Shopping for Life Insurance Now as Easy as Booking a Hotel Room

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Talk about annoying.
Here you are, trying to keep your family from being left destitute when you die, and — unlike all those travel websites we’re accustomed to — you can’t get a simple price quote online for life insurance without first supplying more personal details than you’d be comfortable telling your best friend.
And even if you do (grudgingly) supply the information, somehow you never learn the actual cost until some insurance company salesman calls you back.
And keeps calling you back — perhaps pitching more insurance than you need.
Well, now there’s a new website, www.CoverYoo.com, that’s getting rave reviews for being — to keep the travel analogy going — “the Kayak.com of Life Insurance,” as one trade journal put it.
Not only does the site let you anonymously comparison shop for different types of life insurance from among hundreds of companies — allowing you to almost instantaneously see, for example, that 10-year term insurance will run you anywhere from $111 to $632 annually — but everything is written in plain English (as opposed to insurance-speak).
“You feel like you’ve done your homework when you go to CoverYoo,” says Chief Technology Officer Todd Albert. “And once you see the price, it’s totally up to you whether you want to talk to an agent or not.”
You also feel like you’re getting the straight dope. Case in point: While many in the industry speak in crisis terms about the estimated 39 percent of Americans who lack life insurance, CoverYoo.com says straight out that “odds are that you don’t need (it)” if you fall into certain categories (i.e., single and no children).
For those who do need it, though, the site also does a good job of explaining the four basic life insurance policies out there — “Term,” “Term to Age,” “Term ROP (Return of Premium),” and “Universal Life” — and helps you decide which is right for you. Thus, even before you check the prices, you’ll know, among other things, that:
* Term insurance is the least expensive, and a simple rule-of-thumb for choosing among five-year, 10-year, 20-year and 30-year durations is to ensure that your youngest child will be covered to age 22.
* Declining a medical exam severely limits your options.
* To figure how much coverage you really need, total all your debts (including mortgages) and 70 percent of your annual expenses for 20 years.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact for anyone who doubts the need for CoverYoo: Esurance.com, which some of you may have tried, is actually owned by none other than Allstate.

How to See Clearly in Any Driving Condition

(NewsUSA) – When is it necessary to change my wipers? Is there really a difference between wiper blades? As fall approaches, it’s important to ask yourself these questions as heavy rains and increasingly severe weather can obscure driving visibility.

In fact, the American Optometric Association reports that 90 percent of all driving decisions are based on visibility. Having a properly installed set of wiper blades will enhance your vision during difficult driving conditions. Most drivers don’t even realize they need new wipers until that moment of truth, as a storm approaches or heavy snow begins to fall.

To avoid this, check your wipers once a month for worn or split rubber that can cause streaking or chattering. TRICO, an authority in the wiper blades industry, encourages consumers to “change your clocks, change your blades” and make replacing wipers  part of your typical fall and spring routine maintenance during daylight saving time.

Finding the right-sized blades can seem difficult. The “Find Your Wiper” feature on wiperblades.com offers a quick solution by letting drivers select their vehicle’s make, model and year to display a full selection of wiper blade options.

You may find that several different wiper blades fit your car, and then ask yourself, “Does it really matter which one I use?” The difference between a conventional style and the newer, premium beam design is important to keep in mind.

A conventional blade design features a steel superstructure with blade claws, a rubber wiping element and several connection points. The beam blade design is the latest advancement in wiper technology that offers even pressure and enhanced clarity in all conditions.

Although the beam blade is considered an all-season wiper, you may want to consider a winter weather blade that is equipped with superior armors and synthetic blended materials. TRICO invented the winter blade in 1953 and has recently perfected it with TRICO Ice. This wiper blade is a great option for providing maximum performance in the most unrelentingly harsh conditions.

Of course, one of the most frustrating parts of buying wiper blades is installation. Thankfully, wiperblades.com has helpful installation videos to help you avoid the struggle and make the process as quick and easy as it should be.

No matter where you live, unpredictable and harsh weather will affect driving visibility, so be ready with a reliable, quality set of wiper blades when the time comes. Get more tips on how to keep yourself and other drivers safe at wiperblades.com.

A Guide to Enrolling in Medicare When You Become Eligible

(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Knees start to hurt. Hips start to ache. Maybe your lower back too. And you finally understand what “tennis elbow” means. Welcome to getting older.For years, your bones, muscles, and joints have held up with nothing more than a minor twinge here or a bruise there. Now, however, it takes longer to get out of bed and daily aches and pains seem to be the norm.While it may sound counterproductive, studies have shown that engaging in a moderate strength training program not only helps in toning up, but strengthening muscles that can ache for days. This is especially true as you get older.Experts say that while some pain is expected as you age, it is also the body’s way of telling you something. The following tips can help tired, sore muscles and joints feel better:* Soothe with heat. A warm shower or bath, hot water bottle, or warm cloth can help relax tired muscles and ease muscle spams.* Invite in the cold — therapy, that is. Ice packs can soothe pain, especially if a joint is inflamed or swelling (think joints ankles, elbows, shoulders). Try a cool cloth, cold pack, cold compress wrap, or ice massage. Typically the time is 15-20 minutes on, and the same amount of time off the joint or muscle.* Practice deep breathing. The benefits of using the breath to soothe yourself cannot be underscored enough. Slow, quiet breathing helps relax the body and mind and ease the pain. Aim for about six long, deep breaths a minute.* Get a massage. A foot, back, or hand rub can also alleviate pain. Warm oil or lotion may also help you relax. One note: massage in one area for 10 seconds first to see if it feels good.* Invest in a stairlift. If you have stairs in your home, and there are days that you just can’t seem to make it up due to tired, aching muscles, a stairlift, such as those from Orlando-based Acorn Stairlifts, can help. Unlike chair lifts of old, new models are powered by two small 12-volt batteries under the seat or by regular house current. The chair and built-in footrest typically fold up when not in use. Available for straight or curved stairs, these lifts can be a godsend if you’re recovering from an injury. The lifts include safety belts, lockable swivel seats, and light touch controls for easy operation.For more information, please visit www.acornstairlifts.com.

Your Mother Wishes She Had This Prenatal Vitamin

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Do your kids have your back? Apparently more so than many of you think.
That’s the most heartening takeaway in an otherwise cautionary look at the diciest of American subjects — aging parents — that comes courtesy of the third biennial “Fidelity Investments Family & Finance Study.” Less heartening is that nearly 4 in 10 families seem to be suffering from what’s best described as — hat tip to “Cool Hand Luke” — “a failure to communicate.”
Let’s start by giving at least certain offspring their due credit:
* While 93 percent of parents felt it would be “unacceptable” to become financially dependent on their kids, 70 percent of the adult children had no qualms about opening their wallets.
* Children were much more likely to expect that either they or a sibling would care for an ill parent than their moms and dads were (47 percent vs. 11 percent).
“Despite this welcome news for parents, the study suggests several areas where they need to speak up to ensure their wishes are heard, as it appears the children may not be getting the message,” says John Sweeney, Fidelity’s executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies.
Indeed.
Whether it’s estate execution, long-term caregiving in the event of illness or help in managing investments and retirement finances, it often turns out that the very child parents expect will handle things doesn’t have the foggiest clue the responsibility will fall to him or her (reaching as high as 44 percent of children, in the case of helping to manage their parents’ household expenses).
Part of the miscommunication is attributed to “timing,” given that only 33 percent of parents and their offspring agree on when it’s “appropriate” to initiate conversations related to aging. Before retirement? Upon entering retirement? Closer to when health and/or finances become an issue? (The correct answer: before retirement.)
Compounding the problem is that even when those conversations do occur, the study found, they’re not as detailed as they should be.
Think about it: Has your family discussed, say, how it will cover the estimated $245,000 the average couple can expect to spend on health care throughout retirement?
Probably not. But as Sweeney notes, “At some point, every family will face issues relating to aging — perhaps even dementia — and there are real emotional and financial consequences when family conversations either don’t happen or lack sufficient depth.”
If peace of mind is important to you — and at least 93 percent of both parents and children reported attaining it after having had those all-important talks — online tools can help get you there.
Fidelity, for example, has a variety of resources available at Fidelity.com/families that, among other things, lists the documents you’ll need should a key financial decision-maker die.
After all, “Cool Hand Luke” moments are best saved for the movies.

How Safe Is Uber? It Depends on Gender

Modern luxury executive car on a white background

It’s shorthand for the potential danger faced by women using app-based, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. And if you’re already dismissing how dangerous it can be, you’ve obviously missed the rash of headlines like these from across the country.

• “Uber Driver Charged With Rape Ordered Held After Dangerousness Hearing” (Boston Globe, August 2016)

• “Police Had Tip That Lyft Driver Charged With Sexual Assault Planned To Flee Country” (Dallas Morning News, November 2015)

• “Police: Uber Driver Returns to Rape, Burglarize Passenger at Her Home” (FOX-TV New Orleans, January 2016)

• “Fake Uber Driver Arrested After Brutal Sexual Assault of Passenger in Westlake: LAPD” (KTLA-TV Los Angeles, April 2016)

You read correctly. Per that last headline, we’ve now reached the point where bad guys are actually posing as Uber drivers in order to lure unsuspecting women into their cars.

“With the alarming number of alleged sexual assaults involving ride-hail app drivers, it’s urgent that we bring this issue to the forefront of conversations,” says Delilah Rumburg, CEO of the nonprofit National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

To that point, the organization has allied with another nonprofit, the National Limousine Association (NLA), which — in calling for a “Passenger Bill of Rights” last year as part of its “Ride Responsibly” initiative — has been spearheading a nationwide movement to subject drivers for the Ubers of the world to the same rigorous criminal background checks as those behind the wheels of taxis and limos.

To up the ante, both have enlisted Pamela Anderson — she of former “Baywatch” fame — to make their case in a Public Service Announcement. “You can’t always vet the driver you are using,” she says in “The Driving Game!” video, “but the service you are using should.”

Whether even Ms. Anderson will be enough to steel the backs of politicians up against formal opponents in the ride-hailing industry in general, and that Uber in particular, remains to be seen. The main sticking point? Forcing the industry to finally start spending the extra bucks to fingerprint their drivers instead of relying on what NLA President Gary Buffo dismissively calls, “the perilously in-comprehensive background checks” Uber and its ilk continue to defend.

Just how formidable is the ride-hailing industry?

Consider this: a few months after Uber and Lyft pulled out of the Austin, Texas, market last May, rather than comply with new fingerprinting regulations that voters had just endorsed, the issue came up again in Massachusetts. Boston, you see, had been experiencing a slew of alleged sexual assaults by Uber drivers that left women on edge. Even so, lawmakers were unable to muster the votes needed to include a fingerprinting requirement in the statewide law that ultimately passed.

“It’s really frustrating when you see these attacks happen over and over again,” State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, who favored fingerprinting, tells the Boston Globe. “It’s hurtful to the victim and hurtful to the community.”

“When,” she adds, “is it going to stop?”.

Kick-Start Small Engine Maintenance in 3 Steps

(NewsUSA) – Temperatures are rising, and people are venturing outdoors. Items like lawn mowers, motorcycles and other small engine machines are being dusted off and taken out of storage in anticipation of the warmer weather. While you may be eager to rev up their motors, before you turn the key, it’s important to verify they are in proper working order.While warm weather usually puts people in a positive mood, a recent survey conducted by the makers of STA-BIL products, found one thing that Americans dread this time of year — getting their small engine equipment out of storage and ready for use. In fact, they would rather take down old holiday decorations or just pay someone as much as $100 to take care of the whole dirty job.”Using a lawn mower that sputters out every five minutes or a jet ski that takes half an hour to start is a hassle,” says Tom Bingham, marketing director at Gold Eagle. “In fact, nearly 75 percent of the survey respondents admitted to having issues with their small engine equipment after taking it out of storage — but with the proper maintenance, this doesn’t have to be the case.”Fortunately, there are three simple steps you can take to help prevent small engine equipment problems and avoid a trip to the repair shop:1. Educate yourself on how to care for small engine machines and equipment. Does it need to be stored indoors? Are there products or fluids that will help keep the engine clean? How often should the oil be changed? Proper care now can keep equipment running better, longer.2. Check fasteners, cutting blades and oil levels when you first take equipment out of storage. Fasteners should be tightened, blades sharpened and wheel bearings and fittings should be lubricated.3. For trouble starting a small engine, add appropriate fluids like Start Your Engines! fuel additive. This will clear clogged fuel lines and flush out the engine so it’s clean and easy to start. All you do is pour a bottle into the fuel tank, give it a minute, and your small engine equipment will start up fast.”Some repairs can cost up to $300,” says Bingham. “When it comes to proper seasonal storage and maintenance, it literally pays to take care of your machinery between seasons and makes for an easy, stress-free transition.”Find more information about storing and maintaining small engines at www.goldeagle.com.

Michelin Tires Helps Yellowstone National Park Go Green

OldFaithfulCTourists visiting Yellowstone National Park’s famous geyser, “Old Faithful,” will even use tires once they get out of their cars for a closer look. Old Faithful, you see, now boasts a porous, clean, flexible walkway made almost entirely of recycled Michelin tires. The “paved” surface, known as Flexi-Pave and manufactured by the company K.B. Industries (KBI), is kinder to the environment than asphalt because the permeable composite material allows for better erosion control and preservation of the natural patterns of groundwater flow. In addition, the walkway surface is highly durable and tolerant of extreme hot or cold weather, and does not leach any oil into the surrounding environment.

“The material used to create KBI’s Flexi-Pave is completely benign and therefore can be used safely with the delicate aquifers here in Yellowstone,” said Kevin Bragnall, CEO and founder of KBI, in a statement. The Old Faithful Walkway Project covers 6,400 square feet and includes 900 Michelin tires. “The path allows 3,000 gallons of groundwater to pass per square foot. It also is designed to diffuse the water’s force, helping prevent erosion,” Bagnall noted.

“The Old Faithful Walkway Project is a great example of what a difference a company devoted to sustainability can make in the world’s first national park,” said Karen Bates Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, in a statement. “We are fortunate to have a corporate partner as farsighted, public-spirited and generous as Michelin,” she added. Underscoring how important this project was to the 126-year-old tire company, Michelin flew in a team of employees from across the country to help complete the construction of the walkway. The 10 volunteers were winners of a company-wide contest to participate in the project.

Michelin is a major corporate sponsor of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, with a goal of helping the park curb operating expenses and reduce the consumption of raw materials. To ensure this, Michelin regularly donates and helps maintain thousands of tires for Yellowstone National Park’s more than 800 vehicles, including patrol cars, garbage trucks, snow plows and load-hauling tractor trailers. The tires feature the latest in green tire technology to help save fuel and reduce emissions.

“Helping build and provide material for this new pathway is very much in line with Michelin’s goal of working with the Yellowstone Park Foundation,” said Leesa Owens, director of community relations for Michelin, in a statement.

To find out more about Michelin tires, visit www.michelin.com.

TPMS Industry Leaders Collaborate for Customer-Inspired Breakthrough

(NewsUSA) – The customer-focused partnership between Schrader, a global leader in valve and sensing technology, and Bartec, the market leader in handheld tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) scan/programming tools, alleviates complexities and makes servicing TPMS-enabled vehicles that much easier for the aftermarket industry. With over 65 million TPMS-enabled vehicles already on the road, and more daily, the demand for scalable and easy-to-use TPMS repair solutions is at an all-time high. Created through the premier alliance of the two companies, Schrader’s EZ-sensorTM is a joint development success that delivered the first and only patented and programmable replacement sensor that functions across diverse car makes and models.

According to Bartec’s general manager, Scot Holloway, TPMS service and repair is a huge opportunity and unavoidable for today’s aftermarket facilities. Handheld tools, like those provided by Bartec, are essential for properly servicing Schrader’s TPMS replacement sensors. Bartec is pleased to continue to develop leading TPMS handheld tools in cooperation with Schrader’s sensors, which Holloway calls “the best in the industry.”

Alongside their customers, Schrader and Bartec have standardized the TPMS repair process so it has become a routine part of vehicle inspection – a straightforward and repeatable practice for technicians. As a result of the partnership and the products being produced, aftermarket service and repair facilities now are better equipped to service the ever-growing population of TPMS-equipped vehicles, a safety feature now embedded in all new vehicles that warns drivers of low-tire-pressure situations. This standardization focuses on replacement parts, service tools, proper repair procedures and technician training, as well as awareness of the inherent vehicle safety associated with TPMS.

According to Schrader, the focus of the partnership was on developing a superior technology that would provide comprehensive support for aftermarket technicians. Additionally, it needed to satisfy requests for ease of use, sensor programmability and lessening the inventory burden. The jointly designed EZ sensor fills all of these requirements. For more information on the importance of TPMS, please visit www.TPMSMadeSimple.com, or for more insight on Bartec, please visit www.bartecusa.com.

IT Companies Create New Revenue Streams

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – In today’s economy, businesses are seeking new streams of revenue. For example, businesses that sell phone systems and computer equipment typically rely on new sales to generate revenue. But when potential clients cut costs, they’re less likely to purchase new equipment and systems with the same frequency. As a result, many are looking for steadier streams of revenue to tide them over between sales.
Luckily, some businesses are finding ways to create new streams of revenue for their clients. On Call Telecom (www.oncalltelecom.com), a company that holds partnerships with telecom companies such as Paetec and Qwest, helps create telecom solutions for businesses.
If a business sells phone systems and computer equipment, On Call Telecom can work with them, allowing them to offer telecom, voice and data plans, including services such as local, long distance, Internet access, voice, data, private lines, conferencing, Ethernet, and video services.
Because the payments go directly to the service providers, the providers pay a steady stream of monthly revenue to On Call Telecom and their hardware service partners.
“Creating solutions that enable companies that sell phone and computer hardware to offer voice and data solutions allows businesses to develop new streams of revenue, something that can help businesses survive today’s tough economy,” says John Finguerra, President of On Call Telecom.
“Those receiving monthly commissions for voice and data services don’t need to rely on hardware as their only source of revenue.”
Partnering with a service such as On Call Telecom also assists sales. The company provides an audit, which evaluates where businesses could cut their phone and Internet costs. After the audit, it may be easier to convince a business to make changes using their savings to upgrade their current phone and computer systems.
For more information, visit www.oncalltelecom.com.

Educated New Year’s Resolution: Going Back to College

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every year, most people try to make a New Year’s resolution — and those who want to finish their college degree should know that it is a realistic goal but one that requires careful research before selecting a college or university.
First, you should determine whether the school you are considering is accredited.
“The academic quality of any institution is directly tied to its accreditation, which is an independent review of a school’s educational programs to determine that the education provided is of uniform and sound quality,” says David Hoftiezer, director of Admissions at Thomas Edison State College. (www.tesc.edu). “An institution that has earned accreditation ensures that it has met established standards of quality determined by the organization granting the accreditation.”
The most recognized and accepted type of accreditation in the U.S. is regional accreditation. There are six geographic regions in the U.S. with an agency that regionally accredits college and university higher-education programs:
* The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (institutions in Mid-Atlantic states and Puerto Rico)
* The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (institutions in New England states)
* The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission (institutions in the Midwest, Southwest and Rocky Mountain states)
* The Northwest Accreditation Commission (institutions in northwestern states)
* The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (institutions in the southern states)
* The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission (institutions in California, Hawaii, territories of the Pacific and eastern Asia)
In addition to accreditation, you should ensure that your school can meet your needs. If you are an adult returning to school, find out whether you are required to attend class on campus, and ask how many transfer credits the school will accept and whether you can earn credit for prior learning, including professional training.
For more information about institutional quality and accreditation, visit the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity website.