Some factors affecting your life insurance costs are beyond your control. But two are in your control: smoking and your health.
No rocket science here. Smokers pay up to twice as much as non-smokers, so if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, quit. It may not be easy but anything that improves your health helps lower life insurance costs.
Because applying for life insurance almost always includes a medical exam in which weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other key health information will be obtained, if you have high cholesterol, diabetes, or other serious problems, try to get them under control before you look for coverage. A “no exam” policy, if available, will cost you more.
Getting control of your health starts with simple steps…literally. Think you can’t do it? You can.
- Start walking. Whether in your neighborhood, a nearby park, or a health club, walking is good for you. Walk just quickly enough that you can still talk, but not easily. As you get stronger, increase the distance and your speed.
- Eat healthily. Cut out junk food, don’t drink soft drinks of any sort, eat moderate amounts, eat slowly, eat dinner with your family, eat “real” food whose ingredients you can understand. Again, start with one small step, then the next, and the next.
- Don’t overdo alcohol. Enjoy responsibly and not too often.
- Work out with weights or with your body weight. You don’t have to go to a gym to start getting in shape. You can start with your body weight, eventually adding handheld weights or using bands to progress even farther. Weights could be a heavy can, a filled milk/water jug, or some inexpensive dumbbells. Shoot for three times a week. Just remember start slowly, try to do one more repetition than you think you can (with good form), and as the saying goes: “Just do it.”
- Here are several websites that can get you started on strength workouts. Nerd Fitness, Cure Joy, Very Well Fit. There are also lots of great books on the subject.
Next blog post, I’ll share an easy, healthy, no-cook recipe. In the meantime, get started, just for the health of your body and wallet!