Without THIS Investment, Your Career and Retirement is WORTHLESS
By Erik Strouse, MS
VIDA Fitness Trainer
Welcome back VIDA members! I have taken a quick break on the flexibility thread until later this month to talk about something else that is incredibly important. I teach at the George Washington University as an Adjunct Faculty member. It gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge with career minded individuals. The University setting is a wonderful place, and I love it. Students really value their future. They learn about their potential careers, and expand their knowledge on how to navigate the professional setting. But you know what is really awful about the secondary American Education System and line of thinking that it empowers students to have? By the pure nature of what secondary education stands for, it promotes heavy career-centric lifestyles, and empowers them to believe that their career and earned money are the most important investments needed to have a fruitful, lively future. The American Culture is just as guilty at this empowerment as the education systems it houses. What we are told by both is that hard work will earn us money and that money is needed to achieve retirement. With retirement comes a level of satisfaction and a freedom to enjoy all of our hard work towards the ends of our lives. We are taught to invest not only our money, but also our time to acquire this money to achieve it. There is obviously truth in this, and I am not here to say this is a poor line of thinking. But is this the whole picture? Is this really what we should be going “all in on” and that our savings account is really the most important “account” to invest in to enjoy a wonderful retirement?
What our system does not teach us is that our most important investment is actually not money and the time it takes to earn it. What it should be telling us to invest more in, or at least at an equal value, is maintaining our youth; our longevity; our body’s ability to actually move, operate, and think with ease. As American’s, we put so much into our careers that it directly influences our health and wellness, and we start as young as middle school and high school where we get students’ minds thinking about their careers. But lets bump to the more relevant group of people: You as the readers. To the regular DC workforce, it is fairly common to have a 40-60+ workweek in attempt to grow our monetary and career value. In this pursuit of obtaining a “successful career”, we forget that we need to keep our body well established and functioning at a high level. Our bodies are a “use it or lose it” kind of thing, and if we stay cooped up behind a desk for even 50 hours a week, it significantly impacts our ability and desire to want to work at keeping the body in optimal condition.
What good is a large savings and retirement if you are incapable of walking far distances? What good is that money when being able to explore the world is limited by poor mobility and balance? What good is it if all of our youth is spent grinding away at a career and earning that ever so important dollar? It does us no good to have large amounts of money if we have failed to invest in our ability to actually USE it physically and mentally. What if you have spent all of your years working incredibly hard at working and saving this money, but through the process never made it a priority to exercise regularly, to eat well, or to practice a balanced lifestyle that reduced total stress and be social?
Everything you have done from the day you were a child until your current stage of life is somehow going to affect your health and physicality in your later years, for better or for worse. There is no better time than now to start investing heavily in an account that is never taught to invest in: Your “Longevity Account”. What is the Longevity Account? How do you invest? Tune in later this month to find out!