“If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything” – Count Rugen
Eat well. Exercise. Brush your teeth. Cultivate a positive outlook. Get plenty of rest. Everything in moderation (including moderation.)
Along with a regular medical exam, these preventative practices are the foundation of a strategy to live a long, healthful life.
We do a respectable job of taking care of ourselves. Vegetables are eaten in abundance. With no car, walking and biking helps us build both health and wealth. (Recently I’ve increased the intensity by strapping an 8 kg little boy to my chest.) We have no employer imposed requirements or deadlines, so distress is low and eustress is moderate.
We also practice awareness, paying attention to our bodies. I’m fairly certain that when I can easily bike 900 km up and down mountains that I’m unlikely to have cardiac problems.
But of course, sometimes things happen, which is where the regular medical exam comes in.
I wanted to throw up. My body flashed hot and cold, and I could feel the blood thumping in my temples like giant drums. My thoughts raced like wild fire, a tempest out of control.
I kept thinking about what I could do with the $1,000 I had just lost in the stock market. I could have paid down more of my student loans. I could be that much closer to eliminating the PMI on my mortgage. I could just have it in my bank account as an emergency fund.
It would take me weeks of work to regain that money after taxes and normal cost of living. What was I thinking putting my money in something risky like stocks? Stupid, stupid, stupid!
My life was over.
When a sign on the highway states Next Gas Station 167 Miles, the ride is a lot more enjoyable when you know there is enough gas in the tank. “I think we can make it” doesn’t quite cut it.
The 4% Rule tells us if our Retirement has enough gas, but we don’t know if we will coast into the next gas station on fumes or if we have enough to drive across the entire country without refueling.
As life expectancy continues to increase and the ERE movement sees people expecting 60+ year retirements, there is need for an improved withdrawal plan.
In this post I outline my own thinking on how to ensure our portfolio lives longer than we do.