Five Hidden Dangers of Caffeine Consumption


Cup of coffee. dangers of caffeine To many Americans, both hard-working employees and students alike, caffeine isn’t just the best way to wake up in the morning; it’s vital to functioning throughout the day. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola — caffeine consumers aren’t picky, just as long as they get their quick fix of energy. Maybe you even started today with one of these beverages.

Over the years, caffeine has become a morning tradition – and to many, a necessity. But when was the last time you stopped to consider how your dependency on caffeinated beverages affects your health, both short-term and long-term? The next time you reach for another helping of your favorite energy-infused beverage, keep these hidden dangers of caffeine in mind.

What is caffeine?

Before we discuss the inherent dangers of caffeine, we must first understand what caffeine is (other than that chemical that wakes us up). In its most basic form, caffeine is a stimulant that is naturally found in coffee, tea and cacao plants.1

Short-Term Dangers of Caffeine

Just about every caffeine drinker is familiar with the short-term effects of this drug: an elevated heart rate, a rush of energy and a heightened level of focus. Unfortunately, however, caffeine isn’t beneficial in all use cases.

For instance, drinking caffeine too late in the evening can keep the consumer awake at night, resulting in decreased quality of sleep. In this case, the consumer may wake up in the morning with less energy than he/she would have received from a caffeine-free night, which in turn often causes the consumer to grab even more caffeine in order to start his/her day.

Long-Term Dangers of Caffeine

Most consumers who enjoy the daily benefits of caffeine seldom consider the effects their favorite uplifting drink has on their bodies throughout the many years of consumption; they’re just concerned about staying awake. Nevertheless, the long-term dangers of caffeine are very real:

1) Decreased Mortality in Men

Possibly the most alarming static on this list, men who down a minimum of four eight-ounce cups of coffee each day are 21% more likely to die before men who do not consume similar amounts of caffeine.2

2) Reduction in Fertility in Women

Women who consume large amounts of caffeine are 27% less likely to become pregnant than women who do not drink caffeine.2

3) Heightened Risk of Heart Attack

Young adults who drink caffeine are three to four times more likely to develop mild hypertension and even suffer from a heart attack.2

4) Increase in Anxiety and Depression

Consumers who rely on heavy amounts of caffeine are more likely to develop depression and anxiety-related conditions over time.2

5) Caffeine Overdose

While rare, consumers who ingest more caffeine than their bodies can reasonably manage have a higher risk of experiencing adverse affects, including caffeine allergies and even death.2

How to Reduce or Eliminate Your Caffeine Consumption

Considering these short-term and short-term dangers of caffeine, you may be wondering how you can reduce or even eliminate your reliance on caffeine. Since caffeine is a real, addictive substance, weaning your body off of it will take some time.

Join us on our blog next month as we explain how you can safely free yourself of caffeine dependence. Until then, consume responsibly, friends.

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SITE SOURCES

1 (2016 May). What is Caffeine, and is it Good or Bad For Health? Authority Nutrition. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://authoritynutrition.com/what-is-caffeine/.

2 (2017 February). 20 Harmful Effects of Caffeine. Caffeine Informer. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine

What You Need to Know About Term Life Insurance and Depression


life insurance and depressionIf you have clinical depression, you might be concerned about qualifying for affordable term life insurance. But don’t worry, there are options for you to consider. Some insurers are open to offering policies to individuals with managed depression.

Life Insurance and Depression

Depression is a serious illness and one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, affecting close to 6.7 percent of the adult population. If you have a life-threatening condition, your insurance options might be limited. However, depression can be treated and managed, so some companies no longer consider it a high risk condition.

The Signs of Depression

Depression can vary from person to person, but some of the signs include:

  • Weight gain or loss

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Trouble sleeping, insomnia, or fatigue

  • Excessive guilt or worry

  • Lack of concentration

  • Feeling of hopelessness

If you have some of these symptoms and are concerned you may have depression, talk to your doctor. If you are worried about getting diagnosed and increasing your life insurance rate, put those worries behind you. Your number one priority should be seeking treatment and getting better.

If you are already diagnosed with depression, the insurer will want to know about past and present treatments, the success of these treatments, and whether or not you follow your doctor’s medical directions.

Choosing a Policy

Don’t try to hide your medical history. It is better to offer as much information as you can to show that you are taking your condition seriously.  An otherwise healthy person who has depression can certainly get insurance at a low rate. It varies case to case, so we always recommend talking to an insurance agent to see what will be best for you.

Got questions about term life insurance or what to do if you have a medical condition such as depression? Contact us today—we’re happy to help!

Life Insurance for People with Health Problems


Life Insurance for People with Health ProblemsBuying life insurance is simple when you are healthy, which is one of the reasons we recommend starting a policy when you are a young adult. Life Insurance for people with health problems is possible, but it’s important you know everything there is to know about life insurance and your condition(s). Just because you have a health problem does not mean you will have a problem with life insurance. It simply means you might have to work a bit harder, or do more to prepare for the process in front of you, than others.

Factors that are considered for life insurance:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Financial Status
  • High-Risk Activities
  • Lifestyle
  • Health

Life insurance for people with health problems and a few major health issues: 

High Blood Pressure or Heart Disease

Heart disease or high blood pressure is a red flag, because the severity and progression of heart disease can be difficult to document and also difficult to insure. Talk to your doctor, get a pro involved, and figure out not only an action plan for your health but for your insurance.

Diabetes 

You can get life insurance if you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and if your diabetes has been under control for for at least several months. Note that you can also get life insurance if you are insulin dependent. If your diabetes is not under control you still may be able to receive coverage with special options.

Asthma

The concern with the chronic condition of asthma relates to the severity of each person’s case and how well it is managed. For the most part, those with asthma just need to make sure they are doing what they can to treat their condition in order to receive a normal policy.

Obesity

Since obesity can lead to many other health concerns besides itself, this is a top concern for insurers. Those overweight face a higher risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, stroke, arthritis and more. If your policy requires a medical exam, your doctor will calculate your body mass index, or BMI, to determine your risk class.

Cancer

Just as each cancer case is unique, every insurance company will underwrite the disease differently. When you are diagnosed with cancer, each company will handle it differently depending on your situation. This is not a predictable disease,and can be difficult to plan around until you are able to learn more details of your situation.

Depression

Depression can drive up your life insurance rates. Since severe depression can lead to suicide or hospitalization, it is not rated favorably by some companies or insurable. If you have depression it is best to seek help that is documented and work to manage your disease.

Purchase Life Insurance While You Are Healthy

If there’s one insurance lesson that should be learned from those with health issues, it’s that it’s wise to purchase life insurance when you’re still healthy. This is the best preventative method to avoid costly rates after getting diagnosed with an illness, an injury, or simply aging. If you have a pre-existing condition and would like to learn how you can save money on life insurance, a chat with a life insurance agent may be just the solution you need to help plan for your future.

In some cases, before you purchase a life insurance policy, you have to undergo a life insurance health exam.  In this case, being healthy can make a huge difference in price. Be sure to check out our tips on having a successful life insurance health exam.

If you have any questions about your health or life insurance rates, we are happy to help. Contact us today for any questions or a free life insurance quote!

How to Lower Blood Pressure and Add Years to Your Life


According to Prevention.com, a Harvard study found that high blood pressure (hypertension) plays a contributing role in more than 15% of deaths in the United States. High blood pressure increases the risks of heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline, and kidney failure.

People with hypertension often need several medications to control blood pressure. Luckily a good amount of people that have high blood pressure can get healthy without medication; the key is to understanding how to lower your blood pressure to get the results you need.

How to Lower Blood Your Pressure Naturally

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Even dropping just a few pounds can have a substantial impact on your blood pressure. Excess weight makes your heart work harder and over time, could lead to hypertension. If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight may be enough to get your blood pressure under control so this should be the first step to take.

2. Exercise

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150-minutes of moderate activity each week. To achieve this, you should aim to exercise 30 minutes at least five days a week. Taking brisk walks is an excellent way to meet your fitness goal.

3. Keep Calm and Breathe

According to Men’s Health, men who express their anger outwardly are two times as likely to have a stroke than those who remain calm and control their tempers.  It is important to learn how to control emotions. A few ways to relax and keep calm are meditation, yoga, and breathing. Taking a few slow, deep breaths can help relieve tension.

4. Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking may help you lower your blood pressure levels 5 to 10 points. Smoking is overall bad for your health and depletes protective vitamins and minerals in your body. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which raises blood pressure. If you have not seen your doctor in the last two years, it’s important to set up an appointment to have a physical and get your blood pressure checked. You want to be able to live a long happy and healthy life without any sudden health surprises.

For many, taking that first step and doing something is always the hardest part. Get up and try one of these tips to start lowering your blood pressure. Because everything in the world of insurance is measured by risk, you may be in a position to get better rates in the future by simply walking, breathing or doing one of our other tips each day.

Is My Life Insurance Through Work Enough?


Are your benefits and life insurance through work enough?

If your company provides free or low-cost life insurance as a benefit, you may feel pretty lucky. You might think it’s one big thing to check off your list of responsibilities. You should wait, however, before you check it off and move on to other priorities. Life insurance is a huge decision and you should ask yourself whether your life insurance through work is enough. If you look deeper into your policy provided to you by your employer, you may find you also need a supplemental policy.

Employer-sponsored plans don’t always provide the full protection you need. If you have a mortgage, children or other big financial obligations, you may need to look into a supplemental plan. Also, young and healthy employees might be better off with individual coverage since they can often qualify for lower rates.

If you are close to retiring, have adult children and a paid-off home, your employer coverage may be enough and what is most affordable for you. For single adults, younger employees and those with dependents, additional coverage is recommended. Let’s discuss a few situations in which you may need more life insurance.

Is Your Life Insurance Through Work Enough? It May Not Be for These Scenarios:

1. Your Employer Does Not Offer Enough

Look into your work-provided policy and determine if it’s enough for you and your family. If your death would be a financial issue for your spouse and children, you probably need coverage worth around six times your annual salary. Even up to 12 times worth your annual salary is necessary in some cases. Your employer’s policy may be sufficient if you’re single, if you have a spouse who isn’t dependent on your income to cover household expenses or if you don’t have children. But if that is not your situation, you most likely will not have enough coverage for your family with your job’s insurance alone.

2. If You Change Your Job Your Coverage May Change Too

Most employees who have coverage through work don’t know where their life insurance will come from if they change jobs, are laid off, their employer goes out of business or they switch from full-time to part-time work. Even if you think you will always be safe at your job, you never know what could happen.

In some situations, you won’t be able to keep your life insurance policy if you no longer work at that company. Gaps in insurance could also make it more challenging to find affordable coverage. For example, if you were laid off, the premiums might be unaffordable when you apply on your own.

3. Your Health Declines

If your health affects your work and your insurance is through your job, your insurance may also be affected. If medical issues cause you to quit your job, take a few months off or change to part-time, your life insurance may no longer be applicable. You could have problems getting new insurance on your own with your medical condition and end up stuck at your job just for insurance.

4. It May Cost More

Even if your company provides all the protection you need for both you and your family, it’s a good idea to get quotes and shop around for the best value for your situation. If you are young and healthy, you may find a better rate outside of your work policy. Also, keep in mind that the policy provided by your employer tends to become more expensive as you age. Overall, healthy people in group policies pay more than they would if they purchased private policies, so do your research.

 The solution to the scenarios listed above is to buy some or all of your life insurance directly through an individual term policy. If you have any questions or would like a free term life insurance quote, contact us 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!

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.

How Life Insurance Can Save Your Pets


A young friendly family of four cuddling their petWhen you think about your dependents, don’t forget your pets. Pets are like members of the family; and if something were to happen to you, they would need to be taken care of.
It may sound unnecessary to leave money for a pet, but what if your pet is almost like your child or has expensive health costs? Life insurance can be a good way to fund their needs. If you care about your pet, it’s smart to make proper arrangements and plan.

You can set up a traditional trust for a pet and provide instructions for the pet’s care and name a trustee to manage the money. If you fund the trust with life insurance, you name the trustee as the beneficiary and include the name of the trust on the document. You can also designate a portion of a life insurance policy to go to the pet trust and the remainder to go to other beneficiaries, such as your children, partner or parents.

A traditional trust gives you the most latitude in financially planning for the pet’s care. You can spell out all the details to who cares for the pet, how much is spent on them, what food they eat and more.
will cover you for a certain number of years, such as 10, 20 or 30. If you’re likely to outlive your pet ( which most people are) and you want coverage in case you die prematurely, term life is a great option.
Pet trusts are especially important if you have a pet with a long life span, and exotic pets, which would be hard to place in new homes, or for people with multiple pets.Thinking about what would happen to your pets if something you never want to imagine, but it is part of being a responsible pet parent.
To find the right coverage amount and compare prices, contact us today. We will help you find the best policy for your family (including your fury members).

3 Reasons Young Adults Need Life Insurance


Life insurance for young adults - Mutual Fund Store blogFor many adults in their twenties, life insurance seems like a responsibility for the future. If you are wondering if life insurance for young adults is important, the answer is yes, and here’s why:

1. It’s Cheaper:
As you get older, life insurance plans become more expensive. At a younger age, you’re more likely to be healthy and without pre-existing conditions that would raise your rate. For example, asthma and type 2 diabetes are conditions that could cause your insurance to cost more. Getting a policy while you are young and healthy will allow you to pay a lower cost for the duration of your plan.

2. Debt
As a young adult, you most likely have  debt and student loans. If you were to pass away, your loans would not disappear. If your parents, spouse or friends co-signed on any of your loans, they would be responsible for the bill. Term life insurance would cover your costs if you were to pass.

3. Expenses:
There are many expenses your family and friends would have to pay if you were to suddenly pass away. Funerals are not cheap. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost is $8,508. Without life insurance, your family would be responsible for funeral costs.  A term life insurance plan could quickly reduce expenses for your family in the event of your death.

It’s up to you to make the decision about what type of policy is best for you, but you should have at least some life insurance coverage as a young adult. Hopefully, you won’t need to use it for many years to come, but it’s important to be protected.

The Effects of Stress on Your Life


It’s so easy to feel stressed in our busy lives. Sometimes we are too busy to even realize we are stressed and how negatively it is affecting us! You can only do so much each day, and it’s important not to push yourself. Too much stress can shorten your life, cause relationship problems, and even hurt you physically.

While exercise, yoga, a good glass of wine, and time away from work will help you take the edge off, it’s important to get down to the bottom of your stress in the first place. This infographic below, called The Effects Of Stress And What You Can Do About It, could be of great use to solving your stress at the root.

The effects of stress can be severe, and if you are not careful, they can even do damage to your body. If you’re subject to a lot of emails, phone calls, and interruptions all day, take a deep breath and a look at the infographic below.

effects of stress

After reading this infographic, are there any changes you can make in your life? Dealing with stress is all in how you set up your day, and how you decide to deal with the factors that deliver stress. Make a change today, and tomorrow could be your best day yet! We want you to live your best life possible, and do what it takes to add years to your happy and healthy life.