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A Healthy Way to Save for Retirement

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With many people’s savings decimated by the recession and the tepid recovery inching along doing little to refill retirement savings coffers, people have come up with what they believe to be a simple solution: working longer.

However, according to a recent EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, over two-thirds of current retirees reported that they left their jobs earlier than they expected to because of either health or disability issues. There is also the distinct possibility of a healthy person being forced into involuntary retirement by an employer.

The Principal Financial Group (The Principal) has introduced a new white paper, Wellness=Retirement Savings that it hopes will help illuminate to employers the correlation between health and wealth and the impact that both have on helping employees plan for retirement.

The white paper strives to serve as a blueprint for a preemptive strike in which employees, at the urging of their employers, shift their focus from saving for retirement expenses and devote energy to being as healthy as possible in order to minimize the health costs that they may have to pay in retirement.

The research shows that a moderately healthy retired couple will require around $250,000 to pay for unreimbursed health care expenses during an average retirement. Disturbingly, the average balance for retirement is slightly higher than $25,000.

“Employers understand an effective wellness plan may help reduce health care costs, but plans may also boost the success of their retirement plan as well. We propose employers make wellness part of their workplace culture and provide a healthier work environment that enables employees to potentially spend less on health care,” said Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group.


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