In part 2 of our 6-part series delving into our concept of a Health and Financial Security (HFS) portfolio, we take a closer look at the goal of protecting and maximizing health. (Read part 1.)
Health and Financial Security is an admittedly big and important goal, so let’s spend a little time deconstructing the HFS portfolio and looking at some of the products and strategies that comprise each of the four category goals:
- Protect and maximize HEALTH
- Protect and maximize INCOME
- Protect ASSETS
- Save for the FUTURE
Many would argue that health is the cornerstone of any health and financial security strategy. Health and financial security are deeply intertwined. Having poor health can impact finances significantly, and having limited financial resources and poor financial security can affect your ability to take good care of your health, as well as cause lots of stress. As TD Bank’s 2015 study indicated (and other recent studies have suggested), health is assuming a broader meaning, and is frequently mentioned hand-in-hand with financial wellness.
The foundation of a good health strategy should consist of both risk protection (insurance products) and risk reduction and/or health maximization (health and wellness behaviors and initiatives). In terms of insurance, the most important product anyone should have is major medical insurance. It provides protection from unplanned health expenses, as well as access to discounted (or free, in the case of many preventive services) care…and, it’s required by law. If you don’t have it, you’ll be subject to tax penalties. There’s much to consider when searching for the right health plan, and we’ve covered some helpful strategies in previous posts here and here.
Dental and vision insurance can also be part of the equation. Whether or not those are right for you depends on a number of factors, including your anticipated need for the services covered, your budget, and your own risk tolerance. For some, these types of insurance aren’t necessarily cost effective if you only anticipate using basic services (e.g., annual dental cleanings and checkups). It pays to do some math on the costs of coverage relative to your anticipated needs to determine if it is better to purchase coverage or pay out-of-pocket.
It’s not enough just to protect against health risk with insurance. It’s also critical to adopt health and wellness practices that help you obtain and/or maintain good health. Often, health and wellness programs designed to help you eat better, exercise appropriately, and manage stress are offered through health plans, employers and even communities.
Those who want to get a quick assessment of their health and financial security foundation can take our My Thrive Score assessment at www.mythrivescore.com.
Next up…a deeper dive into protecting and maximizing income.