Open Enrollment: You Might Die An Expensive Death So Sign-up Now

Updated for 2014!

It’s open enrollment time again for insurance and benefits for the following year.  With all this talk about health insurance costs going up and benefits going down, I’m surprised to see my total insurance and benefits costs hover the same at around $150 a month for an individual.  I looked carefully at each line item and compared it to the previous year, and the costs are only about $5 dollars a month higher.

Your company benefits have real value that is calculated as part of your total compensation, so pay attention and maximize these benefits to your full advantage.  The deadline to enroll is usually by mid-December, otherwise what you have now *might* get carried forward to the next year except for some discretionary flex spending decisions, which reset to zero.  You don’t want to die an expensive death for your loved ones just because you forgot to enroll and didn’t understand what the term “excess liability insurance” means!  Get thinking and get cracking!


The Best Way To Lose Weight And Become Debt Free

Yesterday was one of those perfect gastronomic days.  For breakfast, there was all you can eat fruit and pastries.  For lunch, some deliciously “low calorie” Greek baked spaghetti with garlic bread you see to the left.  To top off the evening, a bone-in filet mignon, with baked potato with the works, blue cheese wedge salad, and a couple glasses of pinot noir from Napa Valley.

All told, I probably consumed some 5,500 calories worth of food!  I didn’t feel incredibly sick to my stomach (OK, maybe a little bit!) because I made sure I played an hour and a half of tennis before dinner.  It was actually a wonderful experience since I normally eat half as much.  When I was in the cab ride home, I had an epiphany.

Perhaps the reason why there are so many large folks in America is because people purposefully gorge themselves in order to lose weight!  Eating great food is such a wonderful pleasure that it’s irrational not to.  It trumps any negative feels about packing on weight otherwise we wouldn’t let ourselves go.  Furthermore, the reason why there are so many people in debt is because it’s just so rocking fun to spend money you don’t have!  Finally, it feels great once you pay back that debt!  Double pleasure going both ways is why there is such a correlation.


Basics Of Buying Auto Insurance Online

When it comes to purchasing car insurance, more consumers are putting down their telephone and picking up their mouse. A record 2.8 million auto insurance policies were purchased online last year. That’s an increase of 80% since 2006, according to the 2010 U.S. Online Auto Insurance Report by ComScore. It’s not that surprising given the way everything is moving online.

Shopping for car insurance online is a quick and easy way to get the coverage you need to insure your vehicles.


Tips and Tricks to Getting Auto Insurance Discounts

Badly Damaged CarAs a recovering car fanatic who has literally bought and sold 8 different cars in the past 10 years I’ve come to appreciate the intricacies of getting a good deal.  One of the most important things people don’t think about when they are about to buy that fancy European automobile is how much car insurance will cost.

On an absolute dollar level, driving a $50,000 car could cost anywhere between $2,000-$3,000 a year, depending on your record.  At 4-6% of the annual cost of your car, car insurance is a big deal!  The irony is, the cheaper the car you buy, generally the higher car insurance is as a percentage of your total cost.

Feeling Like A Burden Is A Terrible, Terrible Thing

My nose plugs up and I can hardly breathe when I’m around cats too long.  I don’t know why I’m allergic, I just am.  One time I stayed over a friend’s place with three cats, and I woke up with red hives.  It was a surprise that I was able to fall asleep at all, because I could have sworn I sneezed over 100 times until the underside of my nose bled.

One of my best friends invited me over to visit her childhood home this fall.  Her mother lives near Boston, and unlucky for me another downside of East Coast living is the enormous pollen count.  I remember countless days when I couldn’t go to work because my allergies were so bad.  Ever since moving out West, my reactions have been much tamer.  The San Francisco Bay acts as a natural filter, sucking out stagnant air to sea.

In addition to being out East, my friend’s mother also has a couple of dogs and cats!  She sees this trip as a fun homecoming to introduce me to where she grew up.  To me, I have no attachment there and it’s like going to a gas chamber for vacation.  Imagine only being able to breathe through your two front teeth.  That’s how I feel sometimes when allergies attack.  You can’t get enough oxygen, so you aren’t able to speak.  You lose energy and let sleep take over even though it’s in the middle of the day.