Of all the things you have to buy, life insurance is one of the least pleasant. While you are ensuring your loved ones live well after you’ve passed, you have to think about your own mortality. Fortunately, the benefits outweigh the discomfort, and so you push forward.
Of course, when it comes to insurance, it always comes down to comparing on cost – but is there a way to ensure you’re getting the cover you need and not paying a huge amount on your premiums? Well, yes, there is. Fortunately, the best ways will also help you live a longer, happier life too!
Below, we’ll guide you through some of the lifestyle changes you can make to drive down your life insurance costs and improve your quality of life without making drastic changes.
How Can I Cut Costs and Live Longer?
Let’s look at the things you can do for yourself that will reduce life insurance costs and give you the chance to live longer and happier.
Take Regular Exercise
Exercise helps reduce the chance of major illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke and lower the risk of early death. And we’re talking major benefits: you are up to 50% less likely to develop a major disease and 30% less likely to die prematurely.
You don’t need to go to the gym four times a week to feel the benefits, though that works too. The NHS suggests that a minimum of 150 minutes spread over a week will do the trick. That’s just a little over 20 minutes a day. While a workout can work wonders, moderate exercise, like walking, is definitely a great place to start. You need enough exercise so that your heart rate is raised, your breathing increases, and your body generates heat. This is easily accomplished on a brisk walk.
With a little thought, exercise like this is easily incorporated into your normal way of life. Walk up the stairs rather than use the lift, walk rather than take a taxi or getting public transport. Vigorous activity has been shown to have even greater benefits. While this requires more planning and a bigger change in your lifestyle your efforts will be rewarded.
At home or at work, try to walk a little during breaks from the computer. You can try a standing or treadmill desk if you have the budget, and if you’ve always wanted a dog, your health is a great reason to get one. You’ll suddenly find yourself walking (whatever the weather!) for at least 40 minutes a day, not to mention the happiness they bring you emotionally.
Lack of exercise is a modern phenomenon. Today, everyone has a car or uses public transport and many spend their working days sitting in front of a screen. That’s one of the main reasons that 450 people die every day in the UK from heart or circulatory disease and why someone suffers a stroke every five minutes. Exercise is also good for mental health. That’s one of the reasons the government was so concerned that people continued to take regular exercise during lockdowns.
If you are very unfit then start gently. Walk for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. Start listening to podcasts or audiobooks to give you the extra motivation to spend time outside. The more you do, the better you will feel. A serious workout is great, but a little exercise everyday is better and easier on your joints.
Make Healthier Choices
What you eat should nourish the body and soul, not just the soul. Too many of us eat to please our tastebuds rather than our cells. Unfortunately, this has led many to obesity, diabetes, and other life-ending diseases. While cutting out all sugar is a drastic (and difficult!) decision, you can easily make tweaks to improve your nutrition. Here’s some top tips for eating better:
- Variety: A balanced diet is important and you get that from variety. The more different foods you eat, the more likely you will get your daily requirements of macro- and micronutrients and you need those vitamins and minerals for a healthy body. Try to eat as much fruit, vegetables, and legumes (beans, soy, etc) as possible.
- Cut Down on Meat: Many people in the UK were brought up eating meat with at least 2 out or 3 meals each day. Not only does this have harmful repercussions for the planet (and if you’re hoping to leave money for your loved ones, a better world to live in should go with that too), but researchers have seen a “clear link between high intake of red and processed meats and a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature death.” You don’t need to go vegan, but try to eat less meat from better sources, such as your local butchers.
- No More Processed Foods: The more you use fresh ingredients, the better you will feel. Processed foods, including many ready meals, are full of sugar, salt and preservatives. Processed foods are super convenient but many are super unhealthy too. If you don’t have time to cook, consider a healthy meal delivery service or ensure you check the nutritional label for salt and sugar content.
- Drink Plenty: Keep drinking liquids throughout the day. The body and brain needs water to perform at its optimum and it’s very easy to neglect water so keep topped up. You don’t need to drink plain water, either, teas are extremely good for you (especially loose leaf) or drink low-sugar squash.
- Reduce Sugar: Make the effort to cut down on your sugar intake. Sugar is addictive – the more you eat, the more your body craves. While a little sugar is fine, a lot is definitely not. Tea and coffee taste better without sugar. Trust me, they will taste strange at first but after a few weeks you won’t want to go back. And low calorie soft drinks may not taste exactly the same as the sugar-centred ones but they taste just as good when you get used to them.
- Cut Back on Alcohol: If you can’t imagine sitting down at night without a beer or glass of wine, you’re not alone. Alcoholic liver disease has increased by 61% over the past 10 years. If you can’t settle at night without a glass, it’s time to start thinking seriously about reducing your intake. Try to only have a glass or bottle 3 nights a week, or only drink socially. Alcohol is a factor in over 60 medical conditions, and so how much you drink can quickly drive up your life insurance cover.
Give Up Smoking
This one thing will drive up your life insurance premiums significantly – many people now equate smoking with an early death, and it is the leading cause of preventable death. Not only is it harming you, but it’s harming those you live with, including children and pets.
While fewer people smoke now than previously, it is still too many. There is nothing you can do that is more clearly bad for you than smoking. It is not easy to give up but there is plenty of help available if you are serious about it. Vaping is one possible solution, though only time will tell about it’s long-term safety. If you can, give up altogether.
None of us like to spend more money than we need to and although life insurance can be expensive there are ways to reduce the costs. If you are concerned you may be spending too much on your life insurance or are unsure which policy is right for you then visit BeMoneySavvy.co.uk. Our team has the expertise to guide you through the maze of possibilities and ensure you end up with the right policy for you and your situation.