Three Dangers of Living a Sedentary Lifestyle (and How to Break the Sitting Cycle)


image of a man sitting down with his laptopIn the age of digital connectivity, stationary work computers and endless movie streaming services like Netflix, it is now easier than ever for the average American to function – and even get things done – with minimal physical effort. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of Americans, age 18 and older, fail to meet the government’s Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity.1 As a result, the absence of exercise hasn’t just become a health risk for today’s society; it’s a widespread epidemic that must be addressed.

Thus today, we’re discussing the medical dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle and what you can do to break the sitting cycle and take control of your health.

Top Three Dangers of Living a Sedentary Lifestyle

1. Excess Weight

Possibly the most obvious medical threat of sitting for too many hours, day after day, is the result of accumulating unwanted pounds. To understand how this phenomenon occurs, one must only keep in mind the basic principle of calorie intake versus calorie output:

When the body is unable to burn off the thousands of calories it consumes at mealtime each day, those extra calories become stored in the body as fat cells. While this process may not be detrimental to the body if calorie input exceeds calorie output for only days at a time, repeated absence of physical activity can wreak havoc on an individual’s body mass index.

2. Widespread Pain

Consider the core structure of the human body for a moment: our bones – everything from our fingers to our arms and even our ribs – all route inward so that they can be joined together and supported by the spine. Without this critical pillar of stability, a human being would not be able to sit up straight, much less stand!

Unfortunately, sitting for prolonged hours each day is not a spine-friendly activity. For instance, when you work at your computer desk or hang out on the couch, your mind begins to relax. As your brain wanders away from whatever task you have instructed it to focus on, your body’s posture begins to weaken;2 you start to slouch, inevitably curling your spine into an unnatural position in the process. If this position is maintained for too long, the added pressure of compressing your spine may seep into your other extremities, leading to chronic back pain, neck pain and even headaches.

3. Devastating Diseases

Have you ever heard that “sitting is the new smoking?” How about, “sitting is like a cancer?” Unfortunately, these phrases are not exaggerations.

According to a recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, an absence of physical activity increases the risk of death from heart attack, cardiovascular disease and cancer by as much as 125 percent!3 Even more alarming, the same study found that enduring several hours of fierce activity, in addition to prolonged bouts of sitting, did not offset the risks associated with sedentarism.

How to Break Your Sedentary Life Cycle

So if adding physical activity to a mostly sedentary lifestyle is not effective enough to reduce the dangers of sitting too much, what can be done to improve your overall health?

The answer: be more active throughout your day, every day.

The key to eliminating the dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle is to be more conscious about how much or how little you move over the course of 24 hours. To help measure your fitness level and identify opportunities to increase activity, consider investing in a fitness tracker. Many of today’s leading trackers offer an array of features to help you get a better understanding of your overall health – such as steps taken, calories burned, exercise logged and quality of sleep – and even encourage you to move more throughout the day with hourly move reminders.

For more tips on how to lead a more active lifestyle, check out our Fitness Fiends mini blog series here.4

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SOURCES

1 National Center for Health Statistics: Exercise or Physical Activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published January 20, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/exercise.htm

2 What happens to your body when you sit for too long? Lifehack. Published March 20, 2016, from http://www.lifehack.org/376343/what-happens-your-body-when-you-sit-for-too-long

3 What are the risks of sitting too much? Mayo Clinic. Published September 4, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

4 Fitness Fiends. The Mutual Fund Store Life Insurance. Retrieved April 27, 2017 from http://www.lowcostlifeinsurance.com/blog/tag/fitness-fiends/

Term Life Insurance products offered through TMFS Insurance Agency LLC, a separate company, affiliated with Financial Engines Advisors, L.L.C. (FEA), in states where licensed. TMFS Insurance Agency, LLC is under common ownership with FEA. Each entity is its own separate entity that provides services for its client independent from the other.

The Dangers and Consequences of Lying on Your Life Insurance Application


man fills out a life insurance application with a penYour mother may have told you one time or another that a white lie never hurt anybody, as long as your intentions are good. Unfortunately, lying on your life insurance application to save a few dollars every year can cause you more harm than good.

The Dangers of Lying on Your Life Insurance Application

In the eyes of insurance providers everywhere, fibbing on your life insurance application isn’t only unethical; it’s an act of fraud that is punishable under state law. If caught, the penalties you potentially face are largely dependent upon the degree of the lies that you have told; disciplinary actions include paying a fine, being placed on probationary period and even serving prison time.

Most detrimental, however, are the consequences you face if your lies remain hidden until after you pass away. For instance, if you lose your life to a disease that you formally claim to not have, a portion of your life insurance claim may not be paid out to those who are expecting to receive it, leaving them without any restitution for your absence, thus eliminating the entire purpose of life insurance. This would also mean that the premiums you’ve paid over the years would have been for naught.

How will anyone know if I lied on my life insurance application?

For those who may have told a fib on their applications, it may be worrisome to learn that one of the many tasks entrusted to the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) it to detect such cases of fraud.

How, you may ask?

Some cases are fairly simple to solve. If the MIB finds that you have passed away from an illness that you claim to not have had, an investigation will be opened up in your name. During such an investigation, the MIB will search your medical history to see how long you have been formally diagnosed with the life-ending condition in question. If they find that your life insurance application was submitted after you were diagnosed, your payout amount may be withheld.

Most Frequent Life Insurance Application Lies

Now that we’ve defined the importance of being truthful on your life insurance application, here are five of the most popular fibs that can get applicants in trouble:

  1. Smokers who claim to not smoke.
  2. Withholding information regarding dangerous hobbies.
  3. Falsely denying to suffer from a life-threatening disease, such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
  4. Masking the use of legally prescribed or illegally ingested drugs.
  5. Failing to disclose mental health conditions, such as anxiety and/or depression.

Reversing Life Insurance Fraud

Okay, so you’ve made it this far into our article, and you suspect that there may be a lie or two that you’ve told on your original life insurance application. What do you do now?

To begin, you will need to have a fresh life insurance quote drawn up by the Mutual Fund Company; this is your opportunity to ensure that all of the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. After this has been complete, we will find the best insurance provider and policy for you, based on the data you offered. Once we have found the proper fit, you will swap your old life insurance policy out for your new one. At the same time, you will need to cancel your previous life insurance policy to ensure that you aren’t paying additional premiums.

Finally, remember that the Mutual Fund Company is here to help you. It is possible to correct any mistakes you have made on your current life insurance policy. Reach out to the Mutual Fund Company with any questions or concerns you may have; we’re ready to help you.

5 Simple Term Life Insurance Facts


term life insurance factsTerm life insurance is basic, inexpensive and straightforward to understand. At first, life insurance can be overwhelming, but if you learn a few life insurance facts and talk to an expert in the field, you will find it’s all pretty easy to grasp. Term life insurance affords you the opportunity to buy the amount of insurance you need at a very reasonable cost. When it’s time for you to make a decision about insurance a few factors weigh into your decision, including age, marital status, net worth, income, savings habits and outstanding debt. Besides knowing your situation, there are a few more things to know about term life insurance that will make the process of buying much smoother.

Here are 5 Simple Term Life Insurance Facts:

1. Getting term coverage is easy. You can research online and call an expert in the field for a quote. They will help tell you what you need based on your unique situation.

2. Term coverage is for a limited period. You pay a level premium for a set period, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive the death benefit. Given that you need life insurance only until you’ve managed to save up money elsewhere, just pick the term that works for you.

3. Term life helps you plan. A term policy gives you confidence during a specific period; your family could handle potential expenses that will eventually disappear, such as paying for college or a mortgage. This reassurance can help you plan our your future with less stress.

4. A term policy is affordable. Compared to a permanent policy or whole life insurance policy—which pays a death benefit no matter when you die—term coverage is very inexpensive. That means you can get more coverage to protect your family when they need it most even if you don’t have a lot of money right now.

5. You can get your term premiums back. Many term policies allow you to add a feature called Return of Premium (ROP). If you live to the end of the term, 100% of the premiums paid will be returned to you. Pretty good, huh?

If you have any questions on term life insurance, contact us today! We can offer you a free quote and help answer any questions you have about our policies.

What’s On Your Bucket List?


bucket listAt The Mutual Fund Company, we truly believe in living life to the fullest. This means experiencing something new and challenging every single day. With summer fun and travel just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to compile your ultimate life bucket list.

Get a notebook and start your list to maximize every moment of your existence and live your life to the fullest! It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here on Earth. If you already have a bucket list, take some time to review it. See if there are new items you want to add-on or maybe take off.

Here are some of our favorite ideas to add to your list. Pick out your favorites and create an action plan for your life.

The Ultimate Bucket List:

  1. Travel all over the world! What countries do you want to visit? Pick at least 5 and add them to your list.
  2. Take a cross-country road trip.
  3. Visit all your living relatives.
  4. Learn a new language.
  5. Run a marathon.
  6. Try a new sport. Have you always dreamed of trying archery or mastering tennis?Pick a few- the sky is the limit!
  7. Try a water sport ( skiing, tubing, surfing, etc.)
  8. Learn a new dance skill (ballroom, salsa, tap, etc.)
  9. Climb a mountain.
  10. Swim in every ocean.
  11. Go camping.
  12. Try an outdoor water activity (kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, etc.)
  13. Go sailing.
  14. Go on a cruise.
  15. Learn to drive a boat.
  16. Take a staycation at a local hotel.
  17. Have a spa weekend.
  18. Ride in a hot air balloon.
  19. Throw someone a surprise party.
  20. Be a mentor.
  21. Find a mentor.
  22. Volunteer for the same organization for at least a year.
  23. Start your own business.
  24. Attend the Olympics ( Winter or Summer).
  25. Color your hair.
  26. Eat at a 5-star restaurant.
  27. Try a new food you hated when you were younger.
  28. Cook a 4-course meal.
  29. Take a cooking class.
  30. Throw a dinner party.
  31. Make a family tree and discover your roots.
  32. Perform in a play.
  33. Publish a book.
  34. Start your own blog.
  35. Learn a new art (watercolor, ceramics, scrapbooking, etc.)
  36. Grow your own garden.
  37. Make a piece of furniture.
  38. Plan and build your dream home from start to finish.
  39. Sew a piece of clothing for yourself.
  40. Get a pet.
  41. Take a yoga class.
  42. Brew your own beer or make homemade wine.
  43. Be an extra in a movie.
  44. Sit on a jury.
  45. Take a photography class.
  46. Get your masters degree.
  47. Crowd surf at a concert.
  48. Participate in a flash mob.
  49. Read 12 books in a year (one each month).
  50. Go skydiving.
  51. Try out public speaking.
  52. Learn sign language.

While there are so many to add to this list, you have to start somewhere. Which ones would you add and which ones are you going to do THIS summer?

Are There Taxes on Life Insurance?


taxes on life insuranceHello, tax season! It’s that time of year again where we are all faced with uncertainties and a lot of paperwork. Have you ever wondered if there are taxes on life insurance?

Generally, if you receive the proceeds under a contract as a beneficiary due to the passing of the insured person, the benefits are not includable in gross taxable and do not have to be reported. But, there are a lot of other factors to be aware of when it comes to tax season and life insurance.

Taxes on Life Insurance | What You Need to Know

1.Life insurance contracts must meet IRS requirements.

The IRS definitions are a way to ensure that an insurance policy isn’t really an investment vehicle. For federal income taxes, an insurance contract cannot be considered a life insurance contract and qualify for favorable tax treatment unless it meets state law requirements and satisfies the IRS’s statutory definitions of a life insurance policy.

2. You can’t deduct your premiums on your federal income tax return.

Because life insurance is considered a personal expense, you can’t deduct the premiums you pay for life insurance coverage. As we said above, yes, if you receive the proceeds under a contract as a beneficiary due to the passing of the insured person, the benefits are not includable in gross taxable and do not have to be reported. But, this is not the same for premiums.

3.Your life insurance beneficiary might not have to pay income tax on death benefit received.

Typically whoever receives the death benefit from your insurance policy usually does not have to pay federal or state income tax on those proceeds. For example, If you pass owning a life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit, your beneficiary under the policy will generally not have to pay income tax on the receipt of the $500,000. Every plan is different, so make sure to discuss this with your insurance agent.

4.  Interest is taxable.

Any interest you receive is taxable and you should always report it. This is the same as any other interest you receive.

When in doubt, consult a professional. Tax time is confusing enough, as is life insurance. The tax rules surrounding life insurance are complex and are subject to change. For more information, contact a qualified insurance professional today.

The Importance of Good Mental Health


It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the busy day to day tasks of life. From taking kids to school, making dinner, running errands, and a stressful job, we often forget to take time to care for ourselves and our health. Good mental health is so important to living a long and happy life. Everyone has limits, we are all just human, so it’s important to relax once and while and take care of our mental state.

The infographic below by My Mental Health Day depicts the common stresses in all our lives and the preventions and cures that will allow us to handle life’s stresses.

good mental health

3 Easy Steps to Take Towards Good Mental Health:

1. Drink More Water

Life is short and we all want to add more years and make the most of each one we have. Drinking more water can help you add those desired years to your life. Not only is it wonderful for our bodies it’s also good for our mental health. Hydration keeps our mood in order, our brain fueled and our body at ease. Feeling a little stressed? Take a break and drink a glass of water. You will feel so refreshed!

2. Disconnect

Take all your social media apps off your phone for the weekend or a day and unplug a little. Sometimes social media stresses us out more than we can tell at the time. Add balance to your life by taking a weekend to unplug with hiking, camping, or just a staycation with a good book.

3. Try Yoga

Studies have shown that yoga, light exercise, and stretching are wonderful for not only your physical health but also good mental health. Stretch every morning with some of these tips to start the day with a clear mind. Or try a yoga class to reach clarity and mindfulness. Some gyms even have child care so you can have an hour of peace, kid-free! Yoga can change your life more than you think.

Remember, getting your physical and mental health up to speed is the most important step in living a long  and happy life. And in turn, we believe a healthy person can have better life insurance rates. If you have any questions about passing a medical exam for our health and  life insurance policy, contact us today!

Add Years to Your Life With Social Activities


add years to your life by volunteering and spending time with othersA new study found that you can add years to your life if you join social groups before and during retirement. If you are near retirement, start by signing up for a book club, knitting group, or exercise class and not only will your life be more enjoyable now, but you may have more years of it to come!

This new study shows that taking part of social clubs and activities may be just as important to your long-term health as diet and exercise. Once you retire, it’s recommended you pay as much attention to keeping active socially as you did before retirement. Use the new time you have off work to learn a new skill, spend time with your friends, volunteer and enjoy new hobbies.

Social connections are essential to everyone, but especially to those who have recently experienced major changes that are associated with later life and retirement. It is important for retirees to spend time with others while focusing on things they enjoy.

According to the study, the more groups you belongs to in early retirement, the lower their risk becomes of premature death. The study also found that those exercising once a week around the time of retirement lived longer than those who were less active. Joining a social exercise club or class is a great option to add social time with active movement at the same time.

If you are retiring soon or already retired, try to add a few social activities and exercise classes or routines to your weekly schedule, and you’ll be well on your way to living a happier, longer, and healthier life.

Term Life Insurance for Business Owners


When you start a business, the amount of people that count on you dramatically increases. You are not only concerned for your family members, but also for your business partners and employees. Term Life insurance for business owners is important for financial security in the event of your death.

When buying term life insurance, consider what you want the coverage to accomplish to determine the policy you need. The main functions of the insurance will depend on your age, size of business, health and a few more factors.

Why Term Life Insurance for Business Owners is Beneficial

life insurance for business owners is important for every company

Your Income

If you are the sole or main breadwinner in your home, you need life insurance. Whether you run the business or work for someone else, your family will need life insurance for everything they depended on you to pay for.

Term life insurance covers you for a set number of years. You will want to choose a long-term policy to cover the years your family would need if you were to pass.

Covering Debts

If you have student loans, business loans, a mortgage, car payments or any type of debt, you want a policy that will cover that amount so your loved ones aren’t left with any payments.

Choose a term life insurance policy that matches the length and amount of the loans you have. You can buy a single term life policy to replace income and cover debts. Or you can purchase more than one term life policy of different lengths and amounts, such as a 30-year policy to replace income and a 15-year policy to cover a 15-year loan. Your situation is unique and we can help you determine which time frame is best for you.

Inheritance

Life insurance helps business owners treat their adult children fairly if not all of them are part of your business. The owners or the business purchase policies insuring each partner and in the case of a death, the life insurance proceeds are used to buy out that person’s share of the business. Imagine if your business partner died tomorrow. Without a buy-sell agreement and a way to fund it, you could end up in business with their family. A term life policy is wise if you plan to sell the business in a short term, around 10 years.

Your Employees

Life insurance can help provide additional compensation to key employees, which will help your business retain talent even in the case of your death.

If you have any questions on term life insurance for business owners, contact us today! We can offer you a free quote and help answer any questions you have about our policies.

Why You Need to Take More Vacations


take more vacationsAmericans do not take nearly enough vacations. If we even get vacation days we hoard them up convincing ourselves we will eventually use them for a time when we really need a vacation. Something always gets in the way of taking much needed time off. Maybe it’s our workload, or, maybe we are scared that we are going to be looked down upon at work. Whatever the reason, if you are one of these people who haven’t taken a vacation in way too long, please start planning one ….now. We know you are worried or skeptical, but after you read these reasons why taking a vacation will do amazing things for yourself. Read on, and start planning your next vacation (or even staycation)!

Whatever the reason, if you are one of these people who haven’t taken a vacation in way too long, please start planning one ….now. We know you are worried or skeptical,  but after you read these reasons why taking a vacation will do amazing things for yourself, maybe you will change your time. Read on, and start planning your next vacation (or even staycation).

3 Reasons to Take More Vacations 

1.Short vacation = happiness throughout the year

Even just taking the day before and after Christmas off can make you happier and healthier. Or how about a three day weekend once and a while? If you don’t have many vacation days the trick is to take a day here and there rather than all at once every year. Spread out the happiness and lessen the length between breaks. You want to take vacation days before you are told you have to take a mental health day.

2 .Your body needs a break

Taking a break gives your body a chance to physically, emotionally and mentally renew and recover. Restoration is so important for productivity and overall wellbeing. You can’t work well if you aren’t well.

3.Relaxation helps your brain 

This all goes back to the science of sleep and your brain. If you’re struggling to keep up with something at work, your brain is needing time to relax. Relaxation helps our brains work and focus more efficiently. Are you having trouble learning something new or mastering a skill? Take a vacation! Let your brain take some time to process the new information, and you might return in your best shape ever.

Make it a new year’s Resolution to take more vacations in 2016! If you had proper time off for the holidays, congrats! You are on your way to happiness and health. If you didn’t take even Christmas off…it’s time for you to cash in on some of you vacation days this new year. Taking breaks every now and again will add years and overall happiness to your life.

Life Insurance: A Very Important New Year’s Resolution


new year's resolutionCan you believe it’s 2016?! In the beginning of a new year, we tend to focus on what we are grateful for, our accomplishments from the past year, and our goals for this new one.

As we enter into the New Year, we start talking about our New Year’s resolutions. Whether we want to lose weight, experience less stress, start a new hobby, pay off debt, or start investing, we shouldn’t forget about one resolution that is so important.  It’s a new year’s resolution that offers peace of mind and is a major part of financial planning at every age: life insurance.

The New Year is a great time to think about buying term life insurance.  One of the most important duties you have is to protect your loved ones. During the holidays, we are reflecting on how much those loved ones mean to us, and worry what we would do without them.  Part of protecting your family is making sure they are financially secure if you were no longer able to provide. Life insurance can ease this worry.

What if you already have life insurance?

Even if you are already insured, certain types of insurance require renewal or changes over time. If you already have insurance, a good resolution would be to renew your policy. Did you have any major life-changing events in the past year? Did you gain a grandchild, get married, or start college? If you were recently married or divorced, you should look over your policy to make sure you have the correct beneficiaries all in place for the new year. Even purchasing a home or making positive health changes could qualify you for different rates.

It’s easy to put off buying life insurance, but you never know when that day will come when you need it the most. This is never a day you can plan for, so you should always be prepared.  Make it your resolution to check it off your list of things to do. It’s a resolution that will better you and your whole family

If you are looking to purchase your first term policy, or want a new or additional policy, you can get a free quote here!