The link between health and finance is an interesting one. There is a general, if largely unspoken, consensus that your wealth can have an impact on your health. If money is no object, then those high-end products with natural ingredients are within easy reach. Those with money to spare, can also afford the best in medical care, gym memberships and all those other little add-ons in life that the world’s merchants assure us will guarantee a long and healthy existence.
The flip side of the question is one that is less obvious, however. There is growing evidence that the reverse holds true, and that your state of health can also affect your personal finances. If this is true, it suggests that helping one will help the other, creating a virtuous circle of good health and financial stability. Let’s find out more.
Health and credit
We live in a society that is heavily reliant on credit. This is not necessarily a bad thing; a healthy credit economy keeps the money flowing and is generally seen as an indicator of future growth. However, having been burnt by the boom and bust of past economic cycles, banks and lenders are increasingly cautious when it comes to extending credit terms.
Your credit history is, of course, the first thing they will be looking at, but the physical health of borrowers is coming increasingly under the microscope. After all, if you are unable to work, or worse, if you are struck down by a terminal illness, the cold hard fact is you will be unable to make the repayments.
This is why lenders are asking increasingly personal questions that might seem to have nothing to do with your finances. How much do you drink? Are you a smoker? What is your weight? These are all factored in to your creditworthiness, and it is wise to be prepared with the answers before you put in that loan application.
Giving up the cigarettes, cutting down the drinking and losing a few pounds can never be a bad idea. Perhaps the need to take out a loan will be just the incentive you need. However, these are not the only steps you can take. The lender will want to know whether you are at risk of life threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease, so being prepared by arranging cardiac tests of your own will not only give you advance warning of where you stand, it will also demonstrate to the prospective lender that you are serious about your health.
The 21st century dynamic
Lenders are particularly interested in the health of borrowers these days due to the massive rise in self employed workers over the past couple of years. This has come about largely thanks to the freelance economy and spirit of entrepreneurism that the digital revolution has brought into being.
While this shift in working patterns has delivered increased freedom to workers and a pioneering spirit, it is not without its risks. The greatest one is that if you are not working, you are not bringing in any money. When it comes to vacations, that is something you can always factor in – putting in the extra hours, and perhaps even doing a little work while you are away in order to keep the cash flowing.
Guarding against ill health
The far greater concern, however, is what happens if you have an accident or illness that prevents you from working. Health insurance is not just a possibility but should be considered an absolute prerequisite if you are self-employed. Again, by taking this kind of preemptive strike against disaster, you will be demonstrating to lenders that you have a proactive attitude to managing and mitigating risk.
Take care of yourself
So what can we conclude from all this? Essentially, physical health and financial health go hand in hand, and can create a virtuous circle. Inevitably, this implies that the opposite also holds true, and if one fails, it can soon affect the other.
If you’re one of those people for whom your health has never been a priority, then it is never too late to mend your ways. Better health and better finances, surely a win/win solution that even the most die hard drinker, smoker and junk food addict has to take seriously.
The great news is you do not have to do it all at once. Just a small change can make a big difference, and can set that virtuous wheel in motion. Good luck!