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Life and Health Bulletin
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Why do you need Disability Insurance?
Almost everyone needs Disability insurance. Think about it. Your capacity to earn a living is crucial. Your income makes it possible to buy food, make mortgage payments, provide for your children, take a vacation, and countless other things. Many faithfully pay premiums for car, life, homeowner’s insurance, and perhaps even a pet’s medical insurance, but they neglect this extremely important protection, Disability insurance.
There are few things as disruptive to a family’s happiness as having a parent, or maybe both, lose his/her income due to accident or illness. When income is drastically reduced, it creates stress and unmet needs and expectations. It often creates feelings of guilt in a parent. Life is hard without a reliable source of income.
A LIFE Foundation study states that 70% of working Americans could not be without income for more than one month without serious financial difficulty. Surprisingly, the same study states that one of every four Americans couldn’t last a week if they were seriously injured and unable to work. Clearly, the answer to the question, “Does almost everyone need Disability insurance?” is a resounding “Yes!”
It is important for an individual, and especially important for a family, to have a financial plan. Disability insurance should be one of the foundation stones of everyone’s financial plan, because it protects such an important asset – your income.
Other statistics need to be considered. The Senate Finance Committee states that 70% of people between the ages of 35 and 65 will become disabled for three months or longer and that 90% of injuries will occur away from work.
After you make the decision to purchase Disability insurance, there are still important questions to be answered and decisions to be made. “How large a benefit do I need; how much will it cost to purchase a plan with that level of protection?” “Does my spouse need this kind of policy even if he/she doesn’t work or has a small income?” “How long is the waiting period before I start receiving checks?” “Does my employer offer a disability plan that I am not aware of?” “Will I need this kind of insurance after I reach age 65?” All these and many other questions need to be taken to a capable, experienced insurance agent who is a specialist in this type of insurance. This is an important decision with a great number of complicated considerations, such as, “Is the plan guaranteed to be renewable?”, “What is the maximum benefit period?”, and “Which occupation class does my job fall into?”
Once the decision is made and the policy is purchased and in effect, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You have done what is necessary to protect your happiness with Disability insurance. More importantly, you have protected your family by providing for them if your ability to work is interrupted.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Take Control of Your Health
You're not alone if you shy away from the doctor's office, but you're not doing yourself any favors by avoiding the doctor. Working with a trustworthy doctor can help you follow better health behaviors. It can also help you detect and treat health conditions early instead of suffering serious consequences later.
Why You Should Find a Good Doctor When You're Healthy
You may think that you don't need to worry about finding a good primary doctor if you don't have any current health concerns now. In reality, that's the best time to find a doctor because you're not in a rush. Make an appointment with a primary care physician.
When you meet your doctor, think about whether you feel comfortable talking to him or her. Developing a communicative relationship with your doctor when you're healthy can make the process easier for both of you should you get sick. It's also a good time to ask whether you can make any lifestyle changes to improve your health.
Regular Physical Exams Can Prevent Major Problems
Your age, gender, and health history affect recommendations for how often you should have a physical and get routine tests done. These health screenings can identify minor concerns so you can treat them before they turn into serious medical conditions.
For example, changes in your diet and exercise patterns may be able to treat unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar if you catch them early. If you wait, you might be stuck with medications and progression to diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. Regular cancer screenings, such as prostate for men and breast for women, are another example.
Positive Effects on Life Insurance
Life insurance premium depend on your risk of dying before the policy term is over. When you stay healthy, your rates are lower. Simple steps such as keeping your cholesterol levels and blood pressure in check help you stay in the lower-risk, lower-rate categories. You can do this by going to your doctor and following orders. Not everyone goes to the doctor as often as recommended, but it's a good idea.
Finding a doctor that you trust and getting a regular physical can go a long way towards staying healthy and fighting disease if it comes.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Over 50? Life Insurance?
Fifty might seem old - unless you plan on living past 100, it means that your life is more than half over. However, people at this age today are far younger than they used to be. Think about how your grandparents looked in their 50s and 60s and beyond compared to today's grandparents.
Although growing older isn't what it used to be, you might still think that people over 50, who tend to be less healthy than their younger counterparts, can't afford to buy Life insurance. Not so.
Increased competition in today's market means that insurance companies are seeking customers of all ages– and that rates are lower than ever. More and more insurers are designing and marketing policies to people 50 and older, which means that they have a far better chance of getting Life coverage.
To help protect your loved ones with Life insurance, at a cost you can afford, we'd recommend these guidelines to a healthy lifestyle:
Watch your weight. Having a normal Body Mass Index (generally less than 25) will improve your chances of living longer.
Deal with any health issues. For example, if you have a condition such as high cholesterol, get it under control, whether by medication or changing your diet.
Exercise regularly, for obvious reasons.
If you're a smoker, kick the habit. Quitting will not only improve your health, but save you money - which you can invest in helping pay your premium.
Of course, these recommendations apply to Life insurance applicants at any age.
We'd be happy to help you find the policy that can best meet your needs - feel free to give us a call at any time.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Sleep is one of THE most important things to your health
Today's society carries an unrealistic expectation, if not demand, for individuals to fit more and more into their lives. The often teetering balancing act between work and everyday life causes many to defer sleep to get everything that's expected of them done. Late nights and early mornings can be a recipe for a health disaster.
The problem is that sleep isn't something that can be brokered and traded for supposedly more important tasks. Most people are fully aware that getting enough sleep is something that's beneficial to their mind and body, but did you know that getting too little sleep could actually increase your risk of an early death from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack?
A new study published in the European Heart Journal analyzed data from fifteen different sleep studies that involved adults from various countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, and Japan. The research followed almost 475,000 adults for up to 25 years and found that having sleep disrupted or sleeping less than six hours a night resulted in a 48% chance of dying from or developing cardiovascular disease. The chance of dying from or having a stroke was 15%.
The researchers recommend that six to eight hours of regular nightly sleep is optimum to protect one's health and reduce their risk of developing chronic illnesses. They also warn that people get into trouble when their sleep is less than five hours per night since this causes problems the next day from being tired and steadily increases the risk of developing a chronic illness in the future.
According the study, chronic sleep deprivation can cause an array of changes to the human body, such as the production of chemicals and hormones that increase the risk of developing strokes and heart disease. For example, cytokines, which are chemical inflammation markers for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), can be activated by chronic sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation also increases the risk of developing hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, which are ironically also known risk factors for heart disease and stroke. For example, hormone changes can lead to certain markers for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.
On the other hand, the study's authors also caution against getting too much sleep. Over nine hours of sleep could have negative implications and be an indicator of a number of underlying illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease or depression.
Although the study does indicate that sleep deprivation should be considered a lifestyle risk akin to sedentary lifestyles, alcohol abuse, and tobacco use, some experts caution that there's still a lot unknown about the mechanism and causation when it comes to the association between sleep disorders and the increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
In the meantime, those that would like to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke might consider integrating the American Heart Association's key health factors into their daily lives - reducing blood sugar, controlling cholesterol, managing blood pressure, smoking cessation, weight loss, eating better, and being more active.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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