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The Dollars and Sense of Good Health in Bad Times

Written by Wellness Club on December 10, 2008 – 8:44 pm -

The Dollars and Sense of Good Health in Bad Times

Opinion by Nurse Mark

Times are tough.

Maybe your luck in that legalized gambling that is Wall Street has run out.

Maybe you don’t dabble in stocks and bonds, but you are affected none-the-less by the rising costs – your employer or your business is taking a hit.

Winter is upon us in most parts of our country, and that means heating season: fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, they are all costing more this year.

A trip to the grocery store is more expensive this year than it was last year.

Clothing, school supplies, utilities, services – all more expensive than ever.

What’s a person to do? Cut back. Economize.

Everyone is having to cut back – businesses, services, families, working folk, retirees, – everyone is economizing, making do with less, tightening their belts.

Where do we look when we want to cut back? The extras. The luxuries. The non-essentials.

We don’t cut the essentials:

We don’t stop heating our homes; that would be foolish – the pipes might freeze and then we’d really have an expense.

We don’t stop maintaining our cars; that would be a false economy – if the engine seizes for want of oil or the brakes fail for want of service then we lose our means of getting to work to earn our livings.

We don’t stop buying groceries; doing without food is not an option!

So where do many folks cut back?

When times get tough many people look to the things that they consider to be non-essential, and unfortunately vitamins and supplements fall into that category in the minds of a lot of folks.

After all, they reason, they eat a good diet, their health is OK right now, and right now, those vitamins and supplements seem expensive – but if they need a doctor visit or prescription drugs they have their "health insurance" plan to tap, and if they should get sick they have their sick days and other benefits from their employer… so, the insurance "pays".

But let’s look at this line of reasoning for a moment.

Sure, your "health insurance" plan (if you are "fortunate" enough to have someone "making book" on your continued health) will pay for you to see a doctor – it might even pay for your prescription drugs if it’s a fancy enough plan. But that presumes that you are already sick. So, who "pays" for your misery of being sick?

Of course, you may have "sick days" accrued with your employer – some employers are positively generous with sick time. But again, you are sick, miserable, and not up to doing much of anything. And probably making everyone around you sick and miserable too.

Even if you do get some continuation of your pay, in the form of paid sick leave, when you are sick, does it really give you a full paycheck?

What if you are a waitress, working at minimum wage, but doing well from tips? Yep, you’ll get your base (minimum wage) pay – but what about those lost tips? Your employer isn’t going to cover that!

What if you are, say, a realtor? Or a car salesman? Or an insurance salesman? Your income depends on commissions. If you are not showing homes and closing deals, you are not earning commissions. Sure, someone else can take over a deal-in-progress, but you’ll probably give up the lion’s share of the commission…

Maybe you are an auto mechanic, working for a large dealership. Like the waitress, maybe you’ll get your base pay – but most mechanics now work on "flat rate" – a set amount of money paid for each "job". Get assigned a "brake job" and get paid $XX – get assigned a tune-up and get paid $X. If you are not there to be assigned the jobs? You lose.

Maybe you are a highly-paid, valuable executive – a CEO even. You will undoubtedly have a great "health insurance" plan. But while you are home, or out of the office for your medical appointments, who is covering your responsibilities? Who is looking after the reports and papers piling up on your desk? Who is meeting with the important people? Who is making the important decisions? What will the Board or the shareholders decide to do if you are "out" too long or if they become concerned about your long-term health?

So maybe you are self-employed – a plumber, lawyer, electrician, farmer, independent trucker, accountant, a flower shop owner, even a doctor – you know only too well that if you are sick and away from your work, there is no income. Sure, maybe the "hired help" can keep things going, but it just isn’t the same – things aren’t done right without your management, and overheads don’t stop just because you are sick. And what about the jobs or business that is lost while you are not there?

Then there is the thought, what if that "cold" or "flu" develops into something more serious? What about a bronchitis, or even a pneumonia? And that pneumonia leads to, say, congestive heart failure? And that keeps you off work for longer – maybe even even permanently?

Doesn’t it begin to make sense to do everything possible to give your health a fighting chance?

We lead busy, even hectic lives. We are stressed, our food is not has healthy as it should be, and we grab junky meals- on-the-go. We are surrounded by hacking, coughing, sneezing, sniffling sick people. We don’t get enough sleep, we don’t get enough exercise, we work in offices breathing stale, "canned" air or in factories breathing who-knows-what.

We need all the help we can get.

Your vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements are not a luxury. They help to protect you from the things that would make you have to use that "health insurance" plan (that is really a disease insurance plan) – with every illness really costing you money, and time, and misery.

You say that times are tight, and you can’t afford those "expensive" vitamins and supplements.

Can you really afford to not have them?

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