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When you consider health as part of a financial plan, you may think in terms of insurance premiums and related out-of-pocket costs like copays.

While those expenses matter, your health should influence far more than a single line item in a budget, according to certified financial planner and physician Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida. 

“It’s way more than that,” said McClanahan, who also is a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council. “A healthy person needs a totally different [financial] plan from someone who has health issues.”

For example, McClanahan said, someone with significant medical problems — and therefore lower life expectancy — likely doesn’t need to plan to stretch out their retirement savings until age 100.

“That’s asking them to save too much, and they’re missing out on life now,” she said.

Insurability can become a problem

Additionally, there are types of insurance that can be hard to get — if not impossible — once you have a health condition, McClanahan said.

“A person with health issues or at risk for them needs to think more deeply about their insurance,” she said.

For instance, if you are young but have, say, a significant risk factor for diabetes, life insurance generally would be less expensive now than it would be if you were to apply after developing the disease. 

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The same goes for short-term and long-term disability insurance, which replaces lost income if you experience a health event that makes you unable to work. Even if you can get this insurance after developing a medical problem, insurers sometimes impose coverage exclusions for preexisting conditions. 

Additionally, many people who consider long-term care insurance don’t do so until they are near or in retirement, McClanahan said. Long-term care involves help with everyday living activities, such as bathing and dressing, which many older people end up needing later in life.

However, by that point, they may have developed a health condition that makes such insurance coverage cost prohibitive or impossible to get. It’s best to think about those possible expenses further in advance — ideally in your 40s or 50s, McClanahan said.

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