Trust Yourself… And No One Else

I’ve seen the worst of both worlds…

I’ve navigated the complexity of the financial system working for the most respected firm on Wall Street. And I’ve learned the inner workings of the U.S. health care system working as an eye surgeon.

And I can tell you… No one will ever care about your health and wealth as much as you do.

If you think agencies like Social Security or drug companies are looking out for you… you’re misguided at best… and, at worst, delusional.

In Retirement Millionaire Daily, we give you the tools and the information to take control of your own future.

In today’s issue, we’re backing up our assertion that supplements are more hazardous than helpful with hard science. And we explain how Social Security may take more of your money than you might think.

Are there companies you trust with your health and financial well-being? Tell us about them. Write us at [email protected].

Q: I have been taking quality supplements since I was in my late teens and I have never had more than a quick passing cold. I take a concentrated green-tea supplement that has numerous studies showing its effect on protecting DNA and even protecting from cancers. I believe that the incidents that are occurring may have to do with the fact that not all supplements are equal.

The company I purchase supplements from has a standardized system which certifies products to be free of these harmful ingredients and has standardized dosages… I agree that there are many unscrupulous companies that put questionable products on the market but as consumers the most important thing to realize is that it is our responsibility to research information on products we are ingesting. – S.A.

A: Thanks for writing in, S.A. We’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: You can’t trust drug companies to self-regulate their products. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) won’t get involved until after people start getting sick, or worse… start dying.

Last April, the FDA sent out letters to dietary-supplement makers warning about a recently banned drug called Beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA). BMPEA works similarly to the nerve stimulant drug amphetamine and leads to dangerous changes in blood pressure, which can cause strokes.

Some supplement makers, to their credit, pulled products with BMPEA off the shelf or changed their drug formulas to no longer contain BMPEA.

But one company that refused was GNC – one of the largest supplement companies in the U.S. GNC kept selling its BMPEA-containing products. Now it’s facing a massive lawsuit. And while it’s good to see the FDA cracking down on supplement companies, GNC is a large company. The FDA doesn’t have the time or the resources to go after every small-time snake-oil salesman.

If that isn’t enough to make you worry about your supplements, let me make one more point. Even drug companies that are regulated by outside authorities still suffer from something called reporting bias.

In 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published a shocking report on antidepressants. Researchers found that 31% of trials done on the drugs went unpublished. Doing so skewed positive results. So while looking at the published studies showed a 91% success rate for the drug… including all the unpublished studies dropped that success rate to just 51%.

Ask yourself… if drug companies with third-party regulations still fail to publish negative results, can we trust a self-regulated supplement company?

We don’t want to take that chance with our health. That’s why here at Retirement Millionaire Daily, we always recommend getting your nutrients from whole foods, not pills. And like S.A. wrote, the responsibility is ours to do the research. From what we’ve seen, there just isn’t enough evidence that most green-tea supplements are safe. Too many catechins cause liver damage. That’s why we recommend getting the right amount by drinking a warm cup of tea instead.

Q: Earn more than $34,000 in retirement and the Feds take 85%? – E.L.

A: We had quite a few subscribers write in about this one. In the first essay of our “Five Days for a Wealthy 2016” series, we wrote that people need to take control of their financial future because “no one will care about your wealth as much as you will.”

One thing we mentioned was that if you make more than $34,000, you lose 85% of it back to the federales in taxes.

We should clarify our statement…

If you’re receiving Social Security and are earning more than $34,000, you could owe federal income tax on up to 85% of your Social Security benefit. (You can see how Social Security details income levels and taxes here.) That’s a big portion of your Social Security benefit being taxed, just because you’re working.

The key takeaway here is that working while receiving Social Security benefits has bigger consequences than most people realize.

You can see a recent report from Social Security on how working in retirement affects your benefit here.

Q: Where can I find the Wealthy 2016 essays? – A.M.

A: We keep an archive of our issues on our website: We’ve also listed them here for your convenience.

Day 1: Take Control of Your Financial Future With “Five Days for a Wealthy 2016”
Day 2: How to Make a Dollar Grow to More Than You Can Imagine
Day 3: Wealth Grows on Its Own… But You Must Plant the Seeds
Day 4: The Fastest Way to Wealth Is to Do Nothing
Day 5: Skip the Nobel-Prize Mathematics and Make Your Most Important Wealth Decision in Minutes

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