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Thrift Tip: Put New Purchases in Quarantine

One of the top ways to save money is not to spend it. Sounds obvious, right? Yet everyone makes purchases they don’t really need, at least some of the time. (Yes, everyone! Don’t deny it.) It may be a new sweater, a trendy leather chair or a heavy coffee table book – or a “unique” decoration, like a wagon wheel spotted in a rustic antique shop.


Whatever your poison, one way to avoid buyer’s remorse is to impose a waiting period on any purchase above a certain amount – say $50 or $75. As Carl Richards explains in this New York Times article recommending a quarantine period on big buys, avoiding impulse purchases of stuff you don’t need saves time and money for things that you actually will use and enjoy. He might have added that spending less now means saving more for important purposes later – including retirement.


Read more at The New York Times.




The Best Medicine? That's a Laugh!

It may sound silly, but some experts say laughing can be good for your health—mental and physical. Laughing is like a mild workout: it causes physiological changes, raising our pulse and blood pressure and breathing rate and sending more oxygen to our tissues. One study showed that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories. There’s some evidence that laughter can even help lower blood sugar levels and help you sleep better. And we all know that laughing usually means we’re among friends—that’s a plus in and of itself, because staying social is one of the best ways to boost mental health (especially in retirement).


Read more at webmd.com.



More Americans Plan Later Retirements


A new AARP survey finds that more people are planning to work past the typical retirement age of 65, mostly for financial reasons. The survey of adults 35 and older found that more than half of that group expect to work beyond age 65 and 11% expect to keep working into their 80s and beyond! The main reason is financial stress. AARP found that half of those surveyed lose sleep over financial concerns. If money weren’t such a worry, half of those currently working would quit their job. And money concerns also make big life transitions – such as getting married or divorced, moving, facing a major illness or changing jobs -- more stressful: about half of respondents said money is a major barrier to dealing with such transitions Sadly, only about a third of those surveyed describe their lives as “thriving”; while 29% say they are “on a plateau” and 27% are “in a rut.”


Read more at AARP.



Midland National Named to Ward's Top 50 List



We’re proud to be included in Ward’s 50 Life & Health Top Performers for 2016. Every year, the Ward Group, a leading provider of analysis and best practices for the insurance industry, analyzes the financial performance of more than 700 U.S.-based life and health insurance companies and identifies the top performers. Ward bases its lists on financial stability, safety, consistency and superior performance over the past five years. At Midland National, we’ve been providing our customers with quality, affordable products for more than 110 years – and we look forward to serving you with excellence for many more years to come.




Staying Healthy in the Heat


There’s no doubt about it: in most of the U.S., summer is most definitely upon us. While you might associate July and August with beach trips, pool parties and cookouts, the hot weather also brings health risks – especially for older Americans, who are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. So while you’re enjoying these activities – and retirement favorites like golf and hiking – here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control for avoiding heat exhaustion, dehydration and other risks to older folks’ health when the mercury rises:


  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-related illness like muscle cramps, headaches, nausea or vomiting.


Read more at the Centers for Disease Control.



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