HWR- Issue #45

Now a joint publication of the FJMC and MRJ

 Issue #45 - July 6, 2017

The International FJMC Convention (July 18-22nd) in Washington DC is fast approaching. You really do not want to miss the Wealth Conference or the HMV programs on Family Conversations we are offering. They will be special days of learning.  In these volatile times finding guidance and being able to ask questions about your future wealth is invaluable whether you make $40,000 a year or $400,000 a year. We will have something for everyone at every economic level.

For details ask Richard Gray  (rgray@fjmc.org)  and  Gary Smith (gvet@me.com).


Enjoy this article about stress by the esteemed Sandra Gelbard, MD, a board-certified internist in New York City

In the weeks since the election results came in, my office has been filled with people suffering the after effects of the country's monumental and controversial decision. Someone should be doing a study, I've said aloud, on how stress and despair is leading to illness. To be clear, these people are not complaining of being sad or depressed. Their ailments range from pneumonia and sinusitis to diverticulitis. Their immune systems, along with their hearts, are broken.

I have always been a firm believer in the mind-body connection. The idea that our thoughts and emotions play a role in our physical health seems logical to me, given how fundamentally connected our bodies are to our brains. At this point, I think most medical doctors believe in this connection. And if any doubt remained, the postelection despair has provided an overwhelming body of evidence that supports it.

I have always been a firm believer in the mind-body connection.

During my training years at Bellevue, I often remarked how miraculous it was that we budding doctors didn't contract any of the serious ailments we spent hours exposed to. We were surrounded by tuberculosis and virulent airborne diseases. Yet, somehow, we came out unscathed. We were doing what we felt we were meant to do, and that gave us a tremendous amount of satisfaction. Our work ethic was serious, if not pathological, and we often worked for hours on end — but I rarely heard complaints. We remained healthy because we were happy. As a result, our immune systems were strong.

When we are stressed, our nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones. These include cortisol, which increases sugars in the bloodstream, and adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and elevates blood pressure. This is helpful in some situations, as it allows our bodies to engage in a "fight-or-flight" response by elevating our level of focus, concentration, physical ability, and stamina. It's our bodies' way of protecting us when we come face-to-face with a threat.

However, what happens when this response is prolonged? When these hormones are released at times when there is no immediate threat to combat, they linger in the system and can have severely detrimental effects. Over time, they wear away at your immune system, which can lead to problems such as flu, viral syndromes, bacterial infections, and even heart attacks. In addition, stress lowers your pain threshold, causes digestive problems, increases reproductive issues, and has been linked to a decline in cognitive and memory functions.

So what can we do to combat stress?

To start, there's no need to get stressed about being stressed! A few simple lifestyle changes can have a massive impact on your anxiety levels and dramatically boost your quality of life. Firstly, exercise is one of the most underutilized antidepressants and stress relievers there is. Exercise releases endorphins into the system, which act as natural painkillers. You'll find it easier to sleep, too.

A few simple lifestyle changes can have a massive impact on your anxiety levels and dramatically boost your quality of life.

Meditation, acupuncture, and yoga are also incredibly effective for reducing stress levels. As far as meditation goes, there are various types, and just like with anything, different practices resonate with different people, depending on their issues and personalities. For individuals with extremely high levels of stress or anxiety, guided meditation and visualization work best. The sessions can be done in a very supportive way, with the teacher talking throughout the meditation to support the experience.

Your happiness is important. Feel-good moments throughout the day have real effects on your overall immune system, so remember to take care of yourself. Even the little things that make you smile — like playing your favorite song, or reminiscing about a happy memory — can elevate your mood and result in a shift in your hormones. So be sure to take a couple of moments every day to assess your stress levels and do something to reduce them.

Additionally, there are a number of supplements you can take to boost your immune system. These bring health benefits of many types when taken daily, but are especially important during times of stress, as they help combat stress's negative effects. I recommend vitamin D and probiotics to all my patients, as well as fish oil, which is rich in omega-3. You can introduce more fish oil into your diet by either eating two meals a week containing fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, or by taking tablets. These supplements will benefit your overall health and mood, as well as support your immune system.

The election was a shock to the system, and many people are still recovering from that shock. We're all going to need our strength for the years to come, so remember to look after yourself both physically and mentally. Understanding how to take care of yourself is the first step toward engaging positively in the community, better preparing you to provide support to others. Women are by nature givers and caretakers, but if we don't start with ourselves, we are unable to achieve our greater purpose in life. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, "I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." — Audre Lorde.

Sandra Gelbard, MD, is a board-certified internist in New York City. Her practice is focused on disease prevention, cholesterol management, and individualized vitamin supplementation.

For more information and questions please contact Steven Mandel (drmandel1979@aol.com) our Health editor.


We would like to thank our sponsor RCA, Retirement Corporation of America. They have graciously been our primary sponsor for the last 2 years.

Pease join us for the Wednesday morning Wealth Conference at the FJMC International Convention in Washington DC July 18-22nd. 

Wealth Grows on its own… But you must Plant the Seeds!

If you do not do more of this, then likely you will never be wealthy.

You will work until your health collapses, and you will be dependent on the whims of others and your boss’s good will.

Forget for a moment about valuing stocks, picking the fund with lower fees or finding he ideal asset allocation.  All of these are important, but your retirement-and the wealth that you accumulate across your lifetime- depends almost entirely on one factor.

Yes, you might have guessed it - Your Savings Rate.

It does not matter whether you make $25,000 or $400,000.  For example if you save 10% and spend 90% of your income it will take a long time to save and become wealthy.  But, if you do this you will be saving at double the 5% rate of the average America.

A report from the Government Accountability Office found that 41% of homes from the 55-64 age group have no retirement savings. You must be personally responsible for your own wealth.  If you are only saving 5% a year with a 5% return, you will have to work 65 years to have the same amount of income you are earning today. 

If this is true, think of what you can save if each pay check you saved 15-25%. You really will not miss the money but you will have a great opportunity to guarantee your future wealth.  Saving 20% a year means it will take about 40 years of working to maintain your current level of income in retirement. 

Make no mistake no matter how skilled an investor you are, saving to ensure your future wealth is most important for your future comfort.

Here are a few simple tricks to get started saving.

  • Set up direct deposit for your paychecks.  Studies show most people who use direct deposit eventually save more.  You can put your direct deposit into your savings account.
  • Boost your 401k contribution.  This is a forced savings for your retirement that you really cannot touch. Many businesses match the savings.
  • Open an IRA - It is very easy to do and there are many companies that will help walk you thru the process  - Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and many others.
  • Pry some cash from the tax man - If your income is under certain limits you can get a larger boost to your IRA.   You have the ability to get large tax credits.  You can speak with advisors from all of the above companies
  • Switch to a Credit Union - Credit Unions often pay the best rate of dividends.  Remember the amount you save might be the difference between a life of poverty and a life of plenty.

Please take advantage of these tips. Richard and I hope you enjoyed this blog.

If you have any questions please contact rgray@fjmc.org or Dr. Gary Smith gvet@me.com

Again, prepare for your future by attending the Wealth Conference on July 18th in Washington DC. We are having the most complete and innovative Wealth Conference that we have ever held.

We appreciate you giving us feedback so we can continue to bring you amazing tips on health and wealth. If you would like to get in touch with us email either Richard Gray or Gary R. Smith, DVM.

We hope that you enjoyed this issue and will consider sharing with other members of your club, family, and friends.  Ask them to opt-in and receive this newsletter.  We are building a nice following and appreciate your support.  Dr Steven Mandel is our Medical Editor and Richard Gray and Gary Smith write the wealth articles.  We are looking for guest writers; if interested please contact with Richard or Gary.If you're receiving this from a friend forwarding you the newsletter, you’ll need to ‘opt-in’ to receive this newsletter.  To opt-in, and receive this bi-weekly publication, click on the following link, and provide us with your email address: https://fjmc.org/civicrm/mailing/subscribe?reset=1&gid=1302.

Email sent at approximately 11:00 pm, July 6, 2017

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This work is based on current events, interviews, corporate press releases, and what we've learned from several mentioned health and wealth newsletters. It is also based on some personal experiences. It may contain errors and you shouldn't make any investment decision based solely on what you read here. It's your money and your responsibility. FJMC is not making specific recomendations of stocks or bonds just possible ideas that might be considered for research and investing purposes. This information is being provided for informational purposes only.

FJMC - Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs - Involving Jewish Men in Jewish Life.  The FJMC involves Jewish Men in Jewish Life through Leadership   Innovation   Community


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