Why Mental Health Matters for Your Money

 

Did you know that 1 in 5 people face mental health issues during their lifetime? That means the odds of you, a family member or someone you know being affected by mental health are high. Issues related to mental health can come in a variety of forms such as anxiety and depression and they don’t only affect a person’s sleep, daily functionality and relationship – they also affect your money.

The cost of struggling with mental illness

According to Manulife, 44% of long-term disability claims made by employees are mental health related. But while getting help can come with a steep price tag, providing vital care for those who need it is worth its cost in spades.

Untreated depression can cause a variety of long-term health complications from chronic illnesses such as heart disease and pain perception to trouble sleeping. The cost to treat long-term illnesses, without health insurance, can quickly add up – and become another source of stress and depression.

Symptoms of anxiety include unease and a change in personality traits such as compulsive behavior or panic attacks. Compulsive behavior can lead to impulse purchases and binge-spending. When someone feels out of control internally, it can easily crossover to external actions.

How can you help someone affected by mental health?

The best way to help someone who is suffering is to be open to the conversation. Unfortunately, even though mental health affects a lot of Canadians, there is still a stigma relating to the condition.  For that reason, some people are reluctant to talk their feelings and express what they’re going through. However, if you’re unable to talk about the causes of stress, anxiety and depression, how will you get the professional help you need to get better?

The first step is to encourage your friend or family member to seek professional treatment. According to Depression Hurts “the goal of any treatment is to help you feel more like yourself again so that you are able to enjoy the things you used to. To do so means finding the right treatment to address and alleviate all of your symptoms. Also, the goal of treatment goes beyond just getting better it is about staying better.”

Your employer can help too

Offering extended mental health benefits is one way that employers can encourage employees to seek help. Employers can also partner with leading mental health organizations to keep employees informed about the causes, effects and symptoms of mental health issues. This will help spot the signs from onset and detection can enhance treatment options.

If you believe in positive mental health, review your health insurance policy to see if you and your loved ones are covered. This is the first step in improving your quality of life – physically, mentally and financially. If you have questions about health, critical illness or long-term disability insurance, please contact me anytime, I’m happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Baseballs back

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Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. There’s something about the first pitch of the season that makes it feel like spring is finally here, even if the weather suggests otherwise.

If you’re a Blue Jays fan, there’s plenty to be excited about this year. The team’s got most of its starting pitchers back, and most of last year’s solid lineup as well. Here’s hoping this season brings another trip to the playoffs and maybe – just maybe – a berth in the World Series.

If you’re a Yankee or Red Sox fan, which everybody seems to be if they don’t pull for the Blue Jays, you have a lot to be excited about too. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year in the American League, and will probably feature a tight pennant race right down to October.

When I was thinking about the return of baseball and doing some reading online, I found these pretty interesting facts about the game – in particular, from a finance/investing perspective.

In 2017, the sport’s highest paid player is Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year, he’ll earn a cool $33,000,000. That’s roughly one million dollars for each game he’ll pitch. For comparison’s sake, in 1930 baseball’s top-paid player was Babe Ruth. His salary? $80,000.

However, while that may look shabby compared to Kershaw’s 33 mil, keep in mind that the Babe was making more than then-U.S. President Herbert Hoover. When a reporter asked the Sultan of Swat (he was a man of many nicknames) what he thought of making more than the President, Babe replied, “I had a better year than he did.”

If you collected baseball cards as a kid – or even if you still do - you may be interested to know about the most valuable card in existence today. It’s a 1909 card of Honus Wagner, produced by the American Tobacco Company and distributed in cigarette packs. Perhaps you’ve heard of the card; it was famously purchased at auction by Wayne Gretzky in 1991…for a mere $451,000. Since then, that same card has changed hands a couple of times, most recently bought by Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick for almost $3 million.

The card is that valuable because of its rarity. Wagner demanded that production of the card be stopped – although his reasons for doing so are still being debated. At any rate, it’s made some collectors very, very wealthy, and made a lot of people comb through their attic looking for any hidden gems in their own collections!

So if you’re a baseball fan, enjoy the season and I hope it turns out the way you’d like. If not, just remember the classic slogan used by Brooklyn Dodger fans:

“Wait ‘til next year!”