Broke or Broken: Must We Choose?


What’s more important, saving your pennies or fixing your dodgy knees? What about that lower back that complains every time you tie your laces? Lance discusses that painful tension between financial and physical fitness.

I recently received a link from a chiropractor entitled, “Is your debt making you sick?” My initial thought was, “Hey, chiropractor! Stay in your lane and leave the finance talk to the people in finance!”


My second thought was, “Lance you are a guy in finance offering thoughts to people about wellness.” Point taken … and ignored (I do have a Diploma in Exercise Science … just saying … now focus!).


In New Zealand, we play sports, and our national sport involves people running as fast as they can as often as they can straight in to other people running as fast they can … for 80 minutes! We also have an absolute love for the outdoors, which is fantastic, but can physically take its toll. Now, the long-term effect on our bodies from such activities can be tremendous, and often these continue to plague us long after we’ve hung up our [insert apparatus here].


I recall playing rugby and seeing the older spectators hobble along the side-lines and saying to myself, “They should have stopped playing much earlier than they did.” Yet there I was in my late 30s doing just the same thing and not learning the same lesson.


How many times in a day from the time when we first get out of bed or we get up slowly from a meeting or we go to pick up our kids and stop short because our back is sore or neck is out or… so on? Do we feel the on-going effects from prior activities?


I know that a lot of us simply put up with this, as we don’t want to pay the price to remedy these physical ailments. When did we decide that our physical wellbeing was not a financial priority? And what is the true cost of doing nothing about it?


I would suggest that as soon as it interferes with your day-to-day or prevents you from doing simple or much loved activities—such as having fun with your children, grand kids or walking your dog—then it’s time to calibrate that Kiwi “she’ll be right” mantra. Spend the money for goodness sake! Your body is a temple. Unfortunately some of us treat it like it’s the temple of doom!


In exercise science it is about peak performance in sport. Should we not have the same deliberate approach to our day-to-day wellbeing? Why do we settle for less of our body if it gets in the way of doing the things we value most?


I can in no way tell you what to spend your money on, and, as a husband with two kids, I understand the need to prioritise finances. My thought today, however, is for you to at least investigate if there is any way of easing the pain.


What is the cost of doing something versus the very real cost of doing nothing at all?


As for me, I cannot help myself but play sport, run, whatever. I have changed from the high impact sports of my younger years to activities that are “easier” on the body. This has dramatically improved my day-to-day work and family life, while still satiating my thirst for competition and exercise.


I recommend having this conversation with an expert, as the remedy may be simpler and less costly than you think.


Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.