Some people are planners by nature. From the time they received their first “real” paycheck, they began putting a portion of their salary away into a 401K retirement plan, knowing that time was on their side when it comes to compounding interest. For those who are not familiar with this investment concept, compounding interest is the interest paid (by the bank or financial institution) on both the principal (actual money you deposited) and on the accrued interest (the money given you by the bank or financial institution). Simply put, the earlier one begins to invest for their retirement, the more profit you will make on your own money and the bank’s money, too.

With all this focus placed on being fiscally prepared for retirement, I believe we have neglected to prepare for another facet of our lives which could quite possibly be more important that the size of our 401K, Roth IRA, and pension plan put together: our physical health. The fact is, if you and I are going to truly enjoy living in the third trimester of our lives, we need to have invested in a sound body and a clear mind. And just as in finances, time is a critical factor.

The reason it’s best to begin donating to your health investment plan early in life has to do with the negative, flip side to compounding interest—when interest (you will owe) accrues sharply over time on moneys that are borrowed.  If you allow yourself to fall into health debt by not obtaining adequate exercise and sleep, failing to seek social and mental stimulation, or by not consuming a nutritious diet, you will reap steep interest charges on what you have sown: sickness, disease, and early demise.

On the other hand—if you follow the investment advice that it is better to begin today than tomorrow —and you make daily deposits into your body’s health account, then you will be able to withdraw (and live on) those investments right on through your sunset years.

So here’s to retirement, Moses’ style—with strength, purpose, and soundness of mind!

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