if you're eating healthy and not engaged in some sort of rigorous activity, then why would you need to take supplements?

To answer your question I do consider healthy living an investment in retirement, for the reasons you stated. It would seem to me that it's no fun being retired if you spend all of you time taking pills or going to the doctor. One of the biggest influences in my life was a man I met in a gym while stationed in Turkey. He shaved his head bald and looked to be about 40 years old. After I got to know him, I discovered he was actually 65. He attributed much of his ability to remain active to going to the gym and working out. His workouts were harder than mine at the time.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 09:13 AM   #4
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

I watch my diet and make time for what I consider minimal exercise (not as much as I'd like, but still more than average). My weight is within 3 pounds over the past 30+ years.

Day to day and in retirement - early or not, I want to be healthy enough to enjoy the time and be able to do the things I want to do. it's an investment in me, not retirement per se.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 10:07 AM   #5
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Absolutely. We've been going to a trainer 2x week since May, we've started eating a lot better, and we bought bikes for Christmas all with this healthy investment in mind. At 36 and 44, we knew that FIRE wouldn't be all that great if we weren't in shape to do all we want to do.
We actually spend about the same on food, but we don't go out to eat as much, so it balances out fairly well. I don't do supplements, but I don't have any serious health problems. Most folks I know that take supplements, do so to help with some kind of less-than-treatable condition.
We justify this spending by knowing that it will hopefully give us extra mobility and stamina to do the kind of travel we want to do in FIRE.

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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 11:55 AM   #6
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

er at 48 & 1/2 my plan was to get buff by 50 but then things got even more depressing with mom dying and so i never met that goal as i handle depression with chocolate. i just have to get through this first depressing birthday without mom and then i should be ok. now i have to get at least mostly buff by september when my high school class is meeting for its 50th birthday party in n.y.

i'm not in the great shape i want to be in yet but i'm still very healthy. i've been working on healthy ever since i lost my partner at 35. later i'd watch my ol'man die from cigarettes & booze and then i watched my best friend die similarly. i watched all these good people die early simply because they abused their health bodies.

so healthy living is pretty well engrained into my psyche. i don't drink, don't smoke, i'm freaking goody goody two shoes (what do i do~~adam ant reference, in case you didn't catch that). partly because i don't eat mammal or bird meat & hardly any fish i supplement with vitamin/mineral pills. also i minimally use creatine before workouts, as i don't get a supply of that from regular eating.

the health of my body and it's natural deterioration over time is intrinsic to my retirement planning. gym membership is budgeted while at home and for traveling. traveling is planned according to what i want to do and what i think my body will be best able to handle at that age. so it will be more on the cheap with hiking and biking early on, then boating for a decade or more, then, if there's anything left to me and my budget, the kind of hotels where they open the doors for ya.

while i'm sure i'd find a way to amuse myself even in my death bed, as a rule, if i'm not going to have fun during retirement, if i don't maintain my health, i might as well be w*rking.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-29-2007, 12:34 PM   #7
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peaceful_Warrior
For example -- do you choose to eat organic knowing it costs you additional, and would you consider that additional cost as "saving" for retirement?
I've since realized that my supplement intake is a little on the ridiculous side. Enough so that one could probably justify putting the money into a retirement account or some other form of investing.
I'm still in the "feel good" stage. I don't think I'd boost our spending just for organic (or free-range or farm-raised or whatever) but we grow a lot of our own fruit. I can't tell the difference when it comes to meat/poultry/fish and my conscience doesn't bother me.

OTOH I don't mind spending $10-15/month for vitamins & supplements that are generally acknowledged to have some benefit. I also try to buy ibuprofen in bulk. I make up for those purchases by drinking less beer...
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-30-2007, 08:04 PM   #8
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

We treat our health as a priority, and feel ok about allocating money accordingly, just like we consider ER a priority and allocate money to that.

For us, "health" spending increasingly includes organic foods, some of the costs of which are balanced by not eating out much and avoiding most processed foods. Also I eat vegan (no meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) and DH is mostly vegetarian (occasional fish) so costs are lower because we don't buy much meat.

I take a multivitamin, iron, and multi-B, and those are our only supplement expenses. I share some of the skepticism that's been expressed, but consider these as cheap "insurance."

We recently moved from sunny San Diego to Colorado, where we've joined a gym for the first time so we can work out indoors, and I also pay separately for classes at a local yoga studio.

Overall, it's not a small category of expenses for us, but it's within our budget. The bottom line for us is that it just feels good, and better health gives you more freedom to do what you want at any age.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 01-30-2007, 08:28 PM   #9
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I also try to buy ibuprofen in bulk. I make up for those purchases by drinking less beer...
Gee, if I drank less beer, I wouldn't need to buy ibuprofen in bulk
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 02-04-2007, 08:45 AM   #10
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

I budget 21.47 (19.95 + tax) a month for my health club in the "Medical/Health" category of my expenses. I also take one of those Mega Multi-vitamins (gives you 400% USRDA of B6, 1,000% of Vitamin C, 250% of X, etc.), which runs about $30 for a 2 month supply. I usually eat regular produce and beef/chicken/fish. Have toyed with the idea of finding a farmer that slaughters cows and sells them to individuals, and share the cow with a few other people to get a 'healthier' side of beef, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Since I watch what I eat and aim for a balanced, healthy diet, that's about the extent of my investment in my body so far.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 02-04-2007, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Absolutely. The benefit of avoiding metabolic syndrome is beyond debate. Without exercise and the right kind of eating, I would be 25 or 30 pounds overweight, prediabetic or Type II with all of the attendant problems and unable to move heavy things around our place, ski, play tennis at a certain level, etc. etc. You all have probably seen the line graph depicting a healthy lifestyle into later years as a straight nearly horizontal line with an over the cliff drop at the end compared to the "gradual decline" line which looks more like a 45 degree slope from the late 30's to the grave. The gradual slope includes the misery of prematurely diminished capacities and partial or total assisted living. The latter is not natural; it's often a matter of choice. While cancers, alzheimers, genetic predispositions and lots of other health problems are curses and nobody's fault. (well, I guess smoking and industrial exposures raise the issue of fault), metabolic syndrome is a choice. So, yup, we pay a little more for eggs that have a natural lipid profile (still incredibly cheap high quality protein) and have moved to pastured or range meat and poultry now that it is easily availbable in our town (no hormones, proper lipid profile). We don't waste food as much as we used to.Processed carbs are minimized. As to supplements, it is not that hard to learn which have been the subject of sufficient studies to make a proper choice. The extra cost of the food and the supplements are are a hell of a lot less than the cost of the long term care insurance the missus insisted we have but hope to never have to use.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-03-2007, 01:27 AM   #12
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Absolutely! Invest now or you may not make it to retirement. Certainly you can go overboard with supplements but zero supplements aren’t the answer either. The same goes for healthy choices – neither extreme makes sense. Like everything else in life, a healthy balance is the key.

You are right that the pharmaceutical community has a vested interest in discrediting the value of vitamins and supplements. So, we are faced with the choice – do we trust the motives of people like multiple Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling or do we trust the motives of our big pharmaceutical companies? Perhaps the disgusting treatment that the pharmaceutical community gave Dr. Barry Marshall with his revolutionary treatment for ulcers can help you make that decision.

You make the choice – I made mine but unfortunately I made mine too late in my life. Don’t make the same mistake – make the investment in your health. Without your health, retirement could be quite ugly and short.

L, D
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-03-2007, 02:14 AM   #13
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

I can't help but ask - have you read "Way of the Peaceful Warrior"?
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #14
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

DH takes vitamin supplements as he has some health conditions. Myself, none. I tend to believe that if we eat a good diet (which I don't always) we should be able to get what we need from what we put into our bodies.

I do buy some organic foods, especially berries. We eat a lot of organic blueberries as they are supposed to contain a lot of antioxidants.

However, i do believe there is room in our current diet/exercise regime to take it to a higher level of prioritisation over work.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-03-2007, 07:04 PM   #15
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

To answer the question in the subject: exactly the opposite. I consider investing for retirement as part of my plan to have a good life for a long time. Just as I consider flossing every night, so that I can keep my own teeth as long as possible (a luxury unavailable to even the wealthiest and most powerful 200 years ago!). If I thought that eating "organic" was likely to contribute to this, I'd pay the extra cost, too. And so on. Within reason, and within the limits of of willpower, of course. (mmmm -- donutssssssss).
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-05-2007, 10:32 PM   #16
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Why would you ask if I have read "Way of the Peaceful Warrior"?

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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-06-2007, 12:26 AM   #17
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Because one of the two main characters is named 'Socrates'

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Why would you ask if I have read "Way of the Peaceful Warrior"?
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #18
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Healthy choices don't have to cost more... depending on where you live, I suppose. We grow our own organic vegetables and then buy at the local produce at the coop in winter (when the few remaining squash in the garage have frozen solid). Maybe some day, post ER, I'll get around to building a cold (not frozen) storage box so we can preserve our own veggies longer. We raise our own organic chicken - 50 birds a year, keep 25 for our own use and sell the rest so there's no cost (other than labor) to us. I can walk out my back door and be in the woods in 10 minutes - on a 300 acre trail system for cross country skiing or walking. Mountain biking and road biking are everywhere. We probably do pay a premium in heating fuel, winter clothes, and outdoor gear for activities. Still, I can't imagine a better place to live.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-06-2007, 11:24 AM   #19
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

Are you adopting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lem1955
Healthy choices don't have to cost more... depending on where you live, I suppose. We grow our own organic vegetables and then buy at the local produce at the coop in winter (when the few remaining squash in the garage have frozen solid). Maybe some day, post ER, I'll get around to building a cold (not frozen) storage box so we can preserve our own veggies longer. We raise our own organic chicken - 50 birds a year, keep 25 for our own use and sell the rest so there's no cost (other than labor) to us. I can walk out my back door and be in the woods in 10 minutes - on a 300 acre trail system for cross country skiing or walking. Mountain biking and road biking are everywhere. We probably do pay a premium in heating fuel, winter clothes, and outdoor gear for activities. Still, I can't imagine a better place to live.
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?
Old 03-07-2007, 11:45 AM   #20
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Re: Do you consider healthy choices as part of "investing" for retirement?

I consider a healthy lifestyle absolutely as a wise investment. In the past 1 1/2 years, I have lost 50 pounds, and have been eating much healthier. Less red meat, more fish, white poultry, legumes, and tons of fruit & vegetables.

Part of my motivation was to build my health and fitness for ER. Who wants to retire and be too sick and feeble to enjoy it?
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