Diabetes and Your Hearing

Most people know that diabetes can affect eyesight and extremities such as the feet, but did you know it’s also one of the leading causes of hearing loss in adults?

Good hearing depends on small blood vessels delivering nourishment to the inner ear. Scientists believe that over time the high blood glucose levels of diabetes can damage the sound receptor cells, blood vessels, and nerves, diminishing the ability to hear. According to the National Institutes of Health, hearing loss is about twice as common in people with diabetes than those without the disease, which is troublesome as diabetes is very common and getting more so. The International Diabetes Federation reports that 366 million people worldwide had diabetes in 2011 and by 2030, this figure will rise to 552 million.

Yet, unlike eye exams, hearing evaluations are often not even discussed in the routine care for people with diabetes. That’s a shame because results from the hearing evaluation by an audiologist can sometimes alert the physician to a diagnosis of diabetes if other tests results are borderline. Research suggests that by keeping the disease under control, people can help minimize potential hearing damage, so early detection is important.

The consequences of neglecting to do a hearing evaluation can be significant in other ways. Numerous studies link un-managed hearing loss to emotional conditions including depression, impaired memory, and diminished overall health. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging even found that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia than those who retain their hearing.

Diabetes can affect your daily life in many ways. If hearing loss is one of them, it’s good to know that the majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. Since hearing aids have been getting smaller and stylish and improving in sound quality, more people are happy to use them. As far as treating a health issue goes, improving your hearing is relatively easy and effective. Studies show hearing aid users have significant improvements in quality of life and mental and functional health. So have a consultation with our audiologists soon.

For more information on diabetes and hearing loss, visit www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/seniors/hearing-loss/. Portions of this article are credited to the Better Hearing Institute, a non-profit existing to educate people on hearing.

Path to a Sustainable and Enjoyable Retirement

Presented by Jonathan S Merckens, CFP ®

Most working Americans have only one source of steady income before they retire: their jobs. When you retire, however, your income will likely come from a number of sources, such as retirement accounts, social security benefits, pensions, and part-time work. When deciding how to manage your various assets to ensure a steady retirement income stream, there are two main strategies to consider: the total return approach and the investment pool—or bucket—approach.

The Total Return Approach

With the total return approach, you invest your assets in a diversified portfolio of investments with varying potential for growth, stability, and liquidity. The percentage you allot to each type of investment depends on your asset allocation plan, time horizon, risk tolerance, need for income, and other goals.

The objective of your investment portfolio generally changes over time, depending on how close you are to retirement:

  • Accumulation phase. During the accumulation phase, your portfolio’s objective is   to increase in value as much as possible, with a focus on investments with growth potential.
  • Approaching retirement-age phase. As you near retirement, your portfolio becomes more conservative, moving toward more stable and liquid assets in order to help preserve your earnings.
  • Retirement phase. Once you retire, the idea is to withdraw from your portfolio at an even rate that allows you to enjoy a sustainable lifestyle.

Traditionally, a widely quoted withdrawal rate for the first year of retirement has been 4 percent. Ideally, that 4 percent should be equal to the amount left over after you subtract your yearly retirement income (e.g., pensions, social security, and so on) from your total cost of living, including investment management fees. Each year, you will most likely increase your withdrawal percentage to keep up with inflation. Keep in mind, however, that the appropriate withdrawal rate for you will depend on your personal situation as well as the current economic environment.

The Bucket Approach

The bucket approach also begins with a diversified portfolio, following the total return approach throughout most of the accumulation period. Then, as retirement approaches, you divide your assets into several smaller portfolios (or buckets), each with different time horizons, to target specific needs. There is no “right” number of buckets, but three is fairly common. In a three-bucket scenario:

  • The first bucket would cover the three years leading up to retirement and the two years following retirement, providing income for near-term spending. It would likely include investments that have historically been relatively stable, such as short-term bonds, CDs, money market funds, and cash.
  • The second bucket would be used in years three through nine of retirement. Designed to preserve some capital while generating retirement income, it would include more assets with growth potential, such as certain mutual funds and dividend-paying stocks.
  • The third bucket, designated to provide income in year 10 and beyond, would contain investments that have the most potential for growth, such as equities, commodities, real estate, and alternatives. Although the risk profile of this bucket is typically higher than the other two, its long time horizon can help provide a buffer for short-term volatility.

As you enter the distribution phase, you draw from these buckets sequentially, using a withdrawal rate based on your specific lifestyle goals in a particular year.

The Big Picture

Many people are familiar with the total return approach, but the bucket approach has been gaining popularity recently, thanks in large part to its simplicity. It also accounts for different time periods during retirement, potentially allowing you to allocate money more effectively based on your personal situation.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the bucket approach is that it can help provide a buffer during times of market volatility. For example, if the value of the investments in buckets two and three suddenly fluctuates due to market conditions, your immediate cash income is coming from bucket one, which is likely to be less volatile. This may also alleviate the need to sell investments that have lost money in order to generate retirement income.

Of course, while the bucket approach has its advantages, some investors simply feel more comfortable using the total return approach. Remember, the best strategy for your retirement is unique to you and your personal preferences and needs. However you choose to pursue your retirement dreams, it’s important to work with a financial professional who can help you create the most appropriate strategy based on your goals and situation.

Contact us today to learn more about the different paths you may take to pursue a sustainable and enjoyable retirement.


I Want to Start Working Out… butt Where Do I Start?

By Joshua Trentine,

Another mistake of the novice trainee is to make steady state activity (jogging, swimming, bicycling, etc.) and recreational activities their focus, with the hopes of using exercise to burn fat away. There is no exercise or activity that “burns fat”; fat loss is a product of caloric deficit. While activity can affect overall energy balance, the greatest factor in achieving fat loss is controlling what goes in your mouth. True exercise is done in order to create a biological need to hold on to or increase muscle mass. If this is done on a weekly basis and the subject maintains a moderate calorie defi cit, there will be discriminate weight loss and fat loss.

True exercise stimulates skeletal muscular strengthening. All reasonable expectations from exercise are accessed through the skeletal muscles by strengthening or attempting to strengthen the skeletal muscles. These expectations include improvements in bone density, vascular efficiency, metabolic efficiency, joint stability, muscular strength, and cosmetic. Strength exercise is the only exercise that can change the body’s architecture. The cornerstone of your exercise program should be an emphasis on strengthening the muscles and the movement synergy pattern that give you the most bounce to the ounce.

Every comprehensive exercise program should include exercise for the Gluteus Maximus (the buttocks). This is the biggest, densest, most powerful musculature in the human body. Due to their sheer size, the glutes have the biggest impact on global metabolic rate, more so than any other muscle. Intense work for this muscle will produce the most profound chemical and hormonal impact from exercise. Exercise for the glutes will have the greatest impact on your overall functional ability: to walk, run, jump, climb stairs, get out of a chair, or pick up heavy objects from the floor. This musculature gives the greatest indication of overall fi tness and produces the most desirable aesthetic effect when developed.

In order to exercise this muscle effectively, we must know the primary function of the Gluteus Maximus, which is to extend the hip, the action one makes when climbing stairs. The next step is to find exercises that include hip extension as part of their movement synergy pattern. The best exercise for this purpose resembles a squat pattern or mimics the movement that occurs when we go from sit to stand. Historically, this movement has been performed with resistance (a barbell) placed across the back or held in the hands at arm’s length. Both of these applications present practical and biomechanical limitations.

If I had to choose just one exercise for a new subject to focus on it would be the leg press. It meets the requirements of training the biggest muscles in a safe and effective manner and has the most profound cardiovascular, muscular, and hormonal impact. The Leg Press will produce the greatest overall exercise effect. If all people did this exercise intensely for 2 to 3 minutes, to muscular failure, one time per week, we would see large scale jumps in human functional ability, especially as we advance in age.

The leg press exercise should be done no more than 1 to 2 workouts per week and performed in a slow and controlled fashion, keeping continuous tension and meaningful load on the muscles for 2 to 3 minutes. The attempt should be to fatigue the muscles as thoroughly as possible.

Whether you are a professional athlete, a man or woman trying to maintain or improve their shape, a person who is in need of physical rehabilitation, or simply a person wanting to maintain or improve their overall functional ability, the best overall exercise to focus on when starting to workout is the leg press.

If you are interested in more details with regard to performing this exercise, please contact an exercise specialist at OVERLOAD FITNESS 216.292.7569.


The Women’s Journal E-Series Wellness Event™


We have the perfect mix for a fantastic, fun and informative event

Join us for brunch, networking, and a panel discussion

Meet the Doctors and Health Professionals You Should Know from The Medina County Women’s Journal on Saturday, April 20 or The Cleveland Women’s Journal on Saturday April 27.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

• Vision for Improvement and No Glasses After 40
• Women’s Health – From Pregnancy to Menopause
• What Is Personalized Natural Hormone Therapy and Who Benefits
• Holistic Health Options To Live Healthy, Pain Free Lives
• Reduce Stress, Relationship Between Psychological and Physical Health
• Solution for Beautiful Skin & Age Defying Aesthetics with No Surgery or Downtime

Registration starts promptly at 9:30am
9:30am Guest/Vendor Networking | 10:30am Brunch | 11-12:30pm Panel
The Galaxy Banquet Center – Wadsworth, OH

Purchase Price $32.00, TWO or more at $27.00 ea.
Includes Brunch, Door Prizes, Thank You Bag
Womens-Journal.com or CALL 888-749-5994

Moderator for the Panel
Meet in Person the Midday DJ on New102
Monday thru Friday 10am-3pm

Saturday, April 27, 2013

• It’s Time to Change The Women in the Mirror
• Effective Quality Exercise Not Quantity Exercise
• Your Feet Tell It All, What Are Your Feet Saying
• Muscle Release Therapy for Effective Longer Lasting Pain Relief
• Reduce Stress, Relationship Between Psychological and Physical Health
• What is Personalized Natural Hormone Therapy and Who Benefits

Registration starts promptly at 9:00am
9:00am Guest/Vendor Networking | 10:00am Brunch | 10:30-12:00pm Panel
Crowne Plaza Hotel- Independence, OH

Purchase Price $32.00, TWO or more at $27.00 ea.
Includes Breakfast, Door Prizes, Thank You Bag
Womens-Journal.com or CALL 888-749-5994

Katherine Boyd
Moderator for the Panel
Meet in Person the co-host on Q104’s Fee’s Kompany
Monday thru Friday 5:30am-10am

Womens-Journal.com or CALL 888-749-5994