Being overweight is a major issue for Boomers and one which, to the surprise of many, impacts significantly on their financial situation. What does the obesity epidemic have to do with financial planning? Well, a great deal, we suggest. In addition to facing growing health care costs associated with increasing longevity, overweight Boomers (and others) can also expect to pay higher personal insurance premiums.
In our new book*, we cover health care as one of the ‘big 4’ issues facing Boomers today. The others are divorce, unemployment, and dependants. All 4 have the potential to rock (if not capsize) your financial boat unless you take action. Here’s what we say in the book about how your health affects the cost of personal insurance:
*On any application for risk insurance, the insurance company will assess the applicant’s health and review their medical history and reports. Based on these reports, as assessed against its industry analysis, it is not uncommon for an applicant’s insurance premiums to be ‘loaded’ (in other words, the premiums increased by a percentage of the base rate) based on their personal health. Premium loading can be anything from 50% to over 100% of the standard cost based on how poor the applicant’s health is, which inevitably results in the applicant opting not to insure themselves due to the cost.
As a result, the best solution to manage the rising cost of health care is to insure yourself, and insure yourself early. It is more costly not to insure yourself as, without your capacity to work and generate an income, your ongoing wealth only suffers.
Once you have insurance in place, you can work towards reducing your loading by improving your health. The potential benefits are not only a longer and happier life to spend on personal interests and/or with family and friends, but also a reduced financial commitment even as you protect yourself and those around you. It sounds like a win-win to us. In fact, it sounds like living a life of choice not compromise.
* This post includes an extract from our book, They said the World was my Oyster but someone Stole the Pearl, A Baby Boomer’s guide to living a life of choice not compromise by Markham Collins & Russell Mann, available from mid-2016.
To discuss any aspect of your personal insurances and/or your overall financial planning strategies, please contact Collins Mann on 3251 3201.