You may think you’re just filling up on healthy foods and making lifestyle changes to live a long, happy life. But chances are good that there are marketers carefully plotting behind the scenes to make sure your retirement finances last a lifetime like d3 health fulfillment.
I’m not just talking about people trying to sell you an annuity or other product or service that would help you financially in your golden years. I’m also talking about businesses seeking ways to keep you buying their food, drinks and other products that could be bad for your health — but good for their bottom line. There are only so many years in retirement, after all.
1. Get you hooked on the latest superfood
A study by Oxford University and the Global FoodBevity Project found that over 80% of all processed food in the United States contains some kind of artificial ingredient. Even more disturbing is that these additives are in more than half of all packaged foods. It’s natural to assume that these ingredients would be banned, but alas, they are not. The same study found that nearly 70% of packaged foods also contain ingredients banned in Europe — and even more shocking, many are still acceptable in both markets.
2. Manipulate the price of food and drinks
How much would you pay for a diet soda? A bottle of wine? A healthy chocolate snack?
A shocking study conducted by Professor Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational , found that when food or drink prices are manipulated, customers are more likely to choose products that aren’t necessarily healthy — and products they wouldn’t buy if the price was raised. For example, when the price of a diet soda was lowered from $2.00 to 60¢, consumers were 10 times more likely to buy it.
3. Get you to stop eating at home
Many of us think that eating out is unhealthy (with good reason), but the fact is, it’s also one way marketers can get you to buy more of their products. A 2011 study by Cornell University found that not only are restaurants marketing to children — and promoting their meals as healthy — but they’re also using tactics to manipulate parents into buying certain foods so they’ll be more likely to select restaurant meals for their families.
4. Convince you that high prices are a healthy choice
There is a growing trend in the world of “healthy eating,” and this trend is pushing people to spend more money on food options than ever before. The idea behind “healthy eating” is that organic foods, unprocessed foods, and foods grown locally are always the best choices. But is this actually true?
In a Guardian article entitled “Do You Really Know What You’re Eating?”, writer Felicity Lawrence points out some of the flaws in the “organic food movement.” One major flaw (and one I agree with) is that organic farming has some serious environmental consequences. Organic farming also uses more land and pesticides than conventional methods — and these chemicals are not necessarily safer for you or for the planet.
5. Make sure you spend a significant portion of your money on foods that are bad for you
If you’re on a budget, it can be really hard to find the money to buy all kinds of healthy foods. But if you have high-priced habits, there are companies out there trying to help make that happen. How? By tempting you with certain food items — like drinkable yogurt (yes, it exists) or even expensive wines or beer — that look attractive but offer little nutritional value.
6. Get you addicted to something other than healthy food
It’s no secret that advertising works. Many companies already make millions with the “addictive” commercials we see on TV. But what about something else? There are many products that are technically healthy, but will addict you if you are not careful. These products include things like “energy drinks” or certain types of snacks and drinks.
7. Get you addicted to buying a certain restaurant or bar
I know I first fell in love with wine because of my parents and their habit of taking me out to eat (and buy) wine while they were on vacation in Europe. Then there was the romanticized notion of “wine and cheese” that was pushed by all the TV shows of my childhood. At the time, I didn’t realize how effective these advertising methods truly were — or how they would instill a habit in me that has followed me into adulthood.
8. Get you addicted to buying “experiences” as opposed to products
We all know we should save for retirement, but many of us think about it in terms of money for a home, or some other kind of product. It’s true that you need money to buy products in retirement, but it is also true that many of those products will have little value over time. In addition, there are some things that can be bought only once — like a cruise or a trip to Disney World.
9. Get you addicted to buying insurance
There are all kinds of insurance to think about when you get older. One of these is long-term care insurance , which many people think they need so they can afford nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care. However, some studies show that seniors who get this kind of insurance actually use less medical care than those who opt for a different type of policy.
10. Get you addicted to buying diamonds
That’s right! If you are ever tempted to buy diamonds, remember that it is not just a product, but an addictive process. You will probably invest thousands and thousands of dollars buying a ring or necklace (with the hope that you will end up with something comparable), but buying it won’t mean anything at all unless you can live up to your end of the bargain.
There are some addicts who need treatment for their addiction, and unfortunately, many of these people are not able to see the truth about what they’re doing. For this reason, you need to know what is going on if you wish to protect yourself from marketers who want to make a profit at your expense.