Health vs. Wealth – Which Goes First?

by J. Money - Published June 29, 2018

dollar bill eye pyramid

If you had to choose one: health or wealth, which would you go with?

According to a new press release I just opened up, if you’re a millennial you go for the health more often than not ;) At least that’s according to TD Bank who sent me these fun stats we’ll be pouring over today (you can download the full report here (powerpoint)).

They asked over 1,000 consumers what their 2018 resolutions were back in January (do you remember yours??), and “diet and fitness” goals superseded all financial ones, with the top response of “eating better” (54%) trumping the top financial goal of “saving more and spending less” (39%).

In fact, health goals took home the top 3 slots!!

2018 goals millennials

(Click to make bigger…)

Is this good? Bad? TD warns that it could be troublesome, but of course without your health the money is somewhat pointless :)

It did suck seeing my beautiful budgeting way down on the list though, along with “unplugging more” which is an excellent goal!, but hey – there could be worse priorities. It was cool to see “challenge myself every day” and “read more books” in the middle! My Challenge Everything experiment is still paying dividends over all these years… Which you can apply to any area of your life!

Here were some other stats from the poll:

  • 73% of respondents admit to making a money mistake in the past year (millennials 83%)
  • 17% of the younger generation says the biggest mistake was incurring too much credit card debt and not paying it off (something we saw in our own polls last week too, eh?)
  • 32% of women are significantly less satisfied with their financial health than men (51%)
  • 41% of those satisfied with their financial health are more likely to be satisfied with their physical health (75%), emotional health and wellness (85%) and family well-being (87%).
  • However, this link is not as strong the other way around – with those who are extremely or very satisfied with their physical health only being 69% satisfied with their financial health
  • Overall, confidence in achieving goals is fairly strong, with nearly all polled believing they’ll be better off financially in 2018 due to having a financial plan

And then the most non-shocking news of the day:

“The biggest reason for not sticking with a resolution was that, basically, life gets in the way.”

Pretty much – yup ;) How many of you even remember your new year’s goals? I do, but only because it was wrapped around a pretty big life changing event – having a baby! So mine was hard to forget, haha, although I may want to once my wife goes back to work next month (!!).

(My resolution was/is to be a stay-at-home daddy blogger – which so far is going better than half the 17 resolutions of mine prior to this! Of which you can see by clicking that link up there :))

I will admit that my health goals have been majorly lacking in recent years, however…

It currently looks a lot like this:

into fitness gif

Haha… But on the other hand, my finances are on lock! Maybe that’s why health is rated so high on everyone’s lists? Because they’re all out there knocking out $$$ goals and stacking cash so all that’s left to optimize is health?! That would be nice! :)

Although I do find it interesting – especially with myself – that as much as I KNOW health is important if I want to live a long time, my actions sure don’t point in that direction! How do I not prioritize something that literally KEEPS ME ALIVE?? I don’t love cemeteries that much! haha..

But I guess that’s something for health bloggers, not finance ones ;) So as long as you’re not this guy below, you’re alright in my book:

have enough money if die thursday

** Goes to Google “best blogs to not make me die”…**

———
This post was sponsored by TD Bank who asked if I liked talking stats on this blog… Yeah we do!! As well as any financial institutions which try hard to be available to their customers like TD does. They’re open *7 days a week*, even on Sundays, and have 24 hour live customer support! They’re also currently offering new customers $150-$300 when they open a new TD checking account – more info here if interested. Thanks for the fun opp, guys!


Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Accidental FIRE June 29, 2018 at 6:19 am

I think it’s great that health topics got the top three, but it confounds me a little because I don’t see people behaving that way. We’re unhealthier than we’ve ever been, collectively. If you look at just type-2 diabetes alone, which the majority of cases are the result of being overweight and lack of physical activity, it’s becoming an epidemic.

Let’s hope millennials start to turn this around!

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2 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:27 am

Guess that’s why they call it “goals” and not “accomplishments” :)

Though it would be pretty cool if every year we listed out our best WINS from the year instead of future WISHES – hah!

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3 Chris June 29, 2018 at 7:09 am

I agree with health being a top priority. This makes me believe that we’re healthier than ever. Our life expectancy is longer, and I can only imagine what type of technology is being developed to help us improve our health.

There will be always people who’ll choose wealth over health , but it’s good to know the majority chose health.

Nice stats J.

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4 Debbie June 29, 2018 at 7:22 am

Bad health can wipe out wealth. Health care costs/premiums are increasing far more than the return on investments. Just heard health care premiums are going up this Fall as much as 85% in Md. & as much as 50% in Tenn., as much as 30% in NC, etc, etc. Meanwhile deductibles & out of pocket costs are also rising sharply. Older middle class people are going without health insurance as it’s simply become unaffordable & this problem is not going away anytime fast. Take care of your health!
As for 2018 goals, we’ve already accomplished them: remodeled guest bath & sunroom on a budget (did all work ourselves), pay down mortgage (set up automatic monthly draft of $300 extra going towards principal). Also have automatic draft to max out Roth IRA’s.
Thanx for sharing these interesting stats. Good to know many have health priorities.

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5 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:30 am

Nice job with those DIY projects! I’m now 50% less depressed from the start of your comment ;)

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6 Bryan June 29, 2018 at 7:23 am

What holds true for finances holds true for health. Control what you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t. Can you predict the next market crash? No. Do you know if you’re carrying a faulty DNA strand that is going to trigger uncontrolled cellular replication at age 50 leading to cancer? No. However, you can decide to save $300.00 a month instead of leasing a new car for $300.00 a month. You can decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Life is a series of choices. Make the best ones you can. Life is going to happen no matter what. Make the best of it.

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7 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:30 am

daaaaaamn, son – well said!

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8 Kate June 29, 2018 at 7:45 am

Good points here! I think that there is some correlation between the two – poverty and poor health tend to go hand-in-hand (for many, many reasons). But if we focus solely on wealth, we won’t be able to enjoy it when we FIRE. At least if we focused solely on health we could work into our 80s (HAHAHA). I’m definitely guilty of neglecting both at times, but I’m working hard to get back on track with both of them!

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9 Paulm June 29, 2018 at 8:17 am

I also agree that health should be the top priority. As I’m aging, it’s taken the top priority in my life. I’ve led a reasonably healthy life but many of my peers have had weight problems and led inactive lives and are paying for it now that they’re in their fifties. And the unfortunate part is that they have the money to spend freely but can’t enjoy it as they should. I strongly encourage anyone young to not take your health for granted so you can enjoy your savings later in life

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10 SL June 29, 2018 at 8:50 am

Not sure I like a financial goal of save more and eat less. Could we spend less instead? *grin* My goals were more family oriented, to make the time I never seem to have to socialize, and to push past certain anxieties involved with the same. These are all great goals!

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11 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:35 am

Dang you!! Good catch! :)

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12 Sean @ Frugal Money Man June 29, 2018 at 8:55 am

I definitely have always prioritized my health over wealth!

Even though it maybe only 51 – 49 favor for health, it still takes my top priority;) I can overcome my portfolio plummeting, but I can’t as easily overcome the health issues that arise from poor health habits. Not only are they more physically exhausting to over come, but they can potentially add a sense of embarrassment in public and around your friends/family, which will never go away until you get back to being “healthy.”

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13 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:37 am

And money stuff is hidden whether you’re broke or rich, usually! Interesting way of thinking about it.

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14 Dads Dollars Debts June 29, 2018 at 9:17 am

I think wealth and health go together because both require some self control. To save is not easy and niether is eating right and working out. The opposite, health being related to wealth is harder bc while we have phys Ed in school, noone ever teaches us about finance.

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15 Francis Bach June 29, 2018 at 9:20 am

When one is young, they spend their health pursuing money. When they become old, they spend their money pursuing health.
I see the cardiac rehab patients in the gym trying to get their health back. I bet they sure wish they took better care of themselves in their go-go hustle years.

There really has to be balance but health does comes first. Your body is wonderful instrument that enables you to do the things that you do and want to do, for yourself and others.

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16 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

“When one is young, they spend their health pursuing money. When they become old, they spend their money pursuing health.”

So true!! Why are we so faulty as humans?!

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17 Joe June 29, 2018 at 9:58 am

Health and wealth, for sure. Life is great when you have both. :)

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18 [email protected] June 29, 2018 at 10:08 am

Unfortunately when I look around me, health AND wealth don’t seem to be priorities. For me, health has always been a huge priority and it’s not that money isn’t, of course, but I just have always wanted to make sure I’m feeling my best.

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19 Mrs. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:08 am

I would totally pick health. Obviously I would love to have both, but if I had to choose, I would much rather be healthy!

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20 Tonya June 29, 2018 at 10:09 am

The thing I think is interesting is that health and wealth are probably so much more connected than people think. Being stressed about money can cause health problems. Stress is not good for your body or health. I can remember being REALLY bad with money about 12 years ago and it had gotten so bad that I wasn’t sleeping at night. On the other hand, if you save and plan for a rainy day, when a health storm comes you are more financially prepared to handle it. That’s not to say people of wealth can avoid or survive all health problems, but they are more equipped to handle them without additional financial stress.

I have a chronic health condition and taking care of myself saves me money. Saving money also helps me take better care of my health. There are no absolutes so both are equally important and require our time and attention.

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21 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

Yes to all of this :)

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22 Menard Solve June 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

My slogan is “Get ready to retire healthy and wealthy”, so health definitely comes first. Unfortunately some people think it’s irrelevant. I got scolded on a PF FB group for being a ‘body shamer’ because I posted “How to lose weight and save a ton of money” when my intent was to help people (I used to operate a fitness gym).

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23 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:40 am

People get feisty in all areas online, haha… I think they forget to step back an consider the main intent, which for most of us in this community *is* to help! Or at least get civil discussions going about topics.

What made you move away from operating the gym?

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24 Menard Solve June 29, 2018 at 1:20 pm

I sold the business to my brother, who knew nothing about fitness, before I migrated to America, 21 years ago. The rest is history.

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25 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 3:11 pm

oh wowwww… is he still running it? you think you’ll ever start another one here in the states? can I ask you like, a million more questions? ;)

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26 Menard Solve July 1, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Anytime, J :) No, the business closed down two years after he bought it. I don’t think so, operating a gym business here in the U.S. is way more capital intensive and the cost of labor is way higher. Not to mention that you can easily get sued for little things. More risk is involved.

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27 J. Money July 2, 2018 at 6:57 am

gotcha gotcha… thanks for entertaining me :)

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28 JoeHx June 29, 2018 at 10:42 am

Health all the way.

You can recover from even the worst financial disasters – bankruptcy, divorce, etc.

You can’t recover from the worst health disasters, up to and including death.

If you can recover from death, let me know.

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29 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 10:45 am

Haha.. that would be something.

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30 Lily | The Frugal Gene June 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

“32% of women are significantly less satisfied with their financial health than men (51%)”

Woof that’s a big difference. This is one of those times I wish they came out with following questions like. I need to know why the huge difference! :9

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31 John Forscythe June 29, 2018 at 11:26 am

Health is definitely top priority but oftentimes health and wealth goals are the same. For example eating less restaurant food (which is almost always packed with fat, sugar, and salt) and cooking with healthy staples is good for both a health and wealth standpoint. Same for drinking less alcohol. Walking to the store or jogging in the park or playing some pickup soccer with friends is next to free and good for your health.

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32 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 3:14 pm

you had me up until drinking less alcohol ;)

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33 Gary @ Super Saving Tips June 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm

I’ve learned the hard way about the importance of good health, and it’s the biggest drain on my wealth at this point. I’m glad to see people setting goals for health (as well as finances), but we all need to do a better job on the follow through. S.M.A.R.T. goals, people!

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34 Mrs. Picky Pincher June 29, 2018 at 3:34 pm

In my head I was shouting, “Health health health health health!” :)

Naturally you need a little bit of both. Health gets you nowhere if you’re broke and living on the street (which probably means you aren’t going to the doc and taking care of yourself).

I’m young and naive about so many things, including the importance of health. It’s easy to forget how easily it can be snatched from your fingers.

I had a HUGE (golfball-sized) wakeup call back in November. I found a big lump in my throat. It turned out to be a benign thyroid growth that I had to have removed, but for a good month we thought it was cancer. Talk about scary!

After an experience like that, it makes you evaluate how you’ve spent your money and your life. I decided I didn’t need to change a damn thing, and that I was living my best life as well as I could. How’s that for validation? :)

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35 J. Money June 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm

WOW!! Very interesting!!! I’d be freaked the hell out too if I found that thing in my throat – ack!

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36 Kit June 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm

I think you may actually be a little closer to the mark than you think with the statement “But on the other hand, my finances are on lock! Maybe that’s why health is rated so high on everyone’s lists?” Either people have their finances on lock or there is a constant in their face reminder of their money issues (bills, credit card statements, etc.).

Health is one of those things people have to force themselves to think about so marking it as a new years resolution is a way for them to prioritize (until they have the extra doughnut and give up on it).

I also think it’s really cool that a big company like that sends you data to look at and write about. I’m just a big nerd so that seems really awesome to me.

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37 J. Money July 2, 2018 at 6:59 am

It’ll all start coming to you too over the years! The longer you blog the more time for people/companies to find you and send you over stuff :) Feel free to riff off this one if you’d like – I’m sure they’d love it!

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38 Sandy June 30, 2018 at 10:16 pm

My new year resolution was to do something good for my body, something good for my brain, and something good for my soul every day for the next year. I am glad to report I have done amazingly well for the first 6 months of the year. There have been days that life got in the way, but I have made a point to take care of these three areas daily as much as I could and it really make a difference in the quality of my life.
J.Money, I need to pick your brain about an unrelated issue. I retired 5 years ago, just as I was turning 40. Paid off everything including home. There has been a dream home in the city that I live that I have had my eyes on for the past 18 years. A one bedroom condo in a luxury building. For 18 years I was on track to retire early and as the units opened in that building either I was not ready to buy them or when I was ready there were no units available. I am at cross roads now, a one bedroom has opened up on the 18th floor, bird’s eye view of the city and the mountains, but as the housing market is right now, the price is outrageous. Although I have the money to purchase the unit, I feel there is always a fair value to pay for something and then there is an outrageous price. This is one of those cases, outrageous in price just because the housing market in my city is a seller’s market like most places, but still we are talking about my dream home. Another issue is that I really think there is another recession on the horizon, personally I think first quarter of 2020 things might start to slip and housing market will be impacted given the fact that interest rates are rising and all other factors. During last recession, the one bedrooms I have had my eyes on for the past 18 years were selling for 30% less than they are right now. I know house purchases can play with our emotions, I don’t want to be foolish. The guy selling the condo is a financial adviser himself and I believe he knows this is the last year he can sell this condo at this outrageous price if there are any takers. To make the long story short, what would you do if you were in my shoes? If I but this condo, I have to put 50% all the cash I have saved. I can still stay retired, but on a shaky ground, unless market slips and I can invest more in the market and possibly recover again as the market goes up. I had no idea who I could ask, I like the way you look at financial issues and thought I should pick your brain about this issue of mine.

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39 J. Money July 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

Intriguing dilemma indeed!

And I think it boils down to one main question: which is most important to you right now: retirement or dream home? If retirement is tippy top of priority, i’d probably sit back and continue watching until I finally got a better deal on the home and then jump all over it. Dream homes are much more exciting when you feel like you’re scored :) If you feel in your bones that the time is now, however, and after 18 years you just might!, i don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to splurge and finally get your home either. But just so long as you’d be willing to go back in the workforce if the $hit hit the fan. And at 40 years old that shouldn’t be too hard, eh? The beauty here is that you have soooo many years ahead of you with either route you choose, so that certainly helps with all big decisions you make. Whatever you do, just be sure to come back here and let us know :) Always thrilling to think about whichever way you go!

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40 Sandy July 2, 2018 at 11:16 am

I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to respond J. Money. I thought of the home on the 18th floor through the weekend. I woke up on Monday morning very happy that I don’t have to go to work, while I was laying in bed hearing the cars in the neighborhood start up one by one. Just the thought of not having to spend another day in an office behind a desk is enough to convince me that dream home or not, life is much more than the four walls we live in, be it in a luxury building or a regular building like the one I live in right now. Today I have the freedom to go away for a month or two or three to almost any part of the world. if I bought that home, I would be limited in my choices. I think what it boils down to is having options and by buying that home I would have much less options and that really scares me. I will let someone else purchase that unit on the 18th floor as I am confident the economy will take a downturn in early 2020. I simply do not trust the economy these days J. Money, tariff wars and all, we will see the impact soon. I want to say economy is good right now, but everything is good until it is not. No new home for me J. Money. Thanks for being the voice of reason and balance. I will be staying put and shoveling cash in the market and keeping my options open and my choices plenty. After all life is about having choices. My home is paid off and a new home is just a “want”, not a “need”. What I need is a roof over my head which I have. Many many thanks for your time in responding. Stay well.

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41 J. Money July 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

BOOM! You’ve said it even better – “having options”. That really is one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself, and to have that in your 40s no less – amazing! I def. think you made the right call here, but don’t let it stop you from still dreaming and trying to land an awesome place in the future :) Good things come for those with patience, and when those stars align later you take it!

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42 Sandy July 2, 2018 at 5:06 pm

You would not believe how you have said the right words at the right time and what an effect they have had on my day, and how calming they have been. “Patience” and when “those stars align later” is what I needed to hear today. I will keep dreaming J. Money, since life without a dream is just a string of days. For now I have to go email the realtor who has been haunting me since Friday when this unit came on the market. Again, thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge, and for being so kind. Many many thanks.

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43 J. Money July 3, 2018 at 8:07 am

I’m so very glad to hear it :)

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44 Primal Prosperity July 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I have to say that to have true ‘prosperity’, it is hard to separate health and wealth. I like to think in terms of pursuing/finding “WELL-th”. :)

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45 J. Money July 2, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Heyo! Haha…

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46 Danae Bursae July 8, 2018 at 12:31 am

Why is it our natural tendency to categorize finances and health separately? I think finances should be considered part of one’s health. I don’t know about you but being broke takes a toll on my mental and physical health (stress, long hours, etc.). With that in mind, health is always about moderation and balance. We can’t eat cake every day and be physically healthy just like we can’t work 12 hours every day or go on vacation every day and be financially healthy.

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47 J. Money July 9, 2018 at 7:19 am

True true – well said.

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