Your spouse, your doctor, maybe even your kids have been nagging you for years to take better care of yourself. Now your personal-finance magazine is joining them.


As if adding years to your life wasn’t incentive enough, preventive care is also a ridiculously astute investment. It can save you thousands of dollars in avoided medical costs and add literally hundreds of thousands to your lifetime earnings, if it keeps you from retiring early because of illness or disability (as nearly one in four workers do, according to the Fidelity Research Institute).

Talk about return on capital: Odds are, no part of the following six-step prescription will cost you more than pennies a day.


#1. Spot problems early – Make sure you get the tests recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

#2 Pop your pills – Compared with treating disease, medication is an inexpensive lifesaver.

#3 Don’t miss this drug – Aspirin can seriously reduce a man’s chances of heart attack and a woman’s chances of stroke.

#4 Floss – A recent study in the Journal of Periodontology found that patients ages 40 to 59 with severe gum disease had cumulative health care costs 21% higher than those who had healthy gums.

#5 Get more Z’s – An insomniac’s health-care costs can be $4,200 more than those of someone who sleeps well.

#6 Go for a walk – Just 30 minutes a day [of moderate exercise] can lower your risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes and a host of other ills.

Live a longer, happier life and contribute to your bottomline at the same time. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Now, who’s up for a quick walk around the block?

Source: CNN Money

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