When it comes to sayings that are incredibly true, “Hindsight is 20/20” is definitely at the top of the list.
Most people have experienced things in their life that have them wishing for the ability to travel back in time and do and/or decide things differently.
Although we cannot control the future—and most of us don’t have a working crystal ball to see what might be coming up—there are definitely a number of things we can do today that will help ensure a happier and healthier tomorrow.
For example, the following tips and tricks, adopted sooner rather than later, can help prevent issues in the years to come:
Get Enough Sleep
Your mom was right—you need your sleep. Sleep is vital for your health, brain function and emotional well-being. Many health issues have been linked to a lack of sleep. For example, being sleep deprived can lead to a weakened immune system, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and other problems. Don’t assume that you can catch up on snoozing in your later years and automatically undo any damage. Instead, make getting enough rest a priority now, so you can stay as healthy as possible and not have to spend your golden years dealing with issues that were brought on by poor sleep choices in your youth.
Enroll in the Proper Health Insurance Plan
If you have a health insurance plan, you might assume that you have all of the coverage you need for your medical visits and any prescriptions you need to take. Sadly, many people learn their policy is inadequate when they receive a huge hospital bill or have to buy a highly-priced prescription. Spend some time researching your existing plan, as well as other choices that are out there. If you find that your deductible is much higher than you realized or that your plan does not cover any medications, make a change now when you are healthy.
For people who are nearing their 65th birthday and take at least one prescription medication, this is the perfect time to learn all you can about Medicare Part D Plans. Medicare Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, which is offered by private, Medicare-approved companies. For example, Anthem offers copays as low as $0 for its prescription drug plans and works with over 68,000 pharmacies across the country. Switching to this type of plan as soon as you can may end up saving you thousands of dollars later on.
Live Within Your Means and Save
Speaking of dollars, good financial decisions now will reward you as you get older. Aim to never spend more than you earn—this will prevent you from running up costly credit card debt that you will spend years paying off. Also, make it a point to pay yourself first each and every month. The more you save now, the more you will have in your retirement nest egg. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help advise you on savings goals and investment accounts that typically offer nice returns. If you have been used to living paycheck to paycheck, do what you can to trim back on unnecessary expenses and strive to set aside 5 percent of your income into savings. Over time, increase this amount to 10 and even 20 percent. Your future, retired self will be so glad that you opted to plunk extra money into savings, rather than always splurge for the latest gadget.
Live Wisely Now, Live Well Later
It can be so easy to get caught up in the here and now of work, bills and your daily routine that thinking about the future is almost impossible. But to avoid that awful sinking feeling that comes with the “would haves and should haves,” strive to make solid health and wealth decisions now that will literally and figuratively pay big dividends later on.