Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Need Auto Insurance? Go to Comparenow.com to compare prices

auto insurance, comparenow.com, priceline, insurance

Value for money is our ultimate goal, and every cents counts. If you can get the same topnotch service for less price you will definitely grab it. All insurance company promise that they offer the lowest price and that you can save money on your car insurance if you buy their insurance. How can you know for sure if you don't compare it with other insurance company. Going to one Insurance company website to another will take so much time since there are about 400 insurance companies in the US.

You can use Comparenow.com to get an instant auto insurance quote for your car by signing up for a free account and entering the basic information that insurance providers need to calculate their coverage costs.

Comparenow.com can help you search for the car insurance that will really saves you money. All you have to do is go to their website, enter your zipcode and click on "Start Comparing". It will then ask you for information about the car and how you use it. Then it will ask you for your address, and other information. Then it will ask you about the car's current coverage. Then after that it will ask you to create a log in using your email address.

Once you have an account you will be asked to Select the package that best meets your coverage needs and then they wil retrieve your quote. Your coverages can be customized by clicking on the "Customize Coverages" link. Then it will ask you to wait for 30 seconds as they retrieve your quote.

The great thing about Comparenow.com, you can get the insurance that will give you the most value for your money. However, please do note that most of the time the insurance companies  cannot offer a quote immediately since they need more time to process your information. What will happen is that they will email you your quotes.

Comparenow is doing what other online price comparison websites like Priceline.com is doing, get shoppers that wants value for their money.

Comparenow is owned by Admiral Group PLC, which is a British insurance company they also owns Henrico-based auto insurer Elephant Insurance Services LLC.

Other price comparison websites for car insurance is AutoInsurance.com which has partnered with Walmart.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Most Americans Don't Budget According to a Survey

financial planning, budget, finances, money management, debt

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently published a survey about the Consumer Financial Literacy. The 2014 Financial Literacy Survey that was conducted by Harris Poll online last March, gives us an idea of American consumer's degree financial literacy. It also identifies their behavior and attitude towards trends that is linked to personal finance.

More than 2,000 American adults ages 18 and above took part of this survey, that was sponsored by Experian Consumer Services.

Check out the Key Findings from the NFCC 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey:

Budgeting and Debt:
  •  61% of the respondents admitted that they don't have a budget, the highest percentage in six years.
  • 1/3 or 34% of US adults indicated that their household carries credit card debt from month-to-month. It was also reported that about 15% or more than 35 million US adults admitted that they roll-over $2,500 or more monthly.
  • The proportion of adults who are spending less when compared to last year continues to go down. As you can see on the infographic in 2009 it as at its highest at 57%, it declines annually, it stand at its lowest at 29% in 2014.
Savings vs. Spending:
  • 16% of Adults in the US, worries about having not enough "rainy day" savings.   
  • 16% of Americans also worries about retiring without having enough money set aside.
  •  32% of Americans still don not save any portion of their yearly income for retirenment.

Credit Reports and Scores:
  • 65% of US adults have failed to review their credit reports within the past 12 months.
  • 60% of US adults have not reviewed their credit score.
  • 21% or about 1 in 5 US adults are not at all sure about what types of information are included on a standard credit report.
Survey Confirms the need for Financial Education:
  • 41% of US adults gave themselves a grade of C, D or F in grading their knowledge of personal finance.
  • 21% of them said that if money could talk, they think their money would say "I'm smaller than most of my friends."
  • 73% or 3/4 of US adults agree that they could benefit from financial advice from a professional.
April is the Financial Literacy Month and it is a good reminder for Americans to check their credit report and credit scores since credit knowledge is a very critical part when it comes to understanding personal finance.

With a lot of bad happening like online fraud the public should be vigilant and people should spend time checking their credit report regularly to safeguard and spot signs of fraud if there's any. It will also help people better understand the things that affects their credit, this will give us an idea on how to improve and  make informed financial decisions.

Red flags that Need attention about individual Personal Finance:
  • Absence of a budget
  • Confusion around credit reports and scores
  • Spending beyond what can be responsibly repaid
  • Insufficient savings
  • Admitted lack of knowledge pertaining to personal finance
According to financial experts budget is the basic tool of financial management, and if a person don't have one he or she will easily lose track of spending.

Click Here to access the info-graphic and to use its interactive features.

If you want more resources to help you with your money and finance management check out the sites below:

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy - they are a partnership of about 150 national organizations and entities from different background like corporate, non-profit, academic, government and other sectors. Their mission is to help students in pre-kindergarten up to college in advancing financial literacy.

MyMoney.Gov – They teach the importance of the Five (5) building blocks for managing and growing your money which are Earn, Save and Invest, Protect, Spend, and Borrow.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
– Set up by American certified public accountants that aims to help the public understand their personal finances through every stage of life. The great thing about this tool is, it's FREE.

Mint - Lets you manage your budget with their easy to use personal finance tools and calculators. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. This is a free tool.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Obamacare sign-ups on track to hit 7M as website stalls

Obamacare, Obamacare sign up, Obamacare law

HealthCare.gov which is the official website for U.S. consumers to enroll in private health insurance under Obamacare encountered technical issues twice on Monday due to huge surge of people accessing the website before the midnight deadline to sign up for coverage.

More than 6 million people had signed up for a private health coverage through the new Obamacare insurance market. It surpass the target set after a disastrous October rollout. Experts said that if the surge continues, they may exceed the original goal of 7 million.

There were times that there are more than 125,000 people using HealthCare.gov at once, thus straining it beyond its capacity.

President Barrack Obama has aggressively courting healthy 18 to 34 years, but there are reports that most of the enrollees are 35 and older.

McKinsey & Company also shows that 27% of the enrollees were previously uninsured and that roughly 75% of those who signed up for private insurance under ObamaCare have paid their premiums.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Obamacare Deadline March 31st; Important Points to Remember

March 31 is just around the corner and it is the deadline of Affordable Care Act open enrollment. If you missed the deadline and have not purchased health care coverage you may be penalized (tax penalty) on your 2014 taxes filed in 2015. You will also have to wait for the next open enrollment period.

If you have already insurance from your work, Medicaid, Medicare, or others you will not be penalized as long as it have the minimum standards under the Affordable Care Act.

Under the ObamaCare Act everyone is required to have health insurance or if you don't you will have to pay a tax penalty (in 2015 when 2014 taxes are filed). However, there are exemptions.

- The household income of your family is less than the IRS income tax filing requirement ($10,000 if you are single, $20,000 if you are married and filing jointly).
- If you are a member of ministries or religious sects, or of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
- If you are uninsured for less than three consecutive months in a year.
- If you can't afford to get an insurance because of financial difficulties or the lowest premium is more than 8% of your household income.
- If your insurance plan was recently cancelled and you can't afford a marketplace plan.
- If your health insurance does not meet minimum coverage standards, but your state insurance commissioner allows your insurer to continue to offer out of date plans until the October 1st, 2016 additional grace period.
- If you are 26 yearsold and below you can opt to stay on or be added to your parents' health insurance plan, even if you don't live with them.

Subsidies for the cost of health insurance - you can check if you are eligible for financial assistance from the US government, through subsidy. It will be determined based on your household income and family size. You easily check if you qualify for a tax subsidy by using the health care calculator from TurboTax. The subsidy can go directly to your health insurance provider when you purchase insurance if you are qualified. If you qualified you will pay a lower monthly health insurance premium.


In 2014 the amount of one-time penalty is $95 per adult, or 1% of your total income depending on your income. For uninsured children in your household, the penalty is $47.50 per child with a maximum family penalty of $285.

Visit HealthCare.gov to apply for health insurance, you can also compare plans, and enroll online. You can also apply by phone or get in-person help with your application.

check out my friends blog Unknown Sender

Monday, March 10, 2014

Important Points to remember when Getting Travel Insurance

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysia Airlines, Travel Insurance

With the recent unfortunate mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 a lot of travelers are thinking that you can never say that you are 100% safe. The Malaysian passenger plane which has 239 people on board vanished in the skies over Southeast Asia Saturday March 8, 2014.

The Malaysia jet is a Boeing 777-200 model which have an excellent safety record.

You really can't say what future holds, which is why it is important that you make sure that you and your family are financially secured during unfortunate events like this.

Travel Insurance plans covers these most common risks:
  •     Emergency evacuation
  •     Repatriation of remains
  •     Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
  •     Return of a minor
  •     Trip cancellation
  •     Trip interruption
  •     Visitor health insurance
  •     Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
  •     Overseas funeral expenses
  •     Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
  •     Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
  •     Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule
  •     Travel delays due to weather
  •     hi-jacking
These are the risks that are commonly excluded:
  •     Pre-existing medical conditions
  •     War or terrorism
  •     Injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use
When purchasing Travel Insurance make sure that it has secondary coverage, this will make a big difference when you need treatment and will save you from further inconvenience. If you have none, you may incur out of pocket expenses and will deal with more headaches in filing for reimbursement from health insurance company. You may also suffer mediocre hospital care in a foreign country if you don't have enough money to cover the cost or they may even deny to give you medical care. Paying additional dollars for secondary coverage is worth it to get primary medical coverage.

Getting a primary medical coverage advantages:

- No out of pocket expenses
- You won't be denied medical care in a foreign country due to cost

Travel Insurance will compensate you if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged, not only by the airline but also if it is lost, stolen or damaged on your way to your hotel or in a restaurant. However, do note that most policies do not cover electronics such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops so it's important to double check each policy carefully under the Baggage and Personal property section.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Highest and Lowest Insurance for 2014 Vehicle Model

Highest and Lowest Insurance for 2014 Vehicle Model, 2014 car insurance, insurance, car insurance
Insure.com has released the survey for the highest and lowest insurance rates for the 2014 model cars. They use information from the 6 leading insurance companies in all 50 states.

Jeep Wrangler Sport topped the cheapest 2014 models to insure at $1,080 annually while the Nissan GT-R Track Edition is the priciest 2014 model to insure at $3,169.

By states, the highest average insurance rates are Michigan which is number 1 then followed by West Virginia, Georgia, Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island. While the five states with the cheapest average rates is headed by Ohio followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho and Iowa.

Cheapest 2014 models to insure:

  1. Jeep Wrangler Sport - $1,080
  2. Honda Odyssey LX  - $1,103
  3. Jeep Patriot Sport - $1,104
  4. Honda CR-V LX - $1,115
  5. Jeep Compass Sport - $1,140
  6. Chrysler Town & Country Touring - $1,140
  7. Subaru Outback 2.5i - $1,144
  8. Dodge Journey SE - $1,149
  9. Honda Odyssey EX - $1,149
  10. Dodge Grand Caravan SE - $1,158

Priciest 2014 models to insure:

  1. Nissan GT-R Track Edition - $3,169
  2. BMW M6 - $3,065
  3. Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic AWD - $3,019
  4. Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT - $2,986
  5. Porsche Panamera Turbo S - $2,970
  6. Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro - $2,917
  7. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG - $2,887
  8. Audi A8 L 6.3 Quattro - $2,869
  9. Jaguar XKR Supercharged - $2,854
  10. Jaguar XK - $2,610

10 States with the Lowest average auto insurance rates:

  1. Ohio ($926)
  2. Maine ($964)
  3. New Hampshire (963)
  4. Idaho ($1,053)
  5. Iowa ($1,058)
  6. North Carolina ($1,060)
  7. Wisconsin ($1,087)
  8. Virginia ($1,114)
  9. Vermont ($1,149)
  10. New York ($1,173)

Source: Insure.com

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Self Insure or Pay for Insurance

Is it wise to self insure for long-term care or just buy insurance? Manisha Thakor founder and chief executive of Santa Fe, N.M. based MoneyZen Wealth Management LLC said on her article on Wall Street Journal, that Long-term-care insurance is a new product and it don't have the history of dealing with claims payment like home and auto insurance.

She also said that young people have the power to choose, right to choose to self insure themselves, “By taking the money you would have put in long-term-care premiums and investing them in a low cost 60/40 balanced index fund, you can create your own pool of funds to draw on down the road if need be–and avoid the dreaded “claim denied” scenario,” she said.

But self insuring will take a lot of discipline and majority of Americans I believe will not be able to keep on investing every month and put it on 60% stocks and 40% bonds. The plus side to self insuring is if you don't need long term care you can keep the money to yourself or give it to your heirs.

However, if we take into consideration the inflation rate, it can be costly the price of health care will considerably increase by the time you need it. The plus side of having a good insurance is it can protect you against inflation.

According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance there are more or less 8 million Americans that have long-term care insurance. The premiums costs for single males have decrease while the premiums for females increased.

If a 55yo male who is single bought a new long-term care insurance protection in 2014, he will pay about $925 per year for $164,000 of benefits American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance said. He would pay $1,765 for coverage that increases the benefit pool to $365,000 at age 85, a 14.5% decline from last year’s average.

If a 55yo single woman pay an average of $1,225 every year for the same level of benefits available to a single man for $925.

Friday, February 14, 2014

260,000 Vehicles recalled by Toyota US

Vehicles recall, Toyota recall, Prius recall

NEW YORK - After recalling Prius hybrids last Wednesday Toyota are now recalling another 260,000 cars and pickup trucks in the United States Friday because of electrical problems that may caused faulty breaks.

This will affect Lexus RX350s and Toyota Tacomas for the model years 2013 and 2012, also included are Rav4 2012 stated in the report by the US National Transportation Safety Board.

The faulty electrical component of the brake actuator in the brake system of the vehicles has the tendency to malfunction that would turn on warning lights for the stability control, braking and traction control systems.

If that happens the system will malfunction and will no longer operate that can cause crash.

Last Wednesday February 12, 2014 Toyota notify owners in Japan that they will recall 1.9 million Prius hybrid cars after the uncovering some problems with software used to control a power converter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bitcoin Crashes, Withdrawals Frozen

Bitcoin Crashes, Withdrawals Frozen, Bitcoin, Bitcoin plummetsBitcoin Crashes, Withdrawals Frozen, Bitcoin, Bitcoin plummets

There were whispers of uncertainties about Bitcoin even when they were soaring, there are a hint of doubts. However, some people who wants to get rich quick disregard the red flags and were too eager to jump to invest in the cryptocurrency.

The bitcoin crashed, which is its 3rd in recent months, that leaves investors wondering if this is the end of the once promising currency.

The crash was a result of an oversight made by Tokyo based MtGox, which is the largest exchange. They allowed bitcoins to be traded for traditional currency. Then they hold the accounts of all its customers and stop their operations when the company discovered an unfortunate glitch.

MtGox said in a statement: “A bug in the bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur.”

Which means the bug permit someone to get additional bitcoin currency and it may be use to exploit the system for fraud. They also said that the flaw in the bitcoin standard allowed fraudulent cancellations of completed transactions.

The currency value dropped by 20%. After hanging in the range of $900 to $1,000 for most of 2014, Bitcoin prices plummets to as low as $500 before recovering slightly to around $700 on Monday.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare Will result to Loss of 2 million Jobs, Shrink the Economy

Congressional Budget Office, CBO, Obamacare, healthcare law

Last Tuesday the Congressional Budget Office said that the Obamacare or healthcare law will diminish work hours that is equivalent to 2 million full-time jobs in 2017.

The latest U.S. fiscal outlook which is a non-partisan CBO indicated that the Obamacare will affect the workforce of the country particularly those who are in the lower income bracket. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said that workers will limit their hours so that they will not lose federal subsidies that is provided by the law to help pay for health insurance and other healthcare costs.

The country will feel its impact in 2017 owing to the fact that major provisions of Obamacare

The biggest impact would begin in 2017, CBO said, because major provisions of the law will have started by then. They said that on 2024 the work hours will shrunk by equivalent of 2.5 million jobs.

He further said, "The act creates a disincentive for people to work."

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis that the law will not lay off workers but people will choose not to work because of this provision.

"As a result ... that (lower) labor supply lowers economic growth," Ryan said.

Elmendorf answered: "Yes, that's right."

Ryan added that this would mean that few people would be joining the middle class.

"It's adding insult to injury," he said. "As the welfare state expands, the incentive to work declines meaning grow the government, you shrink the economy."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Obama's Fact Check Highlights Misstatements in Speech

I've stumble upon an interesting article by Calvin Woodward AP, talking about misstatements made by Barrack Obama on his State of Union address. He gave his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington,last Tuesday January 28, 2014.

My take about the article is I don't think retiring baby boomers is that significant and it is not the same as unemployed. In reality, most of Americans wants to find full time job but can't, because of the continues exporting of jobs to other countries. 

check out the article after the jump!

WASHINGTON (AP) — It seems to be something of an occupational hazard for President Barack Obama: When he talks about his health care law, he's bound to hit a fact bump sooner or later.

So it went Tuesday night, when he declared Medicare premiums have stayed flat thanks to the law, when they've gone up. As for an even bigger theme of his State of the Union address, the president's assertion that "upward mobility has stalled" in America runs contrary to recent research, while other findings support him.

A look at some of the facts and political circumstances behind his claims, along with a glance at the Republican response to his speech:

OBAMA: "Because of this (health care) law, no American can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a preexisting condition like asthma, back pain or cancer. No woman can ever be charged more just because she's a woman. And we did all this while adding years to Medicare's finances, keeping Medicare premiums flat, and lowering prescription costs for millions of seniors."

THE FACTS: He's right that insurers can no longer turn people down because of medical problems, and they can't charge higher premiums to women because of their sex. The law also lowered costs for seniors with high prescription drug bills. But Medicare's monthly premium for outpatient care has gone up in recent years.

Although the basic premium remained the same this year at $104.90, it increased by $5 a month in 2013, up from $99.90 in 2012. Obama's health care law also raised Medicare premiums for upper-income beneficiaries, and both the president and Republicans have proposed to expand that.

Finally, the degree to which the health care law improved Medicare finances is hotly debated. On paper, the program's giant trust fund for inpatient care gained more than a decade of solvency because of cuts to service providers required under the health law. But in practice those savings cannot simultaneously be used to expand coverage for the uninsured and shore up Medicare.


OBAMA: "Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled."

THE FACTS: The most recent evidence suggests that mobility hasn't worsened. A team of economists led by Harvard's Raj Chetty released a study last week that found the United States isn't any less socially mobile than it was in the 1970s. Looking at children born between 1971 and 1993, the economists found that the odds of a child born in the poorest 20 percent of families making it into the top 20 percent hasn't changed.

"We find that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution (relative to their parents) as children born in the 1970s," the authors said.

Still, other research has found that the United States isn't as mobile a society as most Americans would like to believe. In a study of 22 countries, economist Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa found that the United States ranked 15th in social mobility. Only Italy and Britain among wealthy countries ranked lower. By some measures, children in the United States are as likely to inherit their parents' economic status as their height.


OBAMA: "We'll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer.  But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible."

THE FACTS: Cutting rules and regulations doesn't address what's holding up most transportation projects, which is lack of money. The federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money in August without action. To finance infrastructure projects, Obama wants Congress to raise taxes on businesses that keep profits or jobs overseas, but that idea has been a political nonstarter.

The number of projects affected by the administration's efforts to cut red tape is relatively small, said Joshua Schank, president and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a think tank. "The reason most of these projects are delayed is they don't have enough money. So it's great that you are expediting the review process, but the review process isn't the problem. The problem is we don't have enough money to invest in our infrastructure in the first place."


OBAMA: "More than 9 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage."

THE FACTS: That's not to say 9 million more Americans have gained insurance under the law.

The administration says about 6 million people have been determined to be eligible for Medicaid since Oct. 1 and an additional 3 million roughly have signed up for private health insurance through the new markets created by the health care law. That's where Obama's number of 9 million comes from. But it's unclear how many in the Medicaid group were already eligible for the program or renewing existing coverage.

Likewise, it's not known how many of those who signed up for private coverage were previously insured. A large survey released last week suggests the numbers of uninsured gaining coverage may be smaller. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that the uninsured rate for U.S. adults dropped by 1.2 percentage points in January, to 16.1 percent. That would translate to roughly 2 million to 3 million newly insured people since the law's coverage expansion started Jan. 1.


OBAMA: "In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty."

THE FACTS: This would be a hefty boost in the federal minimum wage, now $7.25, but not many would see it.

Most employees of federal contractors already earn more than $10.10. About 10 percent of those workers, roughly 200,000, might be covered by the higher minimum wage. But there are several wrinkles. The increase would not take effect until 2015 at the earliest and it doesn't apply to existing federal contracts, only new ones. Renewed contracts also will be exempt from Obama's order unless other terms of the agreement change, such as the type of work or number of employees needed.

Obama also said he'll press Congress to raise the federal minimum wage overall. He tried that last year, seeking a $9 minimum, but Congress didn't act.


REP. CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS of Washington, in her prepared Republican response: "Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president's policies are making people's lives harder."

THE FACTS: She leaves out a significant factor in the high number of people who aren't looking for jobs: Baby boomers are retiring.

It's true that a large part of the still-high unemployment rate is due to weak job creation in a slowly recovering economy. There are roughly three people seeking every job opening. But one big reason people aren't seeking employment is that there are so many boomers — the generation born in the immediate aftermath of World War II — and therefore more than the usual number of retirements.

sources: http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-obama-medicare-premiums-035611405--politics.html

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jimmy Kimmel Take on ObamaCare (Affordable Care Act)

Jimmy Kimmel live opening monologue is about ObamaCare, he ridiculed the young people who are supporting the Law since they will be the one to be disadvantaged. Check out the video clip above.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Accenture is now the lead contractor for Obamacare website HealthCare.gov

Accenture, Obamacare website HealthCare.gov, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Medicare

Reuters recently reported that the Obama government awarded Accenture as the lead contractor for the Obamacare enrollment website. They will be replacing CGI Federal, which encountered  a lot of failures and bugs when they launched the website HealthCare.gov in October for millions of Americans shopping for health insurance. This was announced by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Saturday.

When CGI build the website HealthCare.gov it was riddled with errors, slow speeds, and glitches that gave President Barack Obama a lot of problems and gave Republican another reason to repeal Obamacare.

CGI Federal announced last Friday that its contract that was awarded in 2011, will end on February 28, and would not be renewed.

Accenture said the contract was worth $45 million for the initial phase of the project, and the final value of the one-year contract would be about $90 million.

March 31 is the deadline for signing up for a 2014 health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Accenture will need to be ready and take on the surge of last-minute sign-ups.