What's the Retirement Millionaire Daily research team drinking?
Like responsible adults, most of my researchers enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage. So we spent some time this month discussing the health benefits of wine, beer, and whiskey.
A few people asked us why we're promoting alcoholism. More on that below...
We're also answering questions about how to save money on your Internet bill and why you don't get sunlight's benefits through a window.
Do you disagree with our advice? Or are you benefiting from our tips? Let us know at [email protected].
Q: Doc, how about the negative effects of alcohol! Seems as if you're condoning a lot of alcohol use as a benefit. How about if you let your readers know that excessive alcohol does liver damage, kidney damage, and sleep problems. – T.H.
A: This was only one of many similar e-mails telling us to stop condoning alcohol abuse. Funny, I don't remember recommending folks get drunk every night...
We've said it many times before, but we'll say it again: Moderation is key.
You see this all the time in medical studies, where the greatest benefits come from moderate amounts of alcohol, exercise, sleep, etc. Too much and too little can be dangerous – something called the "Goldilocks effect."
We don't recommend drinking to excess. One to two drinks a night is about average for most people. This can change based on your personal tolerance and health. And make sure to check your medications before imbibing – some drugs have nasty side effects when mixed with alcohol.
And if you want to avoid alcohol altogether, you can still benefit from our research. Most of the health benefits of alcohol come from antioxidants, B vitamins, and ellagic acid. You can easily get antioxidants from blueberries, B vitamins from fish, and ellagic acid from raspberries. I love eating a handful of berries every day, usually with my breakfast. And I try to eat one or two servings of fish every week.
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Q: In November 2015, you posted an article on how to ditch cable TV. Much obliged to the info you shared and I have taken advantage of what I learned in that article. Is there a complementary technique to "cutting the cord" with your Internet provider (or at least lowering the monthly bill there as well)? Some smartphone users have opted to use their phones as their singular access point, but I'm still wanting to use my desktop/laptop for such experiences. – K.L.
A: Unless – as you mentioned – you're willing to use your smartphone for Internet, there's no widespread way to cut the cord. But there are some ways to save on your Internet bill.
One tip we got from Retirement Millionaire subscriber Jack V. is to just try calling your Internet provider. Jack saw a lower rate advertised for new subscribers of AT&T's high-speed Internet service. He called, but a representative said the rate was only for new subscribers.
After a few phone calls, Jack discovered that the retention department had "hidden rates" for customers who call with complaints. Jack lowered his bill by about 50% and even got a faster Internet connection. Jack told me it's "a good process to do a couple times a year... just to make sure you have the best available rates."
Q: You have mentioned the benefit of getting in the sun to build vitamin D in the body. Is there any vitamin D generated from sunlight coming through a window pane? – C.H.
A: Longtime subscribers of my Retirement Millionaire newsletter are familiar with the benefits of vitamin D. The vitamin D produced by the body from sunlight may be critical in preventing diseases such as multiple sclerosis and depression.
Sunlight contains broad-spectrum ultraviolet (UV) light. UVB is the wavelength that stimulates production of vitamin D. (It's also the wavelength that causes your skin to burn.) UVB rays don't go through glass.
UVA rays do pass through glass. However, because they reach deeper levels of skin, the DNA damage they cause lasts longer, increasing the risk of developing certain types of skin cancer. Little is known about the benefits of UVA alone, though it is thought to stimulate the body's production of nitric oxide – a molecule that could have a role in cardiovascular protection.
So if you're hoping to sit by a window to avoid the cold weather and still get your daily dose of vitamin D... don't.
Do what I do... Go outside and get some sunlight. Even a 30-minute walk in the winter sunlight can generate enough natural vitamin D with all the normal isomers the skin and body create and use for the day.
Q: Is there somewhere I can search for the information Dr. Eifrig presented on where to find the best, lowest price or last minute cruise deals? It would be GREATLY appreciated. – R.H.
A: We wrote about cruise deals in our essay, A Luxury Cruise Without the Luxury Price Tag. Let us know if you use it to save money on your cruise!
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