It is almost impossible to predict when, how severe or for how long flu season will be from one year to the next. But the Center for Disease control (CDC) has estimated that the economic impact of the flu is a staggering $87 billion each year, including:
- $16.3 billion in loss of earnings
- $10.4 billion in direct employer costs
- 70 million employee work days lost
- 31.4 million outpatient visits
- 3.1 million hospitalized days
Further, the CDC reported that in the past 10 years, every year influenza has resulted in:
- between 9 – 45 million illnesses
- between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations
- between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths
While the flu virus is found year-round in the U.S., the most common “season” is from October – March. And over the past few decades, February has been the peak month by far.
According to the CDC and health experts, the single best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccination each year. Yet despite the staggering number of deaths caused by the flu each year – including over 60,000 in the 2017/2018 season – a survey from the University of Chicago found that more than half of all Americans will not get the flu shot.
So, why are so many of us opting not to immunize ourselves against the flu? CDC officials suggest that it’s for a lot of reasons, but mostly due to a belief that the flu could never happen to them.
Why Not Get Help for Health & Wealth?
Surprisingly, when it comes to our money, more people think they can do it on their own than those that get a flu shot. Consider that according to a new survey from CNBC and Acorns Invest:
- 75% of Americans manage their own finances
- Only 17% said they use a financial professional
- Less than 50% of adults would not be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense
So, where do you begin?
Well, just like when you want to get in better shape, you go to a trainer. When you don’t know what to do with your finances, you go to a financial professional, a person who guides you through all financial decisions, big and small, now and in the future.
Choosing Your Financial Professional
Your finance is very personal and may not be something you want to discuss with just anyone. You should build a long-term relationship with a financial professional you feel comfortable with, so that you are both on the same page with your financial history and needs.
Find out what services the financial professional provide, and how they get paid. Financial professionals may have different titles — planner, advisor and consultant (just to name a few), but not everyone provides the same level of service. Some of them get paid based on the products they sell you.
More importantly, talking to a financial professional in person helps reduce anxiety. It is difficult to take emotions out of your investing decisions. When it comes to investing, having a plan and sticking with it reaps more success than making changes based on short-term fluctuations. When the stock market goes down, staying calm and disciplined is hard. This is when your financial professional is most useful.
Make sure to do your research so that you can find a specialist who understands your needs and aspirations, someone you are comfortable with for the long haul, and someone who is right for you.
And One More Thing…
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccination. So, in the infamous words of Nike: Just Do It.
And one of the best ways to prevent heartache in your retirement is to hire a financial professional. So, Just Do That Too.
Important Disclosures: All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.
The article was prepared by RSW Publishing.
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