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Wealth Virtues Journal: June 25, 2012

The Real Individual Mandate: How to Decrease Your Healthcare Costs and Increase Your Wealth

Filed under: Health and Wealth — Tags: , , — James Ward @ 9:29 am
© 2009 Poor Richard Web Press, LLC

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Part of the new imposition of big nanny government Obamacare is an individual mandate which allows the government to punish you if you decide you don’t want to by a commercial insurance product. Regardless of the clear question of constitutionality, there is a better definition of Individual Mandate that everyone needs to adopt. It is one where YOU, the individual, decide how healthy you want to be.

My Individual Mandate is a philosophy that is expanded upon in Wealth Virtues as I discuss the impact of health on wealth. Ergo, part of why I am wealthy, is because I follow Benjamin Franklin’s virtues not only in financial matters, but in my own personal health care.

I am in my 40s. Unless the socialization of healthcare is reversed, my health provider options as I get older will be based on the decisions of government. Rather than deal with that, I have decided that I will do whatever I can to minimize my health issues. Yes, there is always the unexpected health issue that can crop up as well as medical issues that are hereditarily or environmentally caused, but following a health regimen that I describe here will absolutely decrease your health risks.

So…are you overweight, or dare I say, fat? Diabetes is on the rise in this country both in adults and children because we have become dependent on fast food and, and we reward our children and ourselves with sugary or fatty food and sweetened drinks in the failed effort to believe we are making them and ourselves happy. We have also diminished the importance of physical activity to our children as we let them (and ourselves) become “viewers” instead of “doers” (iPod, iPad, television, computer games, etc. See the links at the bottom of this post.)

Are you a smoker? Yes…you smell like a wet ashtray, but you wouldn’t know because your sense of smell and taste has diminished. If you get lung cancer, please explain why I and other taxpayers have to pay treatment costs for your self-imposed slow motion suicide.

Those two previous paragraphs are pretty harsh. I sound uncaring and unmoved by those who care even less for themselves. Call it tough love. If everyone does what I do and recommend, healthcare wouldn’t even be an issue except in the moral effort to care for the truly needy and those with illnesses not caused by self-neglect. Please do not mistake my resolve for arrogance. As far as addictions, I think they are the hardest things to overcome. Sugar addiction is even stronger than nicotine. I know – I am a sugar addict. My “crack” is a bag of delicious Nabisco Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip cookies. I have no problem paying into a private insurance plan that provides others 100% of the costs for addiction treatment leading to a cure whether it is smoking, eating, drugs, or alcohol. As for myself, I had to give Chips Ahoy the Heave-Ho on my own. That is part of the path to wellness and subsequently, wealth. If you find yourself in any one of those areas in the two proceeding paragraphs, then here is the seven-point plan for you:

  1. Give up addictions. If you smoke, stop. Yea, it is hard, but it is harder on your friends, children, and family when you die an early death from cancer caused by smoking. The second-hand smoke makes your house reek of the stench, and your children learn the addiction from you. Minimize your use of alcohol. You don’t have to give it up (unless you suffer from alcoholism), but Franklin’s virtue of Moderation is the key.
  2. Increase the level of protein, whole grains, nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetables in your diet.
  3. Significantly decrease or eliminate sugar, white starch foods, saturated fats, and trans fats in your diet.
  4. Increase Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats (Omega-3 fatty acids) in your diet.
  5. Exercise every day. Five of the days in a week should involve at least 30 minutes of strenuous exercise.
  6. Sleep at least seven to eight hours in a 24-hour period.
  7. Enjoy life (now made a bit longer)!

Below is a diet, exercise, and nutrition plan that will guarantee fat loss, and increase muscle mass, bone density, energy, and a general sense of euphoria. I didn’t say weight loss because that is the least of your worries. Just like wealth, stop thinking you have to be at a certain number. Instead think about your shape. Losing weight, especially if you are overweight is just the consequence. As you get into shape, remember that muscle weight is greater than fat weight. Of course a pound of muscle equals a pound of fat, but the pound of fat takes up a lot more space and causes more problems. The object is to eliminate the fat regardless of your weight.

Before attempting this, get your doctor’s advice, especially if you have other health complications. Remember too that this is the daily diet and exercise regimen of a 49 year old male.

My Daily Diet and exercise:

• 0500 – Two large glasses of water, 350 mg krill oil tablet, 1000 mg flax seed oil tablet, 2000mg vitamin D tablet, milk thistle supplement tablet, 350 mg garlic tablet, 500 mg vitamin B12 tablet, multivitamin tablet.

• 0530 – black coffee

• 0600 – two fried eggs cooked in extra virgin olive oil (Plain oatmeal with fruit on the weekend)

• 0800 – Black coffee

• 0900 – 1000 mg of L-Arginine (capsule form)

• 1000 – Plain Fate-free Greek Yogurt (I add cinnamon powder or protein powder to flavor). Believe it or not, the best Greek yogurt I found is the Giant store-brand. It is also the least expensive and has the greatest amount of protein.

• 1130 – Weight lifting three days a week, Cardio/Insanity type exercises two days a week

• 1230 – A protein shake. Mix one scoops of Whey protein in with skim milk). I use Body Fortress whey powder I buy online or at Wal-Mart. It is the best and least expensive (currently under $15.00 for a 2lb can.) When mixed with skim milk, it provides 63 grams of protein. Feel free to throw in a healthy addition like a Greek chicken salad, or a broccoli-tomato salad with olive oil.

• 1400 – Banana or apple

• 1500 – Other seasonal fruit and vegetable snack, protein shake (same as 1230)

• 1600 – Hot green tea

• 1730 – A dinner rich in protein and complex carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains, beans, or brown rice. Drink 16 ounces of water.

• 1800 – 2 oz of dark (86% cocoa) chocolate (flavonoids are the “rave-o-noid”)

• Throughout the entire day I drink two to three additional quarts of water.

• 8 hours of sleep

• Find time throughout the day to read, learn, and spend time with friends and family, and to devote time to your passions. In the spring and early summer, I boost the workout routine with an early morning 2-mile run before 5am.

As far as exercise, I work out instead of sitting down to a big lunch. This includes strength training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and “Insanity-style” cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am never hungry because I eat throughout the day. I drink more than 3 quarts of water a day to help flush my system and stay well hydrated. If you think you do not have time to exercise, you are just making a sad excuse. I guarantee that once you make exercise a daily ritual, it will become harder for you to not want to exercise. You don’t have to join a gym, and quite frankly, the exercises that can be of greatest benefit for fat loss don’t require any heavy equipment. If you have nothing in terms of weight lifting equipment, don’t worry; push-ups, crunches, mountain-climbers and similar exercises require only you and gravity. I do highly recommend pull ups, so get a bar for the doorway and have at it. Really, you should be able to do at least one pull-up. Work up to ten fully extended pull ups (palm facing away), and find out how fast your strength increases. Soon, you will be doing 4 sets of 10 reps! Save weekends for chores, and fun things like bike riding with the kids, friends, spouse, etc. Once you get into a routine, you will find it hard to deviate. This is an addiction you will want to have, and will actually benefit from.

Does it work? Yea – I am in better shape than I was 20 years ago. I can do more pushups and pull-ups than most people half my age and who are still in the military. I ski, run, swim, and the most I experience in illnesses is usually a once-a-year cold that lasts about a week. I can usually eliminate that with regular use of a neti-pot. In a section of Wealth Virtues called “Movement and the Brain”, I describe how research has shown that positive biological changes in the brain are brought about by physical activity. I am also a believer that daily doses of Omega-3 allow for greater blood flow to the brain that helps to stimulate creativity. That extra dose of brain power may prompt you to be more creative in other areas as well leading to new ideas and new opportunities.

Remember too that regardless of whether Obamacare stands or falls, the next 20 years will see the massive retiring baby-boomer generation make unprecedented demands on the U.S. medical system not only because of the sheer number of retirees, but also because of the diminished workforce supporting government-sponsored programs as well as fewer people entering the medical profession. Take action now to minimize the time you have to waste sitting in a doctor’s waiting room later in life.

In Wealth Virtues I describe not only how much smoking costs you in terms of increased health care, but also in how much it actually costs you in potential retirement income over the course of your life. For example, let’s say a one pack a day smoker pays $5.00 per pack of cigarettes. That is $1825.00 worth of money “up in smoke”. Over 20 years, that is a cost of $36,500 (if cigarette prices stay the same – which they won’t). That same $1,825.00 a year invested over 20 years with a modest return of 6.5% would equal about $75,000. By smoking, you lose not only the $36,500 you spend to destroy your health, but an additional $38500 in earned savings. By the way, the cost of a pack of smokes in New York is $12.00. The same smoker will spend $4,380 per year or $87,600 over 20 years. Saving that instead of smoking it would gain that New Yorker and additional $91,400 for a nest egg of $179,000! Think also of the savings you will acquire as you change your grocery purchasing habits to eliminate unnecessary and unhealthy sugar-based foods. Sure, you can have some sweets – you still have to enjoy life, and sometimes that means indulging in a well-earned rich and tasty desert. You just can’t make that part of your daily diet. So live well, live longer, and get wealthy.


Check out these other important related articles:

• New study explains factors that contribute to childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes

• Losing weight improves your memory!

• YMCA survey: 74% of US kids don’t get minimum exercise; 74% of parents choose TV for family time. Coincidence?

• Disrupted Sleep May Raise Risk for Obesity, Diabetes: Study

• Also check out

Here are some links to health products mentioned above:

Body Fortress Whey Protein


Omega-3 supplements

Krill oil tablets

Flax seed oil tablet

Vitamin D tablet



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