NEW YEAR, NEW YOU – HEALTHY LIFESTYLE HABITS CAN IMPACT YOUR LIFE AND MEDICAL COVER

New year’s resolutions are famous for never making it past February. While it is perfectly normal to envision a new or improved version of ourselves, we seldom consider the impact these aspirations could hold over our life insurance or medical cover.

Insurance premiums for risk cover often change as the individual’s life or circumstances change. Your age, health and exposure to risk will ultimately affect the type of cover you choose or the premiums thereof. These lifestyle changes could improve your options.

Drop the bad habits

Smoking and drinking usually form part of an active social life. While social engagement is vital for most personality types and has shown to improve the state of someone’s emotional health, cigarettes and alcohol has an inverse effect when consumed in large quantities.

Smokers are automatically placed in a higher risk category, which could result in your monthly insurance premium being loaded or your policy being approved with exclusions for certain conditions, such as lung cancer or the like.

The excessive use of alcohol could cause similar restrictions or premium increases, especially when considering the impact that ingesting alcohol can have on an individual’s liver or kidneys. By dropping these habits, you could possibly improve your risk profile and save yourself a couple of Rands in the process.

Exercise regularly

There is overwhelming evidence that regular exercise will improve our overall health. The physical and emotional benefits of exercise should be reason enough to get to the gym or to start walking around the block, not just as a new year’s resolution but as a way of embracing a more active lifestyle.

Most medical insurance platforms have researched years of data and come to the same conclusion: the fitter you are, the less likely you are to die from a heart attack or cancer. Because of this, many companies have resorted to rewarding their members for keeping fit, whether through incentivised premium reductions or through other tiered reward systems.

Start saving for a rainy day

This one might not have anything to do with what you put into your body or what you subject your body to, but it is a healthy habit for a number of reasons. Though it shouldn’t, money holds a lot of sway over our emotional state. By eliminating money woes or preparing for future financial concerns, you can address potentially stressful situations.

A clear savings strategy for the new year could also become the one habit that will fuel all other healthy habits. While time away with your loved ones can be regarded as a healthy habit, it requires a bit of planning to fit it into your budget.

Whether saving up for a family holiday, your gym fees for the year, a selection of books for some quality alone time, an unforeseen emergency, or striving to pay off debts carried over from the previous year, it is wise to consult a financial advisor to get the ball rolling. It is worth looking into savings platforms that tie in with life insurance policies. Depending on your needs, a joint savings and life cover plan could positively influence your premiums or your benefits.

Discuss your intentions with your financial advisor. They should be able to advise the best way to incorporate your personal goals, your healthy habits and your finances, to secure you the best available life or medical cover based on your evolving requirements.

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