(File pix) Exercise will keep you fit and healthy.

THE year 2017 was neither a bountiful year for me nor was it a year that I failed to control my expenses.

Thankfully, I have never indulged in extravagance. I just turned 60 recently.

Embracing a simple life enables me to resist temptations. I keep myself healthy with diet and exercise.

An acquaintance, John (not his real name), failed in business before he succeeded and retired a few years ago. He can afford overseas vacations and visits to expensive restaurants now.

Unfortunately, he has chronic ailments, for which he has to fork out more than RM1,000 a month for treatment.

Recently, he added RM200 to his monthly medical bills.

He needed a supplement to strengthen his liver due to the side-effects of prolonged medication.

He contracted his first chronic ailment in his 40s; John is in his early 70s now. Not many people are as lucky as John, who can afford quality healthcare.

Without quality healthcare to treat his ailments, he may have had eyesight or kidney failure.

If that happens, he would not have been able to enjoy coffee with me regularly.

A relative, who is in his mid-50s, underwent a bypass surgery at the National Heart Institute at a subsidised cost of RM40,000 recently.

As he had used his retirement savings to pay for his son’s college and other expenses last year, the surgery cost affected his ability to retire soon.

I understand how important it is to build one’s career, but the importance of health is vital.

Be wise and cautious with your meals, especially for those who eat outside. Healthy meals alone are insufficient. Your body needs exercise to maintain an effective metabolism to keep you fit and healthy.

Undeniably, health is more important than wealth.

However, if one aims to achieve a stable life to retire happily, one can’t overlook the importance of saving. Adopting a frugal lifestyle is the right direction to go.

At the end of the day, it is not how much you earn that matters, it is how much you save for the future that counts.

Assuming you save an extra RM1,000 per month in your retirement fund, which earns you a six per cent yearly return, by leading a frugal life, within 31 years, you would have accumulated RM1 million.

I hope this will motivate you to save for your twilight years. May 2018 bring us good health and prosperity.


PATRICK TEH

Ipoh, Perak

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