Insurance Blog

No Gym Required for These (Financial) Fitness Tips



If you’re like me, your social-media feeds are jammed with headlines about getting “healthy and fit” in the new year. Of course, they’re referring to diet and exercise and common resolutions to drop pounds and work out more often.

But it’s just as important to be concerned about your financial fitness—where you can also drop some baggage and get some strength training without going near a gym. (In fact, if you have a subscription to a gym membership but aren’t going, that’s one financial fix you can make right now.)

Here are some tips to consider for any age:

IN YOUR 20s:

Workout: Have a portion of each paycheck deposited into your savings account, or take advantage of bank programs that “round up” or have other automated savings features. Trust me, you won’t feel this burn.

Diet: Start making coffee at home or at the office instead of going for expensive lattes. Fewer calories, and more money in your pocket. This is a good time to consider getting life insurance (whether you are single or attached) as it is less expensive the younger and healthier you are.

You also need to consider disability insurance, which pays you a portion of your salary if you are sick or injured and unable to work—because who would pay your bills if you couldn’t? Your work may offer this as an employee benefit, so check with your HR department to find out if you have it and what it covers (short-term, long-term disability, etc.)

IN YOUR 30s:

Workout: You probably have a retirement program at work or some other preliminary retirement planning in place. If you don’t, start.

If you do, why not increase the amount you divert into retirement by a percentage point each year—equaling your company match percentage, if they have it, is a good target.

Remember, when you leave a job, you typically lose that life insurance offered through your workplace.

Diet: You may not have gotten life insurance beyond what you have through your workplace, but now is the time to consider an individual policy that you own. Remember, when you leave a job, you typically lose that life insurance offered through your workplace. And, given that life insurance through the workplace usually equals one or two times you salary (or a set amount like $50,000), it’s no longer going to cut it if you have a growing family.

If money’s tight, as it often is with a growing family, lingering student loans, and perhaps a mortgage, a term life insurance policy can protect you through the lean years. But don’t overlook the long-term benefits of a permanent life insurance policy. The cash value can be tapped later for needs that may arise. Plus, there’s nothing that says you can’t have a combination of both.

Also, consider an individual disability insurance policy that you personally own and follows you throughout your career. If you’re relying on work coverage, know that it goes away when you leave that job, and often these policies have bare-bones coverage.

IN YOUR 40s:

Workout: Do you have a financial professional helping you out? Navigating the ins and outs of a growing investment portfolio can be tricky as you move through your career and want to use traditional or Roth IRAs, and the tax benefits of various planning strategies. This may also be the time that you can add a permanent life insurance policy, if you haven’t before, which allows you to accrue cash value and obtain benefits that extend later into your life.

Diet: If you’re still carrying extra debt at this point, it’s time to get that paid down. Tackle higher-interest debts first, and celebrate each paid-off card or loan with … a bigger payment to the next one on the list.

IN YOUR 50s:

Workout: Max out your retirement contributions, especially once your kids are through college. This is also a good time to start researching things like long-term care insurance, and to make sure that your investment portfolio is built in such a way that you can reach your goals.

Diet: It may be very tempting to take on a new debt now: some folks want a vacation home, or the time may be right to start a business. But beware of any super-risky moves that can spell catastrophe with limited time to recoup losses, or that leave you with unexpected bills.

IN YOUR 60s and beyond:

Workout: Evaluate your Social Security situation against your retirement portfolio to determine the best time to retire. Understand the “living benefits” of your life insurance policies and how annuities may help you create a retirement income stream that you can’t outlive.

Diet: Is it time to downsize? It can be hard letting go of “stuff” so that you can go from that four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom condo. But the financial benefit of doing so may surprise you—plus there is less to clean and take care of (not to mention the ease of jetting off at a moment’s notice with no need for someone to look after your home.)

A lot depends on factors like your relationship status, your career path, whether you have kids or not, and what your long-term goals are, and these can change at any time in our lives.

The long and short of it is that just as when it comes to “health and fitness” goals, you’d get an annual physical. Need to know if you’re financially fit? Talk to an insurance professional or financial advisor today.


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VRBO calculator shows what you could earn renting your home to Naples travelers


Naples homeowners earned an average of $1,500 a month in rental income in 2017.

Naples homeowners earned an average of $1,500 a month in rental income in 2017. (Photo: VRBO)

Thinking about renting your home as a short-term vacation rental? According to VRBO, the site for renting vacation homes, cabins and condos, Naples homeowners earned an average of $1,500[1] a month in rental income in 2017, with many owners making up to $3,500[2] per month. The data is a clear signal of the potential rental income homeowners could make renting their property in the Naples area.

Each year, with vacation rentals becoming the preferred choice for travelers, homeowners are also realizing the financial benefits of renting their homes as a substantial source of income. VRBO enables homeowners to rent out a variety of different properties to earn extra income, including primary residences rented for only a few weeks and vacation homes or second homes rented throughout the year.

Currently, over 50% of VRBO owners use their rental income to cover at least 75% of their mortgage.[3] VRBO’s new rent potential calculator takes the guesswork out of the equation, so homeowners can get a preliminary estimate of what they could earn before they list. This offers Naples homeowners a clear idea of their potential extra income, which gives them the opportunity to plan for expenses like retirement, college tuition, or other household costs.

The Paradise Coast Half Marathon and other citywide events bring travelers from all over the world to Naples.

The Paradise Coast Half Marathon and other citywide events bring travelers from all over the world to Naples. (Photo: VRBO)

Holidays and large citywide events like the Paradise Coast Half Marathon and Stay in May bring in travelers from all over the world looking for a place to stay. As these events approach, VRBO is observing a spike in vacation rental demand, especially in core Naples neighborhoods like Old Naples, Royal Harbor, Port Royal, and Coquina Sands. Increased demand works in favor of homeowners, as Floridians who are already taking advantage of this opportunity can attest.

For those Naples homeowners looking to rent for the first time, VRBO provides everything needed to get started from helping you decide on the best price for your rental to effectively promoting your rental to their hundreds of millions of travelers.

“Naples is an incredibly popular destination for families and groups,” says Bill Furlong, VP of North American Business at VRBO. “We’re here to help homeowners capitalize on the many visitors to the city in the easiest way possible. Once a property is listed on VRBO, we work to match that property to the right travelers and maximize bookings and rental income for homeowners.”

Interested to see how much your home could make? At, you can enter basic information about your home’s size and location. You’ll receive an instant estimate of your property’s rental potential based on nearby comparable Naples rentals.


[1] Based on average annual rental income for Naples homes in 2018.

[2] Based on average annual rental income for top 20% of Naples homes in 2018.

[3] VRBO Vacation Rental Marketplace Report, June 2018, 754 owners surveyed.

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.


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Having to file an auto insurance claim may not sound like a funny experience, but some of the car insurance claims are honestly hilarious. Check out these 10 funny insurance claims, each pulled from actual records. Keep in mind that they are true, even though they sound pretty unbelievable.

  • Where’s the Beef?

In one of our favorite funny insurance stories, the insured person hit a cow with his car. When asked what warning he gave, the answer was “Horn.” When asked what answer was given by the other party, the answer was “Moo.” Rather specific, don’t you think?

  • One Mattress Equals Three Crashed Cars

In Seattle a few years ago, drivers of an SUV didn’t attach their mattress to the top of their vehicle very securely. Once on the highway, the mattress fell off and was the direct cause of a three-way pile-up.

  • Wrong Tree

This funny car insurance claim reads as follows: “I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.” Again, a relatively straightforward answer where logic is the crux of the joke.

  • Poor Grammar

Sometimes, silly car insurance claim responses aren’t amusing for the situation, but rather for the way the claimant replies. As one person asserted, he was unable to stop in time, so his car crashed into another vehicle. The claimant then went on to say, “the driver and passengers left immediately for a vacation with injuries.” Looks like someone needs a course in Grammar 101.

  • Ouch!

“A truck backed through my windshield into my wife’s face.” Ouch. That must have been either a huge windshield or a very small truck. In either case, we hope the wife was all right.

  • Those Diabolical Pedestrians

In some cases of insurance claims, the culprit is listed as someone walking along, minding his or her own business (seemingly.) As one claimant noted, the pedestrian with whom he collided hit him and then went under his car. Hint: If you are in an accident involving a pedestrian, don’t try to put the blame on him or her.

  • Stop Bugging Me!

Unless you study them for a living, you’re probably not a fan of insects. That was the source of a funny car insurance answer whereby the individual noted that in an “attempt to kill a fly,” he “drove into a telephone pole.” Remember that if a bug is bugging you, open the windows or stop the vehicle. Talk about distracted driving!

  • The On-Purpose Mistake

Here’s another example of someone who needs to take a refresher English course, or at least re-read what he wrote. “The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.” Some advice to you is that you should always check your auto insurance claim notations for clarity before you submit them.

  • Well … I’ll Be Darned!

“I told the police I wasn’t injured, but on removing my hat, I found I had a fractured skull.” Hmm. Probably not the exact way it happened, eh? If it were, both the claimant and policeman would have been quite shocked!

  • The Vanishing Vehicle

The last, but certainly not least, funny auto insurance quote to share is one involving a vanishing vehicle. Unless this incident happened in Area 51, we’re rather certain that it wasn’t a ghost or alien at the wheel: “An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished.” Really?

Now that you’ve had a few chuckles over these funny car insurance claims, don’t forget that it’s important to always report any concerns immediately. And if you’re in an accident, stop immediately. Get help for yourself or others as soon as possible. Leaving the scene is a huge issue that’s not in the least bit hilarious.

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