The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, and yet it ranks 12th in life expectancy among the 12 wealthiest industrialized countries. The country spent $3.4 trillion on health care in 2016, and that number is projected to grow to $5.5 trillion by 2025, driven by inflation in the cost of medical services and products and an aging population. So if outrageous health care spending is not translating to enormously better health outcomes, what can we do as individuals to protect ourselves?
Investing in preventive health solutions like gym memberships, organic food, biometric and genetic testing, and alternative therapies can feel inaccessible because of the out-of-pocket costs. The truth is, many of us didn’t grow up in families that budgeted for self-care and healthy living. Only in recent years has the conversation of wellness and disease prevention hit the masses, and quite frankly, it’s about time.
"Invest now, save later" is my personal mantra when it comes to health and happiness. And by save, I’m not only referring to saving on costs of health care; I’m also referring to the decrease in the likelihood of burdening family and friends. When we get sick, so do our loved ones. Their symptoms might feel invisible or go medically undetected because of the adrenaline they’re releasing to stay strong and fight the fight alongside us. It’s tragic news when you hear of a family member falling ill while taking care of their loved one. As you can see, the future savings are great and the cost of investment is dwarfed by the potential return.
Of course you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, I understand, but I just can’t afford to be healthy right now. To that I say it's still possible to optimize your health today and not break the bank. Here are some options to consider if you want to invest in your health today: