Financial Health: Are you ready for Retirement?

hands on headMost people have very little tucked away for retirement, and many aren’t even trying to figure out how much they’ll need later in life, a new national survey reveals.

About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60% of workers have less than $25,000, according to a telephone survey of 1,000 workers and 501 retirees from the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates.

Only 44% say they or their spouses have tried to calculate how much money they’ll need to save by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in their golden years, the survey shows. Workers who have done calculations on what they need to save tend to have higher levels of savings than those who haven’t crunched the numbers.

“There’s an incredible difference between those lucky enough to have a retirement plan and those who don’t,” says Jack VanDerhei, the institute’s research director and co-author of the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey. “What’s really striking is that 73% of those without a retirement plan, such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b), have less than $1,000 in savings and investments.”

The reason defined benefits weren’t included in the total is most people don’t know how much those are worth, he says.

Many people realize that they are not on track in saving for retirement, and the two most important reasons they give for not saving more are cost of living and day-to-day expenses, VanDerhei says.

People’s confidence that they’ll have a comfortable retirement has risen slightly after record lows of the last five years, with 18% of workers in 2014 saying they are very confident they can retire comfortably, up from 13% who were very confident in 2013. Meanwhile, 24% are not at all confident they have enough saved for a comfortable retirement, about the same as 2013.

Retirement confidence is present mostly in people with higher incomes and in those with retirement plans, VanDerhei says.

The survey “highlights the impending retirement crisis that we will face over the next 20 years,” says Mark Fried, president of TFG Wealth Management in Newtown, Pa. “When I see these numbers I have ask the question: How did we get here? We need more financial education in the schools, in the media, in the workplace.”

If possible, people 40 and older should try to save up to 20% of their income, he says. “If you can’t afford to do that right now then set this as a target, and as you get annual raises put aside part of each raise until you reach the 20% number,” Fried says.

Invest in your company’s retirement account up to the match. One of the best ways to increase your retirement savings is to take advantage of your employer match if you have one, he says.

John Piershale, a certified financial planner at Piershale Financial Group of Crystal Lake, Ill., says: “Try to imagine how much you are going to need to have saved up to last you 20 to 30 years during retirement. The only way you can figure that out is do some retirement calculations. We help clients figure this out.”

If people are way behind in saving for retirement, they may need to work longer at their current job or get a second job to help fill the savings gap. Piershale says. “If you had the idea that you were going to retire at 62 or 65, and you don’t have enough saved up, then you have to keep working.”

Other survey findings:

• Debt is weighing heavily on many people, with 58% of workers and 44% of retirees saying they have a problem with their level of debt.

• Like workers, many retirees are also short on funds, with 58% of them having less than $25,000 in savings and investments, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans (traditional pensions); and 29% having less than $1,000.

• Although 65% of workers plan to work for pay in retirement, only 27% of retirees say they are working for pay during their golden years.

Total savings and investments reported by workers, not including value of primary residence or defined benefit plans such as a traditional pension.

Less than $1,000, 36%

$1,000 to $9,999, 16%

$10,000 to $24,999, 8%

$25,000 to $49,999, 9%

$50,000 to $99,999, 9%

$100,000 to $249,999, 11%

$250,000 or more, 11%

Total savings and investments reported by retirees, not including value of primary residence or defined benefit plans such as traditional pensions:

Less than $1,000, 29%

$1,000 to $9,999, 17%

$10,000 to $24,999, 12%

$25,000 to $49,999, 8%

$50,000 to $99,999, 7%

$100,000 to $249,999, 11%

$250,000 or more, 17%

SOURCE: USA TODAY

What Happens to Your Cells when you Flood them with great Shaklee Nutrition?

What happens when you flood your cells with great Shaklee nutrition?

When you first introduce superior Shaklee supplements to your nutrient-starved cells, the results can be dramatic!

The first thing your cells will do is start dumping toxins. (Make sure you are drinking plenty of Get Clean Water to facilitate this natural detox process.)

Once your cells are cleaner, they can absorb and utilize the Shaklee nutrients you are feeding them for maximum health effects. You will quickly start boosting your body’s natural defenses against disease through optimal cellular nutrition. By providing ALL essential nutrients to the cell at optimal levels, you are allowing it to decide what it actually does and does not need. In this way, you can make sure that your cells will no longer suffer from any nutritional deficiencies because nutrient levels will automatically be corrected within a few months of regaining optimal cell nutrition.

Healthy-and-Unhealty-Live-Blood-Cells-AnaylasisYou’ll feel “better” which means healthier, more alert, and even happier, thanks to an improved immune system.As toxins are removed, you’ll start to feel “lighter” because your organs are beginning to work better.

Ultimately, you’ll have LOTS more energy because your blood circulation has improved, nutrients and oxygen are flooding your cells, and your body systems are operating efficiently… at last! 

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ENJOY!!!!

Sick, Slow, Hungry Cells

Healthy-and-Unhealty-Live-Blood-Cells-AnaylasisIt is no secret that Americans are overfed and undernourished. What is passing as food these days is so over processed that most of the nutrients are lost. Fresh produce is shipped from all corners of the earth, picked too soon so all the vital nutrients our cells need to function are not fully actualized in the fruit or vegetable. Plus, the soil just doesn’t contain all the nutrients it did just 50 years ago.  It is no surprise then that a quality supplement to our diets is needed just to meet the daily minimum of what our cells need to function properly.  Just look around you, or maybe in the mirror.

“The top three leading causes of death in the United States are from lifestyle choices.” -C.D.C.

Where do you start when trying to pick the best supplement for you and your family? Unfortunately most people start with price. It is understandable that money can be tight so a two for one deal can sound like a sweet score. But the problem is that all supplements are not created equal. In fact, economy brands can do more harm than good since there is no regulation on what companies can claim is in their products or how well they work. We don’t know what fillers they are using, what combination of ingredients they are using and in what quantities. There is little to no quality control to prove efficacy, potency, or purity. Pretty scary. Luckily there is one company who’s philosophy is to live in harmony with nature and the Golden Rule. Their products are tested at every level, from the raw material right through to the final product for purity, potency, and efficacy. That’s a relief! Finally a company with integrity who’s interest is to actually help people be healthier.

“What we  put in our bodies is one of the most intimate things we do. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you are putting pure, natural, and potent nutrients in your body to feed our hungry cells? That is possible with Shaklee.”

But don’t take my word for it.  In a 2007 Landmark Study conducted by the University of Berkley’s School of Public Health, and published in a renowned peer review journal, participants were studied over 30 years. Non supplement users, single supplement users, and then Shaklee users. It is worth noting here that at the time of the study the Shaklee supplement users were on average ten years older (averaging 63 years of age) than the rest of the group (about 53 years old). Across the board in every health category Shaklee supplement users had markedly better health than the other two groups!

“In some instances the non-supplement users had better bio-markers than the single supplement users. But across the board, Shaklee users healthy bio-markers blew the scientists away.”

After the study was concluded the leaders at Shaklee combined most of the supplements the participants were using and combined them into a daily strip, Vitalizer, so that it would be easy for everyone to fill their cells with the proper nutrients so you can go out and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Shaklee Leads the Way in Animal Free Clinical Research with Cornell University

nutriferonCase Study, Cornell University and NUTRIFERON

While clinical studies are the gold standard for determining the effectiveness of a drug or a nutrient, it is sometimes difficult to avoid animal studies if you want to determine how that drug or nutrient works. And those basic “mechanism of action” studies are often a necessary prelude to the clinical studies. That is why Shaklee’s commitment not to use any animal studies in the testing of their products is so important.

If you are passionate about reducing the use of animals in research, you will be particularly impressed with Shaklee’s latest research project. Shaklee wanted to do some basic research on how Nutriferon works to prevent viral infections in the lung. So they contacted scientists at Cornell University to do those experiments. Shaklee contacted those particular scientists to do the experiments because they were world experts in the field of immunology, and they were world experts in the development of model systems that can be used in the place of animal studies.
The scientists asked Shaklee if they would first support their research in developing an animal-free
model system for determining how the airway epithelium (in layman’s terms this refers to the layers of cells that line the lungs and windpipe) responds to viral infections. Shaklee agreed to support the research at Cornell in developing a model of the human airway epithelium – even though that research itself did not involve any Shaklee products and was, therefore, of no direct benefit to Shaklee. The Cornell scientists have published their first paper using this human airway epithelium (HAE) model system. (Palmero et al., Journal of Virology, 83: 6900-6908). That particular paper showed how the lungs respond to a particular type of parainfluenza virus that is responsible for croup and bronchitis in children.

Shaklee’s support in the development of the HAE model system was acknowledged in that paper and will be acknowledged in all future papers using that model system. Of course, the research didn’t stop there. Shaklee also supported a research project by the same scientists to determine how Nutriferon helps the lungs resist infection by flu viruses.

I can’t release all of the results of that study yet because the study has not yet been published. But I can tell you that the study showed that Nutriferon activates “natural killer cells” when a flu virus infects lung tissue. This is a significant finding because, as their name suggests, natural killer cells play an important role in “killing” the flu virus. We already knew that Nutriferon helped fight viral infections, but we didn’t know how. This research is an important part of the proof that Nutriferon is effective.

Shaklee’s support in the development of the HAE model system was acknowledged in that paper and will be acknowledged in all future papers using that model system. Of course, the research didn’t stop there. Shaklee also supported a research project by the same scientists to determine how Nutriferon helps the lungs resist infection by flu viruses. I can’t release all of the results of that study yet because the study has not yet been published. But I can tell you that the study showed that Nutriferon activates “natural killer cells” when a flu virus infects lung tissue. This is a significant finding because, as their name suggests, natural killer cells play an important role in “killing” the flu virus. We already knew that Nutriferon helped fight viral infections, but we didn’t know how. This research is an important part of the proof that Nutriferon is effective.

In Summary:
1) Shaklee has supported fundamental research at Cornell University into the development of a model
system that allows scientists to test how human lung tissue responds to viral infections – and without the
use of animals.
2) This study is significant in itself because it will allow scientists across the world to answer important
scientific questions that cannot be addressed in clinical trials – and the lives of many thousands of
laboratory animals will be spared in the process.
3) This is yet another example of Shaklee’s commitment to supporting research that advances scientific
knowledge – not just research that can be used in the marketing of their products. This commitment to true
science is unique among food supplement companies.
4) These same scientist went on to use this model system to show that Nutriferon protects human lung
tissue from viral infection by activating natural killer cells which destroy the virus.
5) This provides even stronger evidence of the effectiveness of Nutriferon by showing how it works.

To your health!

Dr. Stephen Chaney, Phd

Dr. Chaney has a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and a PhD in Biochemistry from UCLA. He currently holds the rank of Professor at a major university. Dr. Chaney has taught biochemistry to medical and dental students for more that 30 years and has won several awards for teaching excellence. He runs an active cancer research program and has published over 100 scientific articles and reviews in peer reviewed scientific journals. He has also written two chapters on nutrition for a popular medical biochemistry textbook.

Fluoride Toothpaste for Children- What do you know about it?

toothpasteTOOTHPASTES

Over 95% of the toothpaste sold in the U.S. now contains fluoride, with many grocery stores carrying few if any non-fluoridated brands. The use of fluoride toothpaste, particularly during early childhood, presents health risks. This is why the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US.

Risks from ingesting fluoride toothpaste include permanent tooth discoloration (dental fluorosis), stomach ailments, acute toxicity, skin rashes (perioral dermatitis), and impairment in glucose metabolism. All of these risks have been unnecessarily increased by the marketing practices of toothpaste manufacturers, who use cartoon packaging and candy-flavors to target *adult-strength* fluoride toothpaste to young *children.* The dental community’s failure to educate the public about the dangers of swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste has further exacerbated the problem.

A Major Source of Children’s Daily Fluoride Intake

Fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. generally contain between 1,100 and 1,450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride (the equivalent of over 1 mg of fluoride for each gram of paste). Although the fine print on the back of the toothpaste tube instructs users not to swallow and to use only a “pea-sized” amount, advertisements continue to depict heaping swirls of paste on the brush, (Basch 2013), and manufacturers continue to market fluoride toothpastes in bubble-gum, fruit, and candy-like flavors. Using child-appealing flavors is particularly dangerous because young children have poorly developed swallowing reflexes, and invariably swallow large amounts of the paste they add to the brush.

Not surprisingly, numerous studies have found that many children ingest a significant amount of fluoride each day from toothpaste alone. According to the Journal of Public Health Dentistry: “Virtually all authors have noted that some children could ingest more fluoride from [toothpaste] alone than is recommended as a total daily fluoride ingestion.” (Levy 1999).

A Major Risk Factor for Dental Fluorosis

One side effect from swallowing too much fluoride is dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a defect in tooth enamel caused by excessive fluoride intake during the tooth-forming years (age 0 to 8). In its mild forms, dental fluorosis presents as cloudy white splotches and streaks on the teeth, while in its moderate and severe forms, fluorosis can cause extensive brown and black staining along with pitting and crumbling of the enamel. Children who ingest a lot of toothpaste (whether accidentally or purposefully), can develop the disfiguring brown and black stains of advanced fluorosis, particularly if they also drink fluoridated water. Fluorosis on the front teeth, even in its “mild” forms, but especially in its severe forms, can cause self-esteem problems for a child, particularly when they reach adolescence.

Acute Poisoning

In 1997, the FDA ordered toothpaste manufacturers to add a poison warning on all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. The warning reads:

“Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”

The FDA requires this warning because children who swallow too much fluoride toothpaste can suffer acute poisoning, even death. In fact, a single tube of bubble-gum flavored Colgate-for-Kids toothpaste contains enough fluoride (143 mg) to kill a child weighing less than 30 kg. (Whitford 1987a).

While fatalities from fluoride ingestion are rare (the last reported death occurred in 2002), bouts of acute fluoride poisoning are not. Acute fluoride poisoning, which occurs at doses as low as 0.1 to 0.3 mg per kg of bodyweight, generally presents in the form of gastric pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms. (Akiniwa 1997; Gessner 1994). A child weighing 10 kg would only need to ingest 1 to 3 grams of paste (less than 3% of a tube of Colgate-for-Kids) to experience one or more of these symptoms.

Although it is believed that many poisoning incidents from fluoride toothpaste go undiagnosed and unreported (Shulman 1997), the number of calls to Poison Control Centers in the U.S. for fluoride poisonings from toothpaste has skyrocketed since the FDA issued its poison warning. Indeed, in the early 1990s (prior to the FDA’s warning), there were about 1,000 poisoning reports each year from fluoride toothpaste. (Shulman 1997). Today, there are over 23,000 reports a year, resulting in hundreds of emergency room treatments.

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Is Our Love of Almonds Causing the California Drought?

almonds warning

Three days ago I made almond milk from scratch. I was so proud of myself I took a photo of it to share on Facebook. I never posted it though realizing there were crumbs from my experiment glaringly in the background.   With two kids that needed to get into bed, the crumbs remained until the morning and my beautiful carafe of fresh almond milk never got it’s Facebook debut. How would the world know how crunchy and earth friendly I am without posting that picture?!

Then as fate would have it, that very next morning I saw an article from the Atlantic Magazine, The Dark Side of Almond Use, where author James Hamblin, MD, discuses that while almonds are good for our health, and we as a nation are eating them in unprecedented numbers, almonds are grown in drought stricken California.  And to grow, almonds need a lot of water. In fact almond farms consume 1.1 trillion tons of water each year, about 1% of all of California’s water. The toll our thirst for almonds has on the environment is enough to raise alarm. Salmon stocks are dwindling having to compete with almonds for water and pollinating bees are being killed by the millions due to pesticide use. Hamblin really summed it up best,

“Thinking about going easy on almonds is sort of analogous to GMO dilemmas or buying organic, where the point isn’t really nutrition, it’s environmental consciousness and sustainability, which always come back to water.”

With the green movement well into its years, people are more conscious of recycling, composting, and feeling good about doing their part, but the effect of farm practices on the food we eat and the effects on the environment are still in it’s toddlerhood. The old equations of:

Recycled + Sustainable = Good to use

Nutrition = Good to eat

are on their way out. We are headed in a new direction. Where healthy for me no longer equals healthy for the environment. A new equation might be:

Nutritious + Sustainable  x (Low Environmental Impact + Low water usage) + Living Wages + Human Animal Husbandry/distance from farm to table  = Acceptable food to eat

Is there an app yet for rating food based on this meticulously developed algorithm? Probably not, but I would bet there will be one shortly, where you can scan the barcode of any food and learn its sustainablity rating. So what does all this have to do with my almond milk experiment? Well perhaps I won’t be in such a hurry to make it again…or purchase almonds in the giant bulk quantity that I do. Maybe I will just use water on my cereal and in my shakes…cut out the middle man and go straight to the source.

But in all seriousness, the water debate (and water crisis) is not going to go away. Instead of having multi-national corporations and governments deciding on who gets use of the water, perhaps it’s time for We the People to start shaping how we want the water debate to unfold.  I’m putting my thinking cap on, I hope you do too. 

 

Flintstone Vitamins Contributing to ADD, ADHD, and Hyperactivity?

When I hear that a friend’s pediatrician recommends Flintstone vitamins to their kids my stomach cringes, much in the same way that poor kid’s stomach will after eating that crap.   Parents just want to do what is best for their kids so when they hear their doctor’s recommend or they see on the bottle “#1 Pediatrician Recommended” what are they supposed to think? That those “vitamins” must be the best. Unfortunately, they are far from that, I would go as far to say they are the worst. So why are they recommended? I have no idea.

Most doctors in this country receive about 2.5 hours of nutritional training in all their schooling. That’s right. Just 2.5 hours. I have spent more time conducting research for this article.

What exactly is in Flintstone “vitamins”  (I use that word loosely, as the better term would be candy)? After we walk through all the junk in Flintstones we are going to discuss why then on God’s green earth would Dr’s recommend this garbage. Here is the Ingredients list:

FLINTSTONES Gummies Directions: Children 2 to 3 years of age: Chew one gummy daily.

INGREDIENTS: Glucose Syrup, Sucrose, Gelatin, Water; Less Than 2% Of: Artificial Flavors, Ascorbic Acid, Bees Wax, Carnauba Wax, Citric Acid, D-Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vegetable Oil (coconut or palm), Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Sulfate.

See all those dyes and artificial flavoring? In a recent article published in Parents Magazine, The Food-dye Blues, artificial colors and artificial flavorings were under scrutiny for causing and/or contributing to ADD and ADHD. Studies done both abroad and nationally are starting to confirm what parents are finding; that when they eliminate artificial colors and flavors from their children’s diets their attention, attitudes and health become better.

Artificial colors are derived from petroleum and coal tar. Yes, you heard me. Petroleum. Coal tar. And we are feeding this to our children. About eight of the artificial colors this country still uses has been banned in other countries.  Red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #1, among others are replaced with natural food colorings such as beetroots and paprika. So tell me, why are artificial colors and flavors added to most children’s vitamins? Specifically why are the “#1Recommended byPediatrician” vitamins, Flintstones? 

I decided to conduct my own experiment on the nutritional value of Flintstones vs other brand vitamins. A true vitamin, or supplement, should have live enzymes in them, meaning that the integrity of the fruit and vegetable cells in the supplement should still be in tact, as if you were to eat that actual food. What happens to fruits and vegetables when you leave them out? Because they are alive, bacteria and mold start to eat the food. For a good supplement, that should also happen. You should expect to see mold.

20140627_075443

Left to right: Flintstones Gummies, Centrum flavor bursts, Shaklee’s Incredivites, Max and Ruby, Yummy Bears. This was day one. For each group the one on the left I put directly on the paper, the one on the right I put in my mouth for five seconds to help it to start breaking down. For the Centrum one I had to bite it in half since it was coated in a candy shell. Notice how for the grouping in the middle, the Incredivites started to oxidize immediately. The rest stayed exactly the same.

20140713_075848

This next photo is two weeks in. The Flintstones Vitamin, the Centrum Bursts, and the organic Yummy Bears are all the same, not one is breaking down, not one is full of life giving nutrients, just some over cooked goop. The Ruby ones turned black but that was it, no molding. The Shaklee Incredivites started molding just a few days in. They are molding like you would expect a fruit or a vegetable would, because it is the only vitamin of the group that is cold pressed to keep the nutrients. The others, as you can see, clearly are not.

So you can see why I get upset when Doctors recommend something that pretty much is void of nutritional value. You might ask why we need to give a child a food supplement to begin with, and that is a great question which will be answered fully in a coming article, but the gist is this, children can be picky eaters and even for those who are great eaters our food is just not as nutritionally sound as it was just 50 years ago. One thing Pediatricians have gotten right is recommending that children take a vitamin, what they haven’t figured out yet are the best ones.  I believe they are recommending them because they just don’t know better. They have other things on their minds. But now you know so you can choose wisely.

If you are interested in the Shaklee Incredivites for your children, you can learn more about and purchase them here. They are what I give to my two healthy, happy, and curious kiddos.  I started using the Shaklee food supplements for myself years ago, I had such great results that I became a distributor, and from the above article, you can see why! It’s important to share the information about what we are putting into our families. We have a right to know what we are consuming.