Here’s how you can sweat your way to a $25 Apple Watch
Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:04 PM
By: Craig Johnson – Clark.com
Working out has some obvious benefits that we all appreciate: a healthy body and mind, an active lifestyle and maybe even a slimmer build. But what if you could earn some pretty decent savings throughout the year and get one of the coolest tech devices in the world for free just by being active? Got your attention now?
That’s basically what John Hancock Life Insurance is promoting with a major new health initiative that can not only make customers more fit, but give them an opportunity to earn rewards, up to $600 in savings and a steeply discounted Apple Watch.
John Hancock’s Vitality program is billed as a “new kind of life insurance [that] helps secure your family’s financial future, while offering valuable savings and rewards for the every day things you do to stay healthy.”
Here’s the deal: You can earn an Apple Watch Series 3 with an initial payment of as little as $25 by exercising regularly. If you stop working out, you’ll have to pay for the Apple Watch in installments, based on the number of times you (don’t) exercise. The Series 3 pricing starts at $299 and can climb to more than triple that figure.
John Hancock is also offering members the choice of a Fitbit device, according to the promotion.
Policyholders can also earn up to 15% off on premiums and save up to $600 annually on healthy foods for exercising regularly. Additionally, the insurer is offering huge discounts and rewards through major retailers such as Amazon, iTunes, Royal Caribbean, Hyatt and more.
Insurance companies are giving major incentives to their customers as a way to reduce corporate health care costs. Money expert Clark Howard says the trend has gotten red-hot since Target rolled out a program two years ago to give its employees Fitbits.
Now, Apple, which debuted its watch platform in 2015, wants in on the Fitbit market. Apple sees health and fitness as a clear path forward for its wearables.
The tech giant has been looking to build partnerships with insurers. The Cupertino, California-based company recently met with Aetna to discuss an Apple Watch deal for the insurer’s 23 million members, according to CNBC.
The Apple Watch: A renewed focus on health and fitness
Apple has not been shy about promoting its pricey watch as an active health and fitness tracker. The Series 3 Apple Watch features Gym Connect, which allows users to sync their phones to cardio machines found in fitness centers. The gadget also comes with smart activity coaching, a precision heart rate monitor and improved music interface.
All those features make the Apple Watch the No. 1 watch in the world, according to CEO Tim Cook.
John Hancock is not the only entity that rewards its customers for an active lifestyle:
5 surefire ways to get to retire earlier than you thought
Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 11:27 AM
By: Mary Caldwell – For the AJC
The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker Set clear goals for yourself and track your progress Working hard and being disciplined is the most reliable ways to retire early Streamline your spending and scale back on luxuries Cut your housing expenses Put your money to work – wisely
—Retirement can seem like a difficult goal to reach, so the thought of achieving it early may seem downright impossible.
But getting to retirement quicker doesn’t require genius-level investing knowledge or extreme deprivation. With a plan, hard work and discipline, you may be able to get there sooner rather than later.
The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker:
Set clear goals for yourself
Consumer adviser Clark Howard recently shared advice from Chris Reining, who decided in his late 20s that he wanted to retire early. By the time he turned 37, he was able to reach this goal.
Howard said he thought setting clear goals was one of the most important things that Reining did. He labeled his investment account “Retire early” so he could see the words every day. In addition, Reining tracked his progress by using a spreadsheet you can get on his website. He wanted to save up 25 times his annual expenses before retiring.
This can be achieved through a high-paying job combined with saving as much of your income as possible. Another path is starting your own business.
Forbes quotes a blogger who retired early and says that streamlining your spending is an important step toward achieving this goal. It’s not glamorous or complicated, but it works.
He suggests scaling back on luxuries and investing your savings in a low-cost index fund. When you accumulate 25 to 30 times your annual spending in this type of account, you can quit working for the rest of your life.
This Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, photo shows a new home for sale in a housing development in Raeford, N.C. On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates.
Cut your housing expenses
If you’re like most people, your home is your biggest expense, so it’s also your biggest opportunity to save, according to Money.
Housing costs take up about a third of the average budget, so Money recommends not taking out the biggest mortgage you can get. Live in a more modest-sized home when possible, and in some cases, homeowners can purchase a two-family home, living in one side and renting out the other.
Put your money to work – wisely
He put his money to work and although he made some mistakes in the beginning, he evolved into what he calls a boring investor. His savings are automatically funneled into low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffet calls a surefire way to build wealth.
5 key things you should know about car insurance
Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2:46 PM
By: Mary Caldwell – For the AJC
The following are five things you probably don’t know about auto insurance It may cover more than you realize Your car’s contents were stolen or damaged? Too bad Other drivers in your house need to be listed on the policy Your rates could go up because of an accident that wasn’t your fault You may be missing out on some discounts
—Car insurance isn’t something you probably think about often, but it’s an important tool in protecting your assets.
It pays to learn about your policy before you need it so you can take advantage of its benefits and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Whether you’re shopping for a new policy or are wondering about the specifics of your current coverage, you may be surprised by what you find.
The following are five things you probably don’t know about auto insurance:
It may cover more than you realize.
If your car is damaged when a rodent chews through some wires, your expenses will most likely be covered, according to the Motley Fool. Your auto insurer may also pay for damage suffered when your car hits a pothole, and, although you probably won’t need it, damage from a riot or meteor. And if you’re involved in legal action as the result of a vehicle accident, your car insurance may also provide help with some legal costs.
Your car’s contents were stolen or damaged? Too bad.
If you’re like many people, you might have several expensive items – your phone, laptop and navigation system – that you often leave in your car. Unfortunately, if you’re in an accident and these items are damaged, you’re probably on your own when it comes to replacing them, U.S. News & World Report warns. The same is true if your car is stolen while the items are inside.
Other drivers in your house need to be listed on the policy.
In most cases, a car insurance policy provides coverage for you and other people who don’t live with you but may occasionally drive your car, according to Business Insider. But if you have other drivers in your home, they will need to be listed on your policy as well. Otherwise, they probably won’t be covered if they drive your car and are in an accident.
Your rates could go up because of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that many companies will raise your rates if you open a claim, even if you’re not at fault. The practice is illegal in at least two states (California and Oklahoma), but drivers who live elsewhere are not protected. Companies vary in how much they’ll raise your rates, and the CFA found that moderate-income drivers often face higher increases than higher-income drivers do.
You may be missing out on some discounts.
You might be getting a discount for being a good driver or because you’re in a certain age group, but you may be missing out on some less-obvious discounts. According to Fox Business, some insurance companies offer discounts if you belong to certain professional groups, are a graduate of a certain college or belonged to one of its affiliated fraternities or sororities.