Total Health in Midlife Episode #176: Health, Wealth & Time

Health, Wealth & Time

In this episode of the Total Health in Midlife podcast, Elizabeth Sherman explores the relationship between health, wealth, and time across different stages of life. She emphasizes how these three elements are interconnected and impact each other, shaping our life experiences from youth through retirement. 

The discussion highlights the common tendency to neglect health in pursuit of wealth and time, and how this oversight can diminish the quality of life in later years. Underscores the importance of not postponing health-oriented decisions and advocates for integrating small, manageable health habits into daily life. She encourages listeners to reflect on how they’re balancing these three critical aspects and to take action toward a healthier, more fulfilling future. 

The episode serves as a wake-up call to reevaluate priorities, with a focus on health as a foundation for enjoying wealth and time, presenting practical advice and resources for listeners to make meaningful changes towards better health and well-being.

Tune in for an episode that informs and transforms your perspective on living a balanced, fulfilling life.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Explore the link between wealth, health, and time, uncovering how redefining these concepts can reshape your life’s priorities.
  • Dive into the paradoxical rise of “diseases of affluence” amidst global health challenges, revealing how lifestyle choices and societal conditions shape our well-being across different economic landscapes.
  • Unlock the secrets to taking control of your aging process: Discover how simple lifestyle changes can profoundly impact your health and vitality, empowering you to shape your future years.
  • Embark on a journey to redefine longevity: Learn how daily choices shape not just how long we live, but the quality of life we experience, inspiring a proactive approach to health and well-being for a fulfilling future.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Have you ever considered the relationship between your health, your wealth, and your time? How these three aspects of your life ebb and flow through three key phases of your life, impacting one another in ways you might not have realized?

This was something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. And today, I’m exploring these three what I call, levers. Health, wealth, and time to uncover how they interconnect and influence our priorities from when we’re young throughout our life through retirement.

Today, I’m diving deep into the reality of how our health not only affects our ability to enjoy our wealth and time, but also how it serves as the foundation for a fulfilling life at any age.

Today’s episode might just be a wakeup call to reevaluate what truly matters in your life. Let’s dive in.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Total Health in Midlife podcast. I am Elizabeth Sherman, and I am so excited that you are joining me today. Today’s topic is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. And I hope that you find it as fascinating as I do. So, today we are tackling a topic that is incredibly relevant for all of us, especially as we get a little bit older and start looking at that next phase of life, retirement.

So, we are looking at the connection between health, wealth, and time. Now, these three critical elements that play a huge role in shaping our lives from our youth, all the way through to our older age. Why is this conversation so crucial? Why do we need to have this? Because all too often, we compartmentalize these three different aspects without realizing how connected they really are.

In our younger years, it seems like we have abundant time. We have tons of health, but we don’t have any wealth because we haven’t started making any money, right? And then, as we start to move into our career phase, suddenly we start to accumulate wealth, but our time really becomes painfully scarce.

And then, we kind of just don’t have put our health on the back burner. We have it. Our health isn’t getting in our way, but we’re just kind of like, yeah, it’s there and I’m taking it for granted. And often, what happens is we think that we’ll get back to it later when there’s more time or ironically when we need it in retirement.

But here’s the thing. When retirement does come around, we might have the wealth that we’ve accumulated. We have our retirement savings, and we have the time that we dreamed of because we’re not working eight hours a day. But if our health has been on the back burner and we haven’t been paying attention to it. How much can we really enjoy the wealth and the time that we’ve been saving?

It’s like that project management meme. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Like that Venn diagram. It says scope, time, and money. Pick two. And as we move through these different stages of our life, the two we choose will fluctuate, but neglecting our health can cost us the enjoyment of the other two when we need it most in our retirement.

So, this episode serves as a wakeup call. It’s about realizing that our health doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s affected by every decision that we make. What we eat, how we move, the stress we carry and the joy that we cultivate throughout our lives. And it profoundly impacts how we experience every wealth building moment and every second of free time.

So, if you’ve ever told yourself, I’ll focus on it later. Or if you’ve ever thought that saving for retirement alone, would ensure a happy retirement. I think you need to stay tuned for the rest of this discussion, because this might just change how you prioritize those things in your life from here on out. And let’s get to the heart of how these three levers, health, wealth, and time can be managed to not just live longer, but to live a better life.

Okay, so let’s start with youth. When we think back to our youth or the years that we had before we started working. It’s easy to think about, oh my god, I had so much time. I had like, you know, you would go to the mall with your friends and just hang out.

Maybe you remember lounging in a field, basking in the sun. I certainly do as a kid. Or just enjoying the freedom to do whatever it was that you wanted to do because you didn’t have responsibilities of life. Back then, it felt like there was all the time in the world because there was. And our health wasn’t a concern. It was a given.

In these early years, we often find ourselves in a unique position. We have so much time and health, but we don’t have any money. Financial stability is something that we just don’t have because we haven’t started working, or we’ve started with entry level jobs. We don’t make a lot of money.

It’s a stage where we’re just thinking about our career paths and we don’t really have a lot of financial burdens other than maybe our student loans, and those are starting to mount. But we haven’t really started our careers yet. And so, despite the abundance of health and time, there’s this oversight that many of us make is that we don’t invest in our health the way that we should, because we don’t need to.

I know that I had just the worst eating habits. Because we could eat cake or French fries or go out for burgers with our friends. And then, maybe exercise, although I don’t think that I really did. And so, during those years we’re starting to create these habits of our relationship with food and our relationship with exercise and our relationship with our bodies.

But we don’t really think about what the long term implications of those are. Now, this mindset can lead us to making choices that aren’t in the best of our long term health. And so, we might skimp on sleep to meet a deadline for school, or socialize, or indulge in fast food for the sake of convenience. And so, all of those habits that we’re starting to build in youth will actually go through our lives with us unless we are diligent about changing them.

Now, once we graduate college or for some people graduate from high school, we start earning money. And we have been sold the lie of the American dream that we have to start working and that we have to contribute to society. And that if we work hard enough, that if we save for retirement, then we will be able to have this dream life.

For many of us, we start out in careers and we work, and work hard, and try and work our way through the corporate ladder. We graduate college, we land a good job, we get married, we buy a house, and we fill that house with all the things that we are told will complete us.

And so, it feels like this rush against time. We’re constantly doing the next thing, trying to keep up with the Joneses. And it’s a sprint towards accumulating as much as we can. And these things that we’re trying to accumulate are symbols of success.

Now, from the outset, this life throws us into relentless pursuit. There’s an unspoken badge of honor tied to being busy, tied to being endlessly productive. We live in a culture that rewards the hustle, the constant drive to do more, to own more, to stay in debt. The idea of keeping up with the Joneses isn’t just a saying, it’s a reality that many of us find ourselves caught in.

And this race isn’t just taxing, it’s all consuming, eating into our time, and more critically, our health because of the stress that it creates. During these years, when we’re trying to work and accumulate wealth to save for our retirement, our health is expected to just, to be there with the pressing demands of work and family, attention to personal health flips through and down the priority list.

We tell ourselves; I don’t have time for that right now. Because we don’t really see the relationship between eating a vegetable and our long term health. Because it accumulates inconsistency. It’s a common theme that I see so much with my clients, and it’s dangerously misleading. For many, there are no immediately pressing health issues prompting a lifestyle change.

So, the motivation to maintain, let alone improve our health, becomes a task that’s just postponed over and over and over again. However, this approach meets a harsh reality as time wears on. And so, you might notice that the first signs are really subtle. Maybe it’s getting injured and having a little bit longer recovery time after physical activity or perhaps it’s a nagging back pain that just wasn’t there before.

Then, more alarming cues start to surface, right? We hear about our friends or our work colleagues, like my friend John, who was an elite athlete suddenly gets a serious health diagnosis. Stories like this strike a chord. And if it can happen to John, it could just as easily happen to me. And so, we start to get this reality.

And in this phase, our health does not exist in isolation. It is so deeply entwined with our lifestyle choices and our mental health. The stress of perpetual busyness, of maintaining a facade of success, not only wears down our mental resilience, but also our physical health. The myth that health is completely separate, that it exists in a silo. Untouched by the rest of our life’s chaos, unravels quickly under the pressures of this time in our life.

The truth is that all of our possessions, the stuff that we work so hard to acquire, essentially exchanges time for money. And money in this equation is not merely currency but a tradeoff where every dollar is a minute. An hour and a day that we cannot get back. This exchange of time for money puts a strain not only on our bank accounts, but on our bodies, and our minds, and our spirits.

As we reflect on our life, it’s crucial to rethink our approach. The pursuit of wealth should not come at the expense of our health and our time. Balancing these aspects isn’t just about better time management or more efficient financial planning. It’s about fundamentally reassessing what truly matters in our lives.

This reevaluation is not just advisable, it’s completely necessary. And it’s about recognizing that our greatest wealth is our health. And without our health, all the time and resources in the world don’t mean anything.

I’m 55 and I’m approaching retirement. For many of us, the picture that we have is likely borrowed from an “AARP ad,” the American Association of Retired People, right? We have this idea of what our retirement is going to look like. We see the glossy ads of youthful looking retirees. They’re thin, they’re athletic, they’re trekking through the

Himalayas or through Machu Picchu. And they’re gazing out over the vast countryside at sunsets with a life partner by our side and they look epically happy.

This vision is idyllic and it’s full of adventure and it’s not just a dream of wealth. It’s a dream heavily reliant on both time and health as well. Retirement brings with it an abundance of time. And for many, a substantial amount of accumulated wealth. However, as our own mortality becomes more tangible, we find ourselves in a race against time and health.

Despite the resilience of our bodies throughout our life, retirement does not offer a do over option. We can’t trade in our bodies. Suddenly, the reality hits no amount of wealth can substitute for our health. You cannot enjoy your money if you are not physically or mentally able to do so.

In episode number 156 titled, “Lifespan versus Health Span,” I talk about how it is crucial to consider not just about how long we live but the quality of life that we have as we get older. And so, as we move into retirement, our priorities shift. Our focus turns towards maximizing the quality of our life.

This transition is about reevaluating our life and our health legacy. What is the mark that we want to leave? How do we want to spend those years? And in the context of modern health, there’s an important term from Wikipedia called the disease of affluence. These conditions often seen as a byproduct of wealth and comfort in our society, starkly contrast with the disease of poverty, which are largely infectious and a result of poor living conditions.

Diseases of affluence include conditions like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and certain types of cancers. Diseases predominantly link to lifestyle choices and societal conditions associated with economic development. It’s ironic that diseases of poverty recede with advancements in healthcare and living conditions.

Diseases of affluence rise in prominence, not just in high income countries, but increasingly in developing nations as well. So, for example, in 2008, nearly 80% of deaths from non-communicable diseases occurred in low and middle income countries. These statistics underscore the global shift in health challenges, where lifestyle and economic development play pivotal roles.

This information is crucial as it underscores a profound truth. The lifestyle choices that we make in earlier years and in midlife continue to influence our health into retirement. Our earlier neglect or maintenance of health doesn’t just vanish. It actually accumulates. It builds on one another. Manifesting in our later years as either boon or burden. Thus, planning for retirement is not just about financial security. It’s equally, if not more about investing in our health.

So, as we consider retirement, let’s challenge the story that we have of the inevitable decline. Understanding and addressing the root causes of disease of affluence through our lifestyle choices can significantly alter our health trajectory. This stage of life offers a unique opportunity to redefine our daily routines, focusing more on physical activity, proper nutrition, and mental wellness to enhance our health span.

Retirement should be a time of life where we can truly enjoy the wealth and time that we’ve worked so hard to acquire. But that can only happen if we have the health to support it.

So, it’s time for a serious wakeup call about how we view the critical elements of our lives. Health, Wealth, and Time. These are not separate silos, each one standing alone, unaffected by the others. Instead, they are deeply interconnected, each influencing and shaping the others throughout our life.

Let’s start by dispelling a common misconception, that being thin or being lean, means that you’re automatically healthy. While societal pressures often push us towards aesthetic goals, like wanting to look good, feeling sexy and appearing attractive, which there’s nothing wrong with that. True health is so much more comprehensive. It encompasses not only our physical condition, but also our mental and emotional wellbeing.

So, when we shift our focus to taking care of our bodies for disease prevention and overall wellbeing, our entire approach to health completely transforms. Our bodies are such incredible machines. They are capable of regeneration and recovery. And the concept of cellular regeneration is fascinating and so empowering.

Our cells are constantly dying, and they’re being replaced, which means that our current health is often a reflection of our behaviors over the past 10 years. What you ate, how much you moved, your stress levels, and even your happiness. These factors all play a part in how your body regenerates and functions today.

Understanding this can change how we approach health as we age. It’s never too late to make changes because our bodies are continually updating themselves based on our habits. This means that positive changes in your lifestyle today can lead to real improvements in your health tomorrow. It’s like updating the software of your body where better inputs lead to better outputs.

Aging, therefore, is not a fixed process, but one that can be influenced significantly by our decisions. This is a vital realization because it gives us the power to affect our own aging process. By choosing healthier behaviors, eating nutritious food, engaging in regular physical activity, managing our stress, and fostering positive relationships, we can help to ensure our cells regenerate in healthier ways. Thereby slowing the aging process and improving our quality of life. We can actually take control of our aging through our health.

So, consider this. If your lifestyle over the last 10 years has led to less than ideal health, the next 10 can actually set a new course. Start by reevaluating your relationship with your food, with your exercise, your body, and your stress.

Are you eating foods that nourish your body and support cellular health? Or are you opting for convenience and comfort at the expense of your nutrition? Do you view exercise as a punishment for what you ate, or do you use it to manage your stress? Are you managing your stress in ways that sustain your mental and emotional health? Or are you constantly in a state of high tension?

Now is the time to integrate your health into your daily life, not as a chore or an item on your to do list, but as a fundamental aspect of your existence. This isn’t about drastic changes or overnight transformations, it’s about small sustainable shifts that can profoundly impact your health.

And while the goal of looking good and feeling desirable is valid and so incredibly important for your mental well-being, it should come as a natural consequence of the healthy lifestyle, not as the end result, not as the sole objective.

So, we need to stop taking our health for granted. We need to treat it like it’s the invaluable asset that it truly is. Because without it, no amount of wealth or free time will allow us to enjoy the life we’ve worked so hard to build.

Today’s episode is your call to action, to make those changes, to really rethink how you balance your health, your wealth, and your time to embrace a lifestyle that will allow you to not just live longer, but to live better.

Okay. So, moving forward, it is so super important to remember that making changes to your health does not need to be overwhelming or complicated. You do not need to dedicate your life to becoming an expert in health and wellness, nor do you need to go under a massive lifestyle overhaul. If you found that you’re looking at one path and you want to correct that, simple, small changes are all you need.

Small, manageable adjustments to your daily habits can significantly slow down the aging process and improve your quality of life. You don’t have to jump into a rigorous exercise program, or adopt a strict vegan diet, or something else that feels more like a punishment than a pathway to better health.

Instead, I want to invite you to think about integrating healthful behaviors that feel doable for you. Ones that resonate with your lifestyle and that you can maintain over the long-term. After all, something is always better than nothing and everything that you do adds up. One of the easiest ways to start is by looking at the everyday choices that you make.

These can range from opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing water over soda. Or setting a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep each night. These choices might seem small on their own, but collectively, they create a foundation for a healthier life.

Another key aspect is the way that you think, your mindset. Viewing these healthful practices as gifts to yourself. Things that you do to help you to feel better, rather than things that you need to check off on your to do list can drastically change how you feel about doing them. Each healthy choice is an act of self-respect, and a step towards a longer, more vibrant life.

Now, if you’re looking for a structured guide to help kickstart and enhance your health journey, I have a resource for you. It’s called, the “8 Basic Habits That Healthy People Do.” This guide is designed to provide you with a straightforward, actionable steps that you can incorporate into your daily routine and start making significant improvements in your health. You can find this guide at

For a deeper dive into what these basic habits entail and how you can seamlessly integrate them into your life, I highly recommend tuning in to podcast episode number 174 titled, “The Foundation Version 2.0.” In that episode, I detail each habit and provide practical tips on how to make them part of your everyday life, ensuring that they are not only beneficial but they’re also enjoyable because you’re going to stick to it, if you actually like what you’re doing.

So, what’s next? Start small. Choose one habit from the guide that you feel is the low hanging fruit, something that you can easily integrate and begin there. Maybe it’s drinking more water every day. Maybe it’s subbing out one drink of soda or alcohol for water. And then, once you’ve done that, then you can move on from there. You can take a short walk after dinner, whatever it is, let it be something that feels good and feels doable.

And once you’ve mastered one habit, then add another, and then another. And over time, these habits will become second nature, they will become your new normal. And you will find that taking care of your health is not a burden, but rather a natural part of your daily life. And you’ll probably lead better and do better in the other parts of your life at the same time.

The goal here is not just to live longer, but to live a better quality of life. The decisions that you make today will shape the health that you enjoy tomorrow and for years to come. By taking small steps now, you are setting yourself up for a future where age is just a number, and your life is full of energy, purpose, and happiness.

There’s one pressing point that cannot be overstated. The urgency of taking action now rather than postponing health decisions until retirement. Waiting to prioritize your health is not just a missed opportunity. It’s a risk that could significantly impact your ability to enjoy your future that you’re working so hard to secure.

So, why is this so crucial right now? Because health is the very foundation of independence and fulfillment in later years. Without our health, all the wealth and time that we accumulate cannot be enjoyed to its fullest. Health is what enables us to travel, to engage with our passions, to live day to day with minimal constraints. It allows us to wake up every single morning ready to embrace the day and what it has to offer rather than being bogged down by physical limitations or chronic illness.

Moreover, health is the gateway to achieving your dreams. Whether those dreams involve exploring other cultures, participating in your community, learning a new skill, or simply enjoying an active lifestyle with family and friends. None of these are fully achievable without your health. Each day we delay taking action, we risk diminishing the quality and perhaps even the quantity of our independent years.

So, consider this. The habits and choices that you make today directly influence your future. Neglecting your health during the prime of your years can lead to a retirement marked by doctor’s visits, medical treatments, and restricted activities. On the other hand, by taking steps now to ensure your health, whether through nutrition, exercise, stress management, or regular medical checkups. You are investing in a more vibrant and active future.

It’s also important to recognize that health related changes often take time to be created, to manifest as visible or felt improvements. Starting now gives your body the time it needs to repair, to rejuvenate, and to strengthen. It means that by the time you reach retirement, you’ve already established a strong health foundation that will carry you through to the years when you most want to enjoy your time and financial freedom.

So, don’t wait. Don’t put this off until tomorrow. What can profoundly benefit us today and in the future? Let’s choose to act now, reinforcing the pillars of health that support all of our life goals. Every small change you implement today can have a significant impact on your tomorrow. And by recognizing the critical need to act now in maintaining and improving your health, we set the stage for a future that is not only longer, but longer but richer and more fulfilling.

All right, let me wrap it up. Let me review a few of the key points. First is the important relationship between health, wealth, and time. And how these elements interconnect throughout our lives. I explored how each phase from our youth, through our career, and then into retirement, presents a unique challenge and opportunities for balancing these crucial aspects of our life.

We’ve talked about the importance of not just living longer, but having a good quality of life as we age. And how our daily choices influence our health span along with our lifespan.

Today’s episode is a call to action. It’s a reminder to not wait until tomorrow to start caring for your health. The choices that you make today, whether it’s opting for healthier foods, incorporating more physical activity into your day, or managing your stress, can profoundly impact your quality of life now and in the future.

I want to invite you to think about the life and legacy that you want to leave. How do you want to spend your wealth of time? How are you nurturing your health in a way that will allow you to enjoy your later years? These aren’t just rhetorical questions. They are crucial consideration that can guide you towards a more fulfilling and balanced life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, your experiences, and your takeaways from today’s episode. How are you balancing your health, your wealth, and your time in your own life? What changes are you inspired to make after listening to this episode?

I’d love it if you’d share your reflections with me on social media, or even better, if you found this episode enlightening, share it with someone who might also benefit from it. And if you’re looking for more guidance on simple, actionable steps to improve your health, do not forget to check out the ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ at

Thank you for spending your time with me today on today’s podcast. Your health is your greatest asset. And by taking steps to preserve and enhance it, you are truly investing in a richer and more rewarding future.

Remember, it’s never too late to start making changes. Every single day is a new opportunity to make healthier choices and to live not just longer, but a better life. Let’s embrace those opportunities together and make every day count.

That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing day, everyone. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

Thank you for joining us on today’s episode. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of health advice out there and are looking for something straightforward, our ‘8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do’ guide and checklist is just what you need. It breaks down essential habits into simple, actionable steps that you already know how to do.

By following these habits, you’ll set yourself on a path to better health, surpassing most people you know. To get your free copy, just click the link in the show notes. It’s an easy start, but it could make all the difference in your health journey.

Grab your guide today and take the first step towards a healthier you.

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Health, Wealth and Time
Health, Wealth and Time