Here’s some news you can use for August 2021!

Summer Travel Safety Tips

As millions of Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and businesses resume normal operations, people are likely making plans to travel this summer.

Of those planning to travel, 74% will take a domestic trip and 13% will travel internationally. Also, millennials report being the most excited to plan trips and get back out there this summer.

If you’re trading your staycation for a getaway, here are some tips to keep you as safe as possible this summer:

  • Get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delaying travel until you are able to get fully vaccinated.
  • Stay domestic. Although Europe continues to open up to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers, the global travel situation is in flux. Some countries are closing their borders again or enforcing strict curfews and mandates.
  • Take a road trip. Traveling by car is still safer than flying as it involves less exposure to people.
  • Explore the outdoors. Outdoor activities are generally safer. Get outdoorsy or visit small towns to distance yourself from others easily.
  • Check travel restrictions. Be flexible and continue checking state and local policies for where you are, along your route and where you are going.
  • Keep up with COVID-19 safety precautions. Pack extra masks and hand sanitizer for any outing. Regardless of your vaccination status, you should still wear a mask, avoid crowds and wash your hands frequently when traveling.

If you’re not traveling this summer, use your vacation time to reconnect with friends and family who you’ve missed.

CDC Travel Considerations
If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and travel within the United States, the CDC says you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine after travel. If you are traveling with young children who aren’t eligible yet for vaccination, check out these CDC recommendations.

The most important aspect of traveling is to stay safe and healthy. If you’re not comfortable traveling this summer, you can always start planning your 2022 dream getaway.

Read more (PDF)

5 STEPS TO EVERYDAY HEALTH & WELLNESS

These days, you may feel overwhelmed with all the health information available to you. However, there are really only a few basic tips to keep in mind for your optimal health. Follow these five simple suggestions to get started on your way to living a happy and healthy life!

  1. Eat healthy. A healthy diet can protect you from heart disease, bone loss, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Making small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference in your life.
  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise can help control your blood pressure, blood sugar and weight, raise your “good” cholesterol, and prevent diseases, such as colorectal cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (briskly walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (running) and at least two days of strength training every week.
  3. Watch your weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall health. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems, affecting both your well-being and health care costs.
  4. Manage your stress. It’s important to manage stress in order to sleep better, improve concentration, get along better with family and friends, lessen neck and back pain, and have an overall feeling of calmness.
  5. Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol and tobacco use are linked to an increased chance of developing chronic conditions. Quitting or refraining from smoking and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption are the best ways to combat such risks.

Please speak with your doctor if you have questions about other steps you can take to improve your health.

Read more (PDF) | More information about cholesterol (PDF)

MANAGING FOR A LIFETIME OF FINANCIAL GROWTH

You probably will experience several major events in your life that can make it more difficult to start or continue saving toward retirement and other goals. The key is to have a clear plan, to stay focused on your goals and to manage your money so that life events don’t prevent you from keeping on target. Here are some suggestions for saving for retirement while financially managing some common life events.

Marriage
Getting married creates new financial demands that compete for retirement dollars, such as changing life insurance needs and saving to buy a home. But it’s usually less expensive for two people to live together, thus freeing up dollars. Also, you probably still have time on your side. Assess your combined income and expenses, and create a savings plan together.

Raising Children
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs the average American family over $245,340 to raise a child to age 18. In some cases, a spouse may stay out of the workforce to raise children, thus cutting into income and the opportunity to contribute to retirement savings. Having a child may alter your major financial goals, but should never eliminate them. Your savings plan will have to allow for expenses for your child(ren), but should also continue to contribute money to your nest egg. Also, many financial planners stress that saving for retirement should have priority over saving for a child’s college education. There are financial aid programs for college-bound students but not for retirement.

Changing Jobs
It’s estimated that the average worker changes jobs 10 times and careers three times in a working lifetime. Changing jobs often puts you at risk of not vesting in your current job’s retirement plan, plus a new job may not offer an employer-sponsored plan. Consider rolling money from an existing company retirement plan into a new company plan or an IRA. Don’t cash out and spend the money, however small the amount.

Divorce
It’s important that you know the laws regarding your spousal rights to Social Security and pension benefits. Under current law, spouses and dependents have specific rights. Retirement assets may well be the biggest financial asset in the marriage. Be sure to divide those assets carefully. It’s also critical to review your overall financial situation before and after your divorce. Income typically drops for partners in the wake of a divorce, particularly for women.

Disability
A severe or long-lasting disability can undermine efforts to save for retirement. Although Social Security disability benefits can help sustain a family if severe disability strikes, you may wish to explore the availability and cost of other forms of disability insurance now, before a disability occurs.

Death
The premature death of a spouse can undermine efforts for the partner to save for retirement, particularly if there are dependent children. That’s why it is important to check your Social Security statement to find out how much children will receive if a parent dies. Maintaining adequate life insurance is also important. Be sure that you have properly named the beneficiaries for any insurance policies, retirement plans, IRAs and other retirement vehicles.

Read more (PDF)

August 2021 National Health Observations

2021 July - National Health Observances