Health is a form of wealth

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The turn of the new year brought a reminder in our pursuit of financial freedom – health is ultimately the most important wealth. No amount of scrimping, saving and income can replace your health. You may be wealthy financially, but if you do not have a healthy body to spend that wealth, you might as well not have it.

At the least, your financial wealth will be drained by your medical bills. At the worst, you are not alive to even spend it.

Here’s a story of what happened to my dad over the past week.

Background

My dad was self-employed in a trade that often required him to wake up in the middle of the night. Although he had the option to relax and forgo the night income (as he was self employed), he persisted out a drive to make more money. This resulted in him being very tired during the day and the weekends.

He claims to be retired now that the children have all graduated and are working now, but I know that he cant help at least keeping tabs and engaging in that trade from time to time.

Strike One

His condition first reared its ugly head about 1 – 2 years ago. Luckily for him, it was not fatal and he was able to undergo a procedure to alleviate the condition. However, he had to strictly observe his lifestyle and diet from that day onward.

After undergoing the procedure, he felt better than ever before. His regular follow-up check-ups with his doctor were also positive. So he started pushing his limits once more, especially in the second half of 2018.

Strike Two

It was the morning of the second day of 2019. On the way to the grocery store on his own, he called my mom and complained of a sharp pain that threatened to overwhelmed him. The condition had made its presence known again. Luckily for him, he was still conscious enough to call a cab to send him to hospital. My mom rushed down in a separate cab from home.

So began a whirlwind 3 days of medical testing and observation, ultimately resulting in another procedure to alleviate the condition yet again.

I accompanied him while he queued for medication on the last day. I took the opportunity to ask him if he feared not having enough for retirement, as the reason for him still pushing himself to make money in his retirement years. He replied that there was always the risk of that, no matter how tiny the possibility.

“But is it worth your health?”, I thought to myself.

My reflections

It’s funny how the world always finds a way to kick your ass to remind you to wake up. Seeing my dad’s mortality first hand has reminded me once again of my lazy attitude towards my own health and almost single-minded focus on attaining financial freedom.

So for this year, I have only 1 resolution above all others – close the rings on my Apple Watch as far as possible (90% of the year or more). I’ll report my ring closure progress as part of my future portfolio updates going forward.

After all, health is wealth.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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