February is the month of love. Millions of couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day or get married this month, and couples spend an average of $260 on cards, flowers, jewelry and other gifts. Those gifts could include life insurance. It’s not the first gift you think of when you consider romance, but it’s a good way to express your love to the important people in your life. In fact, you could think of life insurance as love insurance. Seventy-five percent of life insurance purchasers buy a policy because of love. This February, show your love with a life insurance policy, too.
Life Insurance for Yourself
When you buy a life insurance policy for yourself, you give your loved ones financial security and peace of mind. While life insurance benefits don’t replace you, they are a small way you can continue to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. Your beneficiaries can use the money for miscellaneous purposes, including daily living expenses, an emergency fund for the future, debt repayment, school tuition or retirement account funding.
Life Insurance for Your Fiancé or Spouse
Maybe you won’t give your fiancé a life insurance policy along with the engagement ring, and a policy is probably not the first thing you buy together as a newly married couple. However, life insurance is an expression of your love and care. Your partner can choose the beneficiary and provide financial assistance to children or aging parents. The policy payout could also repay your partner’s outstanding debts, fund a favorite charity, cover end of life expenses or boost your retirement savings.
Life Insurance for Your Children
Kids have their whole lives in front of them, but they aren’t immune to birth defects, accidents and diseases like cancer. You can’t protect your kids from everything, but you can give them life insurance. A child’s life insurance policy can pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses and other end of life arrangements. It can also be donated in your child memory to his or her favorite charity or be used for the educational costs of surviving siblings. Whole life insurance policies also grow with your child. When they turn 21, they take over the policy and keep the same coverage or purchase additional insurance for their future.
This February, purchase life Insurance for your loved ones. A policy can cost less per day than your daily coffee, and it provides peace of mind. It’s a loving gift that keeps on giving. Discuss available policies with your insurance agent today.
The pandemic has been a mixed bag for pets, with adoption rates souring during the lock-down periods. Conversely, shelters are reporting unprecedented numbers of abandoned pets, presumably when people go back to work.
Owning a pet is rewarding for your entire family. To celebrate National Responsible Pet Owners Month this February, consider the tips.
Encourage Shelter Adoption
Every year, millions of pets are placed in shelters. Instead of buying a pet from a mill or breeder, visit your local shelter and encourage your family and friends to adopt their next pet from a shelter.
Spay or Neuter
Prevent overpopulation and improve your pet’s health and behavior when you spay or neuter it.
See the Veterinarian
Regular veterinary check-ups help your pet stay healthy. You can also use these visits to gather important information about your pet’s health. Additionally, keep your vet’s phone number on speed dial for easy access during a pet emergency.
A microchip assists you in finding lost or stolen pets, so consider getting one this month. You can also give your pet a collar ID tag with your name and phone number.
Feed a Nutritional Diet
Quality food, treats and supplements give your pet the nourishment it needs for health, wellness and weight management. Discuss your pet’s specific dietary needs with your veterinarian, and follow his or her recommendations.
Every pet needs grooming. Clean or bathe your pet, trim its nails, brush its teeth, and wipe out its ears as you help your pet looks and feel its best.
Train your Dog
Teach your dog basic obedience to reduce behavior problems and strengthen your bond.
Many pets need exercise and movement throughout the day to reduce behavior problems and stay healthy and happy.
Carry bags so you can clean up after your pet if it goes to the bathroom outdoors. This responsible action prevents the spread of disease and maintains a clean environment.
Pet Proof your Home
Most pets are naturally curious and like to explore, so take steps to ensure your pet remains safe. Use pet-friendly cleaning products, remove choking hazards, research houseplants for toxicity to pets, and purchase pet-safe toys.
Teach Kids to Respect Animals
Children can be rough with pets, so supervise young children as they play with pets. Also, train kids to show respect to animals, and remind your children to ask for permission before touching a strange dog.
Purchase Pet Insurance
Afford expensive yet necessary medical care for your pet when you purchase pet insurance.
Provide a crate, harness or other safety gear when you travel in the car with your beloved pet. Remember to pack its favorite food, a water dish and toys, too.
These tips help you care for your pet properly. They also help you celebrate National Responsible Pet Owners Month.
Whether you’re a hugger by nature or prefer not to be touched, your physical and mental health benefit when you celebrate National Hug Day, held annually on January 21. Give a few hugs this day and every day as you improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Increase Oxygen Flow
Touch increases your body’s hemoglobin, and it carries oxygen to all your body’s organs. With oxygen, your body’s able to fight diseases as it recovers from illness.
Reduce Physical Pain
UCLA Pain Control unit’s Dr. David Bresler see the need for physical touch. He prescribes bear hugs four times a day as part of his patients’ pain management treatment plan. To give and receive a bear hug and reduce your physical pain, he suggests you face your partner and use both of your arms to fully embrace him or her.
Improve Mental Health
Hugging releases oxytocin, an important hormone that affects your mental health and wellbeing. With it, you feel happier and less anxious.
A study performed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researched the responses of 50 people after a stressful event. Part of the group held hands and hugged for 20 seconds while the rest of the participants sat quietly and did not touch. When asked to recall a recent stressful event, the cuddlers experienced lower heart rates and blood pressure readings then the non-cuddlers. You, too, will enjoy reduced stress when you hug.
Instead of fighting insomnia or relying on sleeping pills, participate in a few hugs every day. They relax your body and your emotions so that you can enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Hugging stimulates your skin’s nerve endings, which allows them to signal your brain to slow cortisol release. It’s a hormone that fights stress, builds your immune system, reduces inflammation and assists you in living longer.
Hugs do more than show affection. They also improve your physical and mental health. Implement them into your daily routine on National Hug Day, and talk to your doctor about additional ways you can be healthy and whole.
From all of us here at Scurich, we thank you for your support and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2022!
With the launch of a new year, you may resolve to improve your career and expand your skills, mentor someone or climb the corporate ladder. Have you considered workplace resolutions that improve your health? Stay strong, fit and active and succeed on the job with several resolutions.
Learn Something New
Stimulate your brain function, improve memory and stay young when you learn something new. Study a new language, take a college or professional development class or engage in a new hobby during your work breaks as you expand your mind and improve your health.
Change Your Eating Habits
Skipping breakfast, chowing on donuts in the break room and eating fast food for lunch cause you to gain weight, feel sluggish and struggle to focus at work. Resolve to make dietary changes as you improve your health. Prepare portable burritos or egg muffins for breakfast, bring nuts and fruit for snack time and pack a balanced lunch. These simple eating habit changes assist you in staying healthy at work this year.
Your body and your brain need movement to function properly. Adequate movement improves your physical health, focus and sleep, so plan to walk at least 10,000 steps per day with these tips.
- Hold walking meetings.
- Pace your office as you talk on the phone.
- Stretch every 30 minutes.
- Walk during breaks.
- Join an intramural sports league with your coworkers.
Stress affects your motivation, productivity and morale, and it can cause health problems like headaches, obesity and depression. While you can’t remove all stress from your work day, resolve to identify unhealthy stressors and reduce those challenges. That may mean transferring to a different department, addressing problems with your boss or rethinking expectations and saying no to extra projects as you lower stress and improve your health.
Achieve Better Work-Life Balance
Productivity, creativity and problem-solving skills actually decrease as your work hours increase because your brain and body need downtime to relax and recharge. Instead of working over your lunch hour, take a walk, read a book or call a friend, and turn off your phone at home. With work-life balance, you actually relax, improve your health and perform better at work.
Strong relationships reduce health problems, improve sleep and increase longevity, so resolve to cultivate beneficial relationships with your coworkers. As you get social and chat more, improve collaboration and spend time together during breaks, you build relationships that help you live longer.
With these work resolutions, you can get healthy this year. You may also talk to your doctor or health insurance agent to discover additional resolutions that improve your health.
Christmas isn’t the same without lights. Strands of sparkling lights can be hazardous, though, if you forget to follow safety tips as you hang, plug in, store and enjoy these holiday essentials.
Buy lights that are safety tested. Lights without an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) tag may be unsafe to plug in and use.
Inspect lights and plug them in before hanging them. This visual assessment exposes fire hazards like cracked, loose or broken bulbs and frayed, chewed or broken cords. It also lets you replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all the bulbs are the same wattage. After repairing any problems, plug in the lights to ensure the bulbs work and the strands work properly.
Separate indoor and outdoor lights. Strands designed for indoor use should not be hung outdoors because their thin insulation is easily damaged when exposed to cold, wet outdoor conditions.
Hang lights with insulated hooks. Staples, tacks or nails can pierce the strands and cause dangerous electrical shorts and increase the fire risk.
Use extension cords properly. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each extension cord, lay rather than coil extension cords and use only outdoor certified extension cords for your outdoor lights. If the cords feel hot, unplug the lights for a while to reduce fire risk.
Turn off lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Otherwise, the hot lights could start a fire, and you will be asleep or away from home and unable to intervene.
Water the tree regularly. A dry tree and hot lights are an unsafe combination.
Store lights properly to prevent damage and simplify decorating next year. Instead of stuffing them in a box, carefully wind the light strands, secure them with twist ties and store them in plastic bags. Alternatively, wrap the strands around a paper towel tube and thread the ends through the tube’s hollow center.
Hanging lights is a fun and festive holiday tradition. With these safety tips, you have peace of mind as you enjoy your sparkling home all season.
December holiday celebrations often include an obligatory office party. Before you automatically throw a holiday party for your employees, though, consider the pros and cons.
Pros of a Holiday Office Party
- Reinforce the company culture – A fun party reminds employees that your organization prioritizes teamwork and is a fun place to work.
- Improve employee engagement – Help employees feel included and engaged with co-workers, two factors that contribute to higher job performance and company loyalty.
- Demonstrate the company’s health – A holiday party is one way to show employees that your company is stable, prosperous and committed to ongoing job security.
- Thank employees – Use a holiday party to thank employees for their hard work over the last year.
Cons of a Holiday Office Party
- Diversity could suffer – Most employees hang out with the colleagues they know during social events. That means your holiday office party probably won’t help employees mingle or build stronger relationships with colleagues they don’t know well.
- Employees could engage in unprofessional behavior – A holiday office party is considered a workplace event, but employees may act in an unprofessional manner. They could let down their guard and drink too much, make unwanted sexual comments or advances, and otherwise act in inappropriate ways.
- You could face liability challenges – Forcing employees to attend the holiday office party, excluding employees of a certain religion, gender or other protected status, or allowing employees to drink too much could result in a lawsuit. Even though you have commercial liability insurance, this or a similar legal challenge could affect your company into the future.
- Productive work time decreases – The holiday party may only last a few hours, but carefully consider if your company can afford the downtime.
How to Decide if you Should Host a Party
While you can use this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should host a holiday office party, you can also consider several additional factors.
Do employees really want a party? Despite the benefits, your employees may prefer not to attend an obligatory holiday office party.
Should you serve alcohol? To reduce liability and promote a safer party, consider giving each employee a drink ticket and hire a bartender who can monitor alcohol consumption. Or nix the alcohol and serve an interesting non-alcoholic beverage instead.
What’s the best way to show appreciation to your employees? An afternoon off, sporting event tickets or cash bonus might be a more appreciated way of demonstrating your gratitude to employees.
A holiday office party has several advantages and disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons as you decide whether or not to host one this year.