John Hancock

Could Your Life Insurance Policy Help You Live Healthier?

Guest post written by Miranda Marquit,

Most of us know we could be doing more to live healthier. Would you be more likely to live healthier if you were rewarded financially for doing so?

The last few months have seen major upheaval in my life. As a result of the challenges I’ve faced, I’ve let my health slide a little bit. I know I should live healthier, but my lack of schedule and no place to call home for close to three months left me eating poorly and abandoning my exercise program.

Now that I’m settled in my new place and starting my new life, I’m making efforts to get my health back on track. Plus, I’d like to fit into my clothes again, rather than purchase a new (bigger) wardrobe. (I’m not the only one interested in getting my health back on track. According to a survey* from John Hancock, it appears that 94% of Americans want to live healthier.)

Unfortunately, as with many changes we try to make, I find it difficult to move forward. I’ve exercised quite a bit recently, including getting back in the pool to swim laps, and my nutrition has improved a great deal now that I’m at home and cooking and using Blue Apron to plan my meals.

I’m not doing as well as I could be, and sometimes it’s difficult to stick with it because I don’t always see the benefits as quickly as I would like.

Earn Financial Rewards for Healthy Living

One of the more interesting initiatives to come out recently is John Hancock’s Vitality program. This life insurance program focuses on offering rewards when you live healthier. I like this idea because it provides you with something to look forward to – beyond some nebulous future in which you feel better and your clothes fit properly again.

Exercise and good nutrition are difficult because changing that habit takes time. I’m not going to fit into my pants again for at least four to six weeks. Every time I sit down, it feels like a failure. Only the pain of buying more clothing (and spending money I’ll want for other things) keeps me moving forward when what I really want is a big ice cream cone and to work out for 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes.

At some point, though, many of us end up faltering because the results are slow in coming. If you feel like all your effort isn’t resulting in your desired outcome, eventually you give up. This is where financial rewards through a program like Vitality might help. You earn ongoing rewards – and your life insurance premium might even be reduced. Getting points for the things you do to stay healthy can mean rewards for travel, merchandise and more. That’s something tangible for you to work for.

Yes, it’s nice to know that you will eventually be able to fit into your pants again or that you will live a longer, healthier life. However, those distant goals don’t help you in the now, while you are trying to motivate yourself to exercise today, even though you just want to sit and watch TV. And it certainly doesn’t help your willpower to stay away from the sugar cookies your son just baked. Knowing that you’re earning points toward a gift card or airfare can help you power through those difficult times of temptation to make the decisions that will help you live healthier.

If there’s something that motivates many of us, it’s money. We like being incentivized to do things, and a financial incentive can help move us along. Combine the incentive with a financial consequence you want to avoid for even better results. When you’re earning rewards and you know that your finances could suffer if you don’t follow through with your resolution to live healthier, that’s a combination that can provide maximum motivation.

I’ve always been a bigger fan of rewards than of punishments, however, and that’s why I like this life insurance rewards for healthier living. We aren’t often offered real, immediate financial incentives to improve our health. Being able to point to something measurable and financially empowering, can be one way to encourage longer-lasting health changes.

What do you think? How do you stay on track with healthy living? Would financial incentives help you live healthier?

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

*Survey Methodology

This nationwide survey was conducted online by KRC Research on behalf of John Hancock. Interviews were completed in February 2015 among 2,034 US adults ages 34-69. The data were weighted by gender, geographic region, race, income and education to accurately represent the population.

This article is intended to promote awareness and is for educational purposes, only. Consult a coverage coach to learn what ongoing rewards you may earn with a SmartProtect Term with Vitality policy.