Nearly nine years ago, I wrote the first issue of Retirement Millionaire.
Since then, one piece of advice has shaped how I share my knowledge of ways to improve your health and wealth: Take care of yourself.
Longtime readers know I advocate educating yourself so that you can be in charge of your life. No one else will want to take care of you as much as you want to take care of yourself. And a recent e-mail from a reader reminded me of this:
I have run into many retirement money managers who eloquently describe what they will do for me. Then I learn that they turn over my account and I become safe in the pool!
Now retired, but the mission of the medical device company that I ran was "we help our customers save lives." That mission drove my team to do the right thing at all times despite the costs. I know how committed the Stansberry team is to helping their subscribers to not only manage their money but to also feel confident about doing it.
I deeply appreciate what you folks have done for me and my family. – M.T.
Thanks for the reminder to look after yourself, M.T. I'm glad we've helped you take control of your financial future.
Have you taken control of your health and wealth? Tell us how at [email protected].
Q: Wills are not nearly as valuable as trusts. If someone has assets over $100K, a will can trigger probate where you will lose – and I guarantee this – at least 50-70% of the assets involved.
Just a summary of assets – which is nothing more than putting symbols in Yahoo Finance and going to a local real estate office to check real estate prices – both very cheap instead cost $175K when it was done by Kemper. Trusts and LLCs are the way to go – I have sold real estate for over 12 years, so I have worked contract law for many years. Trust me, don't make your readers deal with Probate. – C.R.
A: Hi C.R... I think you may have missed something in our issue. You see, the essay "Your Kids Need a Lawyer and a Plan" was written for (and by) the younger folks... those in their 20s and 30s. As my researcher told me, her lawyer asked about her assets and estate value. Turns out she and her husband don't have enough to make a trust worth getting just yet.
However, I think it's a great teaching point that you brought up. If you're helping your kids with these documents, make sure to help them make a list of their assets. Don't forget things like life insurance policies as well. You can find a great list to guide you in our December 2016 issue of Retirement Millionaire. Subscribers can find it here. (If you aren't a subscriber, try a trial subscription here.)
Depending on what your kids have, it could be that a trust or an LLC is a better, and safer, way to preserve their assets. The sites we recommended, like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, offer living-trust planning and more educational pieces. LegalZoom even offers a step-by-step guide to find the right plan for you or your kids. Find it here.
Our biggest takeaway here... Get your kids to start planning sooner rather than later. Even a simple will is better than nothing at all.
Q: First, I'd like to say thank you again for all the useful and well-researched information you provide. I really appreciate your approach.
I wanted to share what I find to be a breathtakingly simple and inexpensive way to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer. Wear ear plugs. To me this not only blocks out the noises that could potentially interrupt our sleep, it also provides a degree of "sensory deprivation" you have mentioned that I find makes it much easier to fall asleep in the first place. Best of all, you can't beat the minimal cost and no worries about side effects. – D.S.
A: Very rarely do I sleep with earplugs as I make sure my house (especially my bedroom) is quiet. However, I travel with foam ones that lower sound to about 29 dB, just in case. Some hotel rooms can be noisy and, since they weigh next to nothing, they're not a nuisance to travel with.
Q: I know much of your focus in life is how to make life better through better, informed choices. Your perspectives on many issues has gained my respect. Thusly, I am writing to ask you if you have read the book Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter. His ideas related to diet and the possibility of a healthier existence have gained my interest. I'm wondering what your take might be regarding his perspectives detailed in the book. – G.S.
A: I've read Grain Brain and have recommended it to folks.
Here's the thing to remember... cutting out foods will always be pitched as the latest "feel great" fad out there. Cut out grains... cut out dairy... cut out red meat... I don't know about you, but I'm not about to give up on ever having pancetta ravioli again.
That being said, there is evidence some folks may have an intolerance or allergy to certain foods. If you have symptoms like gas, nausea, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, or headaches after eating certain foods, try going a few weeks without. That's where books like Grain Brain help – they often include ways to cut out a certain food easily, with recipes and suggested replacements.
I do agree that cutting back on grains, particularly highly-processed ones, will benefit anyone. Especially white flour – it overtaxes our systems and leads to inflammation.
Just don't forget my rule of moderation... If you cut out most grains, you'll still need to get things like fiber and carbohydrates from other sources. That applies to any food you remove from your diet. If you cut out dairy, you'll have to get more calcium from other sources like spinach and fish.
So if cutting out grains sounds like it might help, try it for two weeks. We'd love to hear your results. And don't forget, we also recommend tracking your meals (when and what you eat) and symptoms to see if there's a connection. Apps like mySymptoms or even a simple pen and paper will help.
What We're Reading...
- Have you started our walking challenge yet?
- Something different: What happens when a Large Hadron Collider electrocutes a weasel.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
February 3, 2017