Surviving the Recession: Put Your Money Where Your Ears Are
The markets are crashing, businesses are collapsing, and investment portfolios are going south. With the economy at its worst since the Great Depression, you may be wondering whether there is anything left out there for you to invest in, a sure value that will withstand the ravages of recession.
There is. No, it’s not stocks, bonds or mutual funds. The best thing you can invest in, even in the slumping economy, is your health – including your hearing.
When it comes to making sound investments, hearing aids are as good as gold.
You may say hearing aids are expensive and you can’t afford them just now, with all the other bills piling up. It’s true that a hearing aid – which remains mostly not covered by either Medicare or private health plans - can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000, a hefty sum, even in good economy. And that, by the way, is an excellent reason why you should support the bipartisan Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act (www.hearingaidtaxcredit.org), which, if passed, would help millions of Americans who need hearing aids but cannot afford them.
Okay, so we established that a hearing aid would cost you a pretty penny. However, a device that allows you to hear, listen to conversations, interact with people, and possibly even hold a job, is hardly a luxury. It is a basic necessity, more important to your well-being than that cup of coffee you have every day.
Recession-proof your ears
|See big returns in life with hearing aids|
It goes without saying – although it’s probably important to say it anyway – that hearing aids help improve social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of hearing impaired people, regardless of whether their hearing loss is mild or severe.
But quite aside from a well-known and well-documented fact that hearing aids improve your overall quality of life (and we can all use that in a recession), they can also boost your earning power and ensure job security.
Think about it this way: good hearing will give you an edge in the job market, which, these days, is more cut-throat competitive than ever.
But don’t just take our word for it. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) conducted a number of studies demonstrating the correlation between treated hearing loss and earning power.
"Unaddressed hearing loss has a negative impact on overall job effectiveness, opportunity for promotion, and even lifelong earning power," says Sergei Kochkin PhD, BHI’s executive director. "Now, more than ever, people in the workforce need to put their best foot forward and address untreated hearing loss.”
Hear better, earn more
TThe National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports one in ten persons has hearing loss – one in three over age 65. To go along with those astonishing stats, BHI estimates that there are currently more than 24 million people in the United States who have an untreated hearing loss – meaning they have not sought help from hearing aids. Are you one of them? If you are, listen to this powerful argument on why you should not wait any longer before getting hearing aids:
According to a BHI national study called "Impact of Hearing Loss on Household Income", Americans with untreated hearing loss make less money than people with normal hearing. The study found, however, that wearing hearing aids reduces the amount of income lost.
If you have unaided hearing loss, you may be losing, on average, nearly $23,000 per year depending on the severity of your hearing loss. The good news, BHI says, is that the use of hearing aids mitigates those negative effects by about 50 percent.
"I cannot overstate the importance of treating hearing loss as early as possible," Kochkin says. "Too often people with hearing loss delay the decision to get hearing help because they don't realize that taking a hearing test and receiving early treatment have the potential to transform their lives-and their livelihood."
Crunching the numbers
Still not convinced you can afford a hearing aid? Look at it this way: calculate the initial cost of a hearing aid over a three to five year time span that an average device usually lasts, and you come up with a mere $3 a day. Let’s see, that’s less than a latte, cappuccino, and a host of other perks you splurge on every day without giving it a second thought.
But think of it this way: you don’t need a daily jolt of caffeine to keep you going. You can get that buzz – literally and figuratively – from a hearing aid, which will keep you happy and employed throughout all the ups and downs of the economy.