Good health can pay off for you – physically, emotionally and financially.

Most people recognize the value of health. In fact, 96% of retirees – and 99% of those age 75 and over – say health is more important than wealth to live well in retirement, according to the Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study.

Yet, there’s a strong connection between health and wealth. On the most basic level, the more financial resources you have, the more you can invest in those activities and behaviors that promote good health.

But to better appreciate the close relationship between health and wealth, it’s useful to understand the concepts of health span and wealth span. Your health span is the percentage of your lifespan in which you generally enjoy good health. As for wealth span, it can be defined as the number of years your assets can provide you with a comfortable lifestyle.

The longer your health span, the better it will be for your wealth span – because good health is also good for your finances.

Staying healthy pays off

By maintaining good health, you can help protect your savings from the considerable health care expenses in retirement, and possibly even lessen your need for long-term care, which can be extremely costly. As a result, you may be able to enhance your retirement spending abilities and extend your wealth span even further.

Of course, as we age, we can’t avoid every ailment. You already know the essentials to sustain your health: Exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet, don’t smoke, get regular check-ups and so on. But staying physically fit also depends on maintaining good mental and emotional states.

A wise investment

The greater your understanding about the connection between your health and your wealth, the better prepared you’ll be to make the changes necessary to improve your well-being in both areas. In other words, extending your health span is a solid investment.