Stress is one of those things that never seems to be in short supply. In some cases, stress can actually be really good for you: many people believe that they do their best work and most creative work when they're on a deadline, while others find that increased pressure motivates them to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.
But it's time to recognize that stress has some very serious downsides, both mentally and physically. April is National Stress Awareness Month, so our team at Bankers Fidelity figured it would be the perfect time to look at how stress affects our lives in ways that we don't always realize.
For many Americans, stress seems to be a natural part of our daily lives. Technology has allowed our world to become more connected than ever before -- which does have some serious advantages -- but this connectivity has made it more difficult to relax and focus on what's happening right now. It's no coincidence that the three days Americans report feeling the happiest are the three days when it's "acceptable" to relax with friends and family: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July.
The Baby Boomer generation is especially susceptible to feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, or disappointed. More individuals in this group are starting to retire, and in theory, this means finally being able to relax. In practice, it often leads to more stress.
Baby Boomers have the highest rates of depression in the U.S., and half of all Baby Boomers have said that they had to (or will have to) delay retirement in order to keep earning money. More than half of all seniors have said that they plan on getting a new job after they retire not because they want to stay busy, but because they need the income.
The physical effects of prolonged increased stress levels are enough to derail even the most stable person. One-third of all adults around the age of 65 say that they're stressed out because they don't feel good about their physical appearance, and stress is definitely a factor. Many people stop exercising and begin eating more unhealthy foods. The immune system weakens while blood pressure increases, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Insomnia can kick in, and when you don't get enough sleep at night it just makes everything worse in general.
Taking the time to de-stress can seem selfish or superfluous at first, but April is the perfect month to give it a shot. You might just be surprised by how much better you feel when you start taking proper care of yourself. Life is hard enough as it is -- you deserve to take some time off!
At Bankers Fidelity, we believe that it's important to talk about the real impacts of stress, especially because April is Stress Awareness Month! As many of our clients know all too well, the consequences of mental and emotional stress can really take a toll on your overall physical health. Our organization is proud to be more than just your average short term care insurance and Medicare insurance company. We want to give our readers as many resources as possible to start living happy and healthy lives. Make sure to set aside some time this April to work on de-stressing, and also make sure to share your stress relief tips with us in the comments section below!
What can seniors do? AARP has a Fraud Watch Network, allowing consumers who want to report a scam an outlet to do so. There are also several tips for how to avoid being victimized.
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February has come to a close, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop raising awareness about heart disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. For women, it is responsible for one in three deaths. For those over 65, it factors into 84% of deaths. When heart disease plays such a prominent role in our world today, it just doesn’t make sense to limit awareness of this disease to just one month out of the year!
If you’d like to raise awareness for heart disease in your community, here are a few ways you can get involved:
1. Teach your children and grandchildren about healthy heart habits. The best way to make sure that future generations can fight heart disease is by educating them. Teaching kids at a young age to eat healthy foods and to exercise regularly is one way of instilling a sense of awareness. Plus, it will give you some motivation to eat those two cups of fruits and veggies every day, too!
2. Take legislative action. Talk to your local lawmakers about their views on healthcare and ask what they’re doing to support organizations that research and treat heart conditions. Learn about legislation that has already passed, like the Health Equity and Accountability Act, and help others understand how they’re protected.
3. Organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to an organization, such as the American Heart Association. Instead of going for the traditional bake sale or silent auction, try organizing something fun like a comedy show. Laughing is one of the best ways to reduce stress, and lower stress levels have a very positive impact on your heart health.
4. Start up a blog. If you’re already active on social media -- and one-third of the older population in the U.S. is -- you’d probably enjoy interacting with friends and family on a blog, too. This is a great way to educate others about heart disease in an informal and approachable way.
5. Make a habit out of taking daily walks through your neighborhood. Walking for just 30 minutes a day, three times a week, has been shown to increase heart health. Inviting your neighbors to join you is a simple way you can socialize with friends while encouraging your community to be healthy.
By making your heart health a priority in your own life, you’ll find that it’s very easy to raise awareness in your community about heart disease. Remember, February may have ended, but heart disease isn’t going to go away any time soon. It’s time we start making every month heart health awareness month!
At Bankers Fidelity, we’re not only concerned about life insurance policies and Medicare supplement plans. We pride ourselves in our commitment to helping you live a better, healthier, and more enjoyable life in any way that we can. To us, that means helping to share and spread information and awareness for various types of conditions and ailments that you or a loved one may encounter throughout your lifetime. June is Cataract Awareness Month, and while this is fortunately a non-fatal condition, it’s still crucial to learn more about, especially for anyone over 40 years of age.
According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), the age of 40 is the “magic number” when it comes to the possibility of developing cataracts in both men and women. Approximately 22 million Americans 40 and up currently suffer from this condition and the PBA estimates that number will reach 30 million by 2020.
Cataracts are defined by the Mayo Clinic simply as “a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye.” Though there are certain risk factors and specific causes, the majority of cataract cases occur because of natural aging. According to AllAboutVision.com, there are three different types of cataracts: sub capsular cataracts, nuclear cataracts, and cortical cataracts. Where the cataract forms in the eye determines which type you’re dealing with.
Sub capsular cataracts form in the back of the eye’s lens and are more common in people with diabetes. Nuclear cataracts occur deep in the central zone (nucleus) and are the ones typically associated with aging. Cortical cataracts form in the periphery of the lens.
Technically, there is another type of known as congenital cataracts, which are appropriately named because a person is born with this condition. Various infections or conditions in the mother during pregnancy can cause this type of cataract to form in the child. While experts are still not even sure exactly the cause of cataracts all the time, there are some common risk factors. They include:
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
Excessive exposure to sunlight
Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as that used in X-rays and cancer radiation therapy
Family history of cataracts
Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
Statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol
Previous eye injury or inflammation
Previous eye surgery
The best way to find out if you’ve developed a cataract is by seeing you eye doctor and getting examined. Fortunately, if you do develop them there are surgery options available. Your doctor can help you decide if that’s the right course of action for you. In the meantime, you can make your life a little easier by doing things like improving the lighting in your home, avoiding driving at night, and protecting your eyes from harsh, direct sunlight.
While there are no concrete ways to prevent cataracts from forming, most doctors agree that promoting and living a healthy lifestyle is the best technique. This means eating right, staying active, eliminating (or reducing) alcohol consumption and smoking, and having your eye regularly examined by a professional.
Bankers Fidelity is a traditional life insurance and Medicare supplement insurance provider, but helping our clients live healthy lives overall is a core value we hold dear. Use and share this information with your family and friends to help raise awareness of this common condition.
If you're a senior, it's important to have comprehensive medical insurance coverage. But with so many options available to you, it's hard to know if you're making the right choice. Since around 10,000 Americans over the age of 65 enroll in Medicare for the first time every single day, it's important to be armed with accurate information about these plans. Otherwise, you could be stuck with an expensive plan that doesn't cover what you really need.
For many folks, Medicare supplement insurance is a must. Also referred to as Medigap insurance, there are several Medicare supplement insurance options available to you. But whether you go with an original Medicare plan or choose to work with a supplement insurance company in addition to your base policy, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid making. Here are just three of them:
Not understanding the differences between plans
If you're new to Medicare, grasping the differences between certain types of plans can be a challenge. But original Medicare is quite a bit different from a Medicare Advantage plan. With an original Medicare plan, you'll be signing up for a fee-for-service type of policy. Some seniors will cover the gaps in this type of plan with a Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplement insurance plan. Original Medicare plans will allow you to visit any doctor who takes this type of insurance, but a Medicare Advantage plan will typically let you visit only a certain network of doctors. The Medicare website is a very helpful source in dissecting the differences between the plans available to you.
Picking a random plan out of frustration
Granted, picking a medical insurance plan can be overwhelming. But the last thing you want to do is choose a plan at random just to get the process over with. Make sure you give yourself enough time to really compare plans and choose one that makes the most sense for your needs. If you're too hasty in choosing a plan (or choose one just based on cost), you'll likely end up paying more and won't have the coverage you really need. To reduce stress, start the process early and ask for assistance if you need it.
Assuming you're covered
Medicare plans may cover a lot of services, but they may not cover exactly what your specific circumstances require. The majority of original Medicare plans won't cover dental or vision, and long-term care and assisted living expenses aren't usually covered either. To fill in the gaps, most people find it worthwhile to get a Medicare supplement insurance plan, which can be particularly helpful for copayments and deductibles. Be sure to do your research and know exactly what your plan covers (and what it doesn't). Otherwise, you may be stuck with medical bills that are higher than they need to be.
If you're a senior or soon-to-be senior in need of supplemental Medicare insurance plans, Bankers Fidelity is here to help. We can help you choose a supplement plan that works for your financial and wellness needs. For more information, contact us today.
Grandparents.com, via Huffington Post
Life insurance is extremely important if you're in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. In 2015, about 55% of Americans would recommend affordable term life insurance to someone else and in 2016, after an increase of 11%, about 66% of Americans recommended policies.
You have to be careful, however, to not make any mistakes when it comes to these insurance policies. Here are a few common insurance mistakes that people make.
Waiting to Get Covered
Remember to consider that these insurance policies are actually insuring your life. Just because it's your life, that doesn't mean it doesn’t impact others involved in your life like your family and close friends. Waiting too long to get insured will leave your family vulnerable and at risk of struggling financially should you unexpectedly pass -- on top of the emotional stress -- and that can be extremely overwhelming. It’s never too early to ensure that your family will be taken care of in the future, should anything ever happen.
Forgetting About Your Policy
Just because you've made your policy effective doesn't mean that you can’t maintain it. Life is always changing and specific relationships as well as family issues arise and can alter your future. You should always review your insurance policy and adjust it accordingly after any major changes happen to your family or in your life to ensure your insurance policy reflects your current situation. Even if you have had the same coverage for 15 years, you can easily go back and have it adjusted.
Having No Insurance Policy At All
Waiting too long or never adjusting you policy are mistakes people certainly make, but the worst mistake anyone can make involving insurance is by simply not having any. You might think that since you and your family are happy and healthy, that you don't really need any insurance. If you look at it like this, it's difficult to justify spending the extra cash for something that you don't really think is necessary. If you think about your life or your family's future, however, you'll realize how important it is for you to have a great policy.
If you want to learn more about health and life insurance policies, contact Bankers Fidelity today.
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Understanding Medicare Supplement
Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. The Medicare Supplement products issued by the Company are insurance policies. Policy form series B 21092 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company®, Atlanta, GA; policy form series B 21492 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Assurance CompanyTM, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required.
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