2014′s Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America

WH Best & Worst College Cities & Towns in America BadgeHigh school seniors face a tall laundry list when prepping for college: From taking standardized tests and gathering letters of recommendation to submitting college applications and applying for financial aid, the final months before the big decision can be hectic. And to help students winnow their school choices, a visit to their prospective campuses can offer a taste of the college experience.

When touring universities and colleges, it’s important to examine not only an institution’s intellectual environment but also the city or town the student will call home for several years. Academic success depends on more than just the quality of a program. Also important is an area that is safe, affordable and conducive to personal development through a diversity of cultural and professional experiences.

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The Total Guide To A Totaled Car

Totaled Cars

You have been in a car accident, and your car is now damaged beyond repair. All is not lost. The reason you carry auto insurance is to protect you in these situations.

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What Is Gap Insurance and Is Gap Coverage Worth It?

Gap Insurance

A serious accident or the theft of your car is very bad news. But it can be worse when your auto insurance plan doesn’t cover what you owe on the car.

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2014′s Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle

WH Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle BadgeA winter holiday celebration in the U.S. is never complete without a gorgefest. On Thanksgiving Day alone, the average person consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat, according to the Calorie Control Council. And many of us justify overeating by crowning our list of New Year’s resolutions with a promise to “lose weight and get fit.”

But a strict health regimen following a solid holiday binge may be much easier to imagine than to implement. In fact, the average person will gain a little more than a pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the National Institutes of Health found in a 2000 study. Although 1 pound sounds better than the popularly peddled 5 or more, the yearly accumulation of that extra weight poses the real threat. Uncontrolled weight gain invites a host of health issues such as diabetes and those related to obesity, treatment of which costs Americans about $176 billion and up to $210 billion a year, respectively.

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Promissory Note: Template, Tips & More

Promissory Note

As you might have already guessed from the self-explanatory name, a promissory note – colloquially known as an IOU – is a legal contract between two individuals that details the fine points of a promise to repay a personal loan.

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2014′s Cities with the Highest and Lowest Population in Need

WH Cities with the Highest and Lowest Population in Need BadgeMany of us spent the past week disposing of leftover Thanksgiving food and kicking off our holiday shopping. Meanwhile, tens of millions of others struggled to find their next meal or a warm place to sleep. Some wondered how they would make ends meet this winter.

It might surprise one to learn that hunger, poverty and homelessness persist in the world’s richest and most powerful democracy. According to Feeding America, food insecurity plagues every U.S. county. In 2013, 49.1 million people lacked access to adequate food and 45.3 million lived in poverty. The National Low Income Housing Coalition classifies more than 10 million of those in poverty as “extreme low-income renter households,” 75 percent of whom can barely cover other basic needs — such as utilities, food and health care — after half of their income pays for shelter.

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Collision/Loss Damage Waiver: What It Is & Should You Buy It?

Collision Damage Waiver

After a long flight you make your way to the luggage carousel and finally the rental car counter. At this point, the last things you want to face are difficult decisions and hard sales tactics. The agent at the rental counter attempts to talk you into buying a damage waiver to cover you in the case of an accident or other event that causes damage to your rental car. What should you do? Is it worth the extra cost that will be added to your rental?

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Property Damage Liability Insurance: What It Covers & How Much to Buy

Property Damage Liability

What Is Property Damage Liability Insurance?

Property damage liability coverage helps pay for damage to someone else’s car or other property due to an accident you caused, up to the policy’s limits. It will also cover damage you may cause to structures and stationary objects, including houses, stores, offices, trees, fences, guardrails, lamp posts, telephone poles, and more.

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2014 Mortgage Insurance Report

Mortgage InsurancePrivate mortgage insurance was hard to come by in the years following the housing market collapse, as the companies that offer it incurred significant losses, with several even going bankrupt. FHA loans therefore became the primary option for low-down-payment consumers, and their volume grew by more than 355% from 2007 to 2009. However, in recent years, as the cost of FHA loans have increased significantly and the housing market has rebounded in many areas, private mortgage insurance has once again become a more viable and affordable option for many consumers.

 

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Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: What it Covers & How Much to Buy

Bodily-Injury-Liability

What Is Bodily Injury Liability Insurance?

Bodily injury liability coverage will help pay for another person’s injuries in a car accident for which you are found to be at fault. It is one of two types of liability auto insurance. The other, property damage liability coverage, pays for damage you may cause to the other driver’s car. Some minimum amount of both types of liability car insurance is typically required by states.

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2014′s Most and Least Charitable States

WH Most and Least Charitable StatesBadgeAmerica is obsessed with being No. 1. It dominates in military power, economic prosperity, high technology, even movie blockbusters. Recently, its glorious résumé was freshened up with yet another impressive credential: The world’s most benevolent country of 2014, a title it shares with Myanmar.

As the Charities Aid Foundation reported in this year’s World Giving Index, the U.S. was the only nation to rank in the top 10 for each of the three charitable giving behaviors that are measured. It leads in “helping strangers,” jointly ranks fifth with three other countries in “volunteering time” and places ninth in “donating money.”

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2014′s States with the Biggest Spenders

WH States with the Biggest Spenders Badge Blowing cash appears to be the new American pastime. Between 2010 and 2020, global spending will increase 43 percent from $28 trillion to $40 trillion, according to a report from consulting firm A.T. Kearney. And the U.S. will account for an entire quarter of the growth pie.

While the Great Recession continues to permeate the air in parts of the U.S., the rest of the country is sweeping away the remaining economic cobwebs from the crisis. This past October, the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” reported all manner of improvements: jobs expanding, industries growing, consumer spending on the rise.

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2014 Maryland Car Insurance Report

Maryland Car Insurance When it comes to Maryland, big things really do come in small packages. In 2011, the Free State charged the tenth most expensive car insurance premiums in the country. That’s despite having little road to cover (17,000 lane miles), one of the lowest rates (315) of traffic-related fatalities (315) and minimum liability insurance limits just slightly higher than the national average. Maryland drivers must carry at least $30,000 of coverage per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury and $15,000 for property damage.

So what’s boosting the cost?

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2014’s Best & Worst Retailers for Black Friday Deals

WH Best Worst Retailers for Black Friday Deals BadgeFollowing a hearty Thanksgiving feast, armies of turkey-stuffed consumers will descend on America’s stores into the wee hours of the night to conquer one mission: save bigtime. It’s one of our country’s most sacred holiday traditions. If you’re familiar with the custom and need a reason to be grateful this year, you can appreciate us for finding the retailers with the best — and worst — Black Friday deals.

And who could blame consumers for their Black Friday enthusiasm? After all, a U.S. economy on the mend appears to be boosting consumers’ confidence and beefing up their wallets. This holiday season, including November and December, the National Retail Federation estimates that total retail sales will reach $616.9 billion, an increase of 4.1 percent from nearly $592.7 billion in 2013.

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2014 Auto Financing Report

WH Study Auto Financing BadgeIs now a good time to buy a car? Well, a lot of people certainly seem to be doing it. Through October, year-to-date new vehicle sales are up 5.4% over 2013 at 13.6 million vehicles sold, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. And through the second quarter of the year, used car sales are at 18.72 million, according to Edmunds.

With the economy improving, the average vehicle at 11.4 years old and a variety of technologically advanced new models hitting the market, it seems that demand is high. Prospective buyers also have near-record-low interest rates on their side, making the purchase decision easier for the roughly 92% of consumers who finance or lease. But where can the best deals be found in this market?

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2014′s Best & Worst States at Combating the High Cost of Lung Cancer

WH Best Worst High Cost of Lung Cancer BadgeLung cancer is a costly disease. It claims more lives in the U.S. than the next three most common types of cancer combined: colon, breast and pancreatic. And the chance of surviving lung cancer is equally disappointing — an underwhelming 16.6 percent, compared with 64.2 percent for colon cancer and 89.2 percent for breast cancer — calling for heightened attention to the deadly disease.

Not only is lung cancer physically and emotionally taxing, it also imposes an astounding financial toll on both the person it afflicts and the rest of society. According to the most recent National Institutes of Health estimates, the disease accounted for $12.1 billion of total cancer care costs in 2010. Five years earlier, premature deaths from lung cancer among adults aged 20 and older resulted in $36.1 billion in lost productivity.

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11 Ways the 2014 Elections Will Impact Your Wallet

2014 Elections And Your Wallet

With the midterm elections over and Congress now firmly in the Republican Party’s control, President Obama must face his final two years in office with little legislative support. While it remains to be seen exactly how the new balance of power will manifest itself in terms of a working relationship in Washington – with a legacy to be cemented, voter promises to uphold and the foundations of 2016 candidacies to be laid – both sides of the isle are currently preaching bipartisanship. That, of course, is standard post-election politics, and it’s fair to wonder how the new dynamic will impact major issues such as health care reform, financial regulation, and the economy once time for governing ultimately commences.

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2014′s Best and Worst Cities for Veterans

WH Best and Worst Cities for Veterans BadgeFreedom is not free. Protecting Americans and their way of life occasionally carries the heavy cost of war. As we go on about our daily lives, our troops sacrifice theirs so we may sleep soundly at night, many of us unaware of the unfortunate events that transpire in distant lands.

In return, it is our duty to safeguard our veterans’ and their families’ rights back home. They deserve to be adequately compensated with quality health care, housing and education among other benefits.

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2014′s Best & Worst Cities for Winter Holiday Travel

WH Best and Worst Cities Winter Holiday Travel BadgeWhen the mercury drops, some folks welcome the cold with open arms. Take it from the nearly 57 million skiers who hit the slopes in the U.S. during the chilly months between 2012 and 2013. Others do the opposite: Where the sun goes, they will follow. And with forecasts of heavy snowfall and occasional arctic air for the coming winter, expect a mass exodus of both warm- and cold-weather lovers toward their favorite climates.

This year, Americans certainly aren’t cutting back on their winter travel expenses. In fact, nearly a third of them are planning to increase their leisure travel spending, according to the most recent State of the American Traveler survey. And annually, they spend more than $53 billion on cold-weather gear, accessories, vehicles and travel alone.

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What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

What If I Cant Pay My Taxes

Tax season is a stressful time for most people, but it’s especially difficult for those of us with doubts about our ability to pay the IRS. The good news is there are a number of ways anyone can make an unmanageable tax obligation easier to deal with without drastically driving up the costs.

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