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Best Family-Friendly Spring Break Destinations on a Budget

It’s time to dust off your luggage and pack up the family for a spring break getaway. Luckily, making great memories doesn’t need to break the bank. We’ve hunted down six of the best family-friendly spring break destinations to visit on a budget. We focused on locations boasting: availability of flights high-value lodging, and plenty of inexpensive family activities. Here are our top six picks for the best family-friendly spring break destinations to visit on a budget. Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona checks all the boxes of a great family-friendly spring break destination. Warm weather and outdoor activities, including plenty of free hiking, will help the kids run off some energy. For a little education mixed into the fun, visit The Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens. Or, simply hang out poolside and relax. Phoenix has several family-friendly hotel chains across the valley. Or rent a condo or house and…

What Medicare Covers When Traveling

What do most people say they want to do when they retire? Travel. Depending on your needs in retirement, your Medicare health insurance program may not make the best travel companion.  In the past, we’ve addressed in detail what Medicare A, B, C and D plans cover. Medicare Part A and Part B together cover essential medical scenarios such as hospital stays, doctor visits and medical equipment. Twist an ankle hiking and you may want those crutches. Whether at home or on the road, these are worthwhile services. But if you plan to travel quite a bit in retirement, let’s examine how Medicare meets — or doesn’t — your needs while away from home. When traveling, we enjoy indulging the senses. Often, this is where Medicare programs do a poor job serving as a healthcare concierge. We’ll use both domestic and international destinations to demonstrate some shortcomings in the plans. Santa…

Should You Consider a Credit Card With an Annual Fee?

There are countless credit cards that don’t require an annual fee, so why would anyone choose a card that requires them to pay every year? It’s all about the perks. Consider those holders of the exclusive American Express Centurion Card (it’s made out of titanium instead of plastic and charges a $7,500 initiation fee plus a $2,500 annual fee*).  Here’s how to decide if an annual-fee card is right for you. As a general rule of thumb, if you get more value in a year than you’re paying – monetary or otherwise – the fee is worth it. Do You Have Bad Credit? If you have bad credit, the value is in the opportunity to have more options (due to your improved credit) later. In other words, it may be your only option because you’ll likely struggle getting approved a credit card with no annual fee. But when you’re trying…

Get a Good Deal on a Last-Minute Getaway

February and March leave most people with a bit of cabin fever. The festivity and cheerfulness of the holidays are long over, and, for many of us, frigid temperatures and gray skies remain. Even if you live in a locale where the weather is relatively mild, there’s just something dull and dragging about this late-season slump. A last-minute weekend getaway is a popular way to beat the winter blues. And you can make it happen without breaking the bank. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a good deal on a last-minute getaway: It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination Often, wanting to get away last minute is more about the “getting away” than it is where you end up. That can work to your advantage. Lots of websites publish last-minute deals to cities and destinations you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Head into your search with general…

How to Pay When Traveling Abroad

Traveling outside of the United States offers unlimited, wonderful experiences. But when you leave the country, the mighty United States dollar may not be as easy to use as it is at home. Whether you find yourself in need of Euros, Pesos, Pounds, Yen, or something else, follow these steps to safely pay when traveling abroad. Credit Cards Are the Safest Option Your best option to make a purchase abroad is your trusty credit card. Credit cards are the best option outside of the United States for many of the same reasons they are the best option at here at home. Here are a few benefits of paying using a credit card: Widely accepted – Visa and MasterCard are easy to use in almost any country. American Express and Discover card acceptance is more limited. Pay in either currency – Some stores can charge you in dollars (usually a bad…

If Cars Drive Themselves, What Does That Mean for Car Insurance?

Imagine it’s 2025. You’re phoning through the morning headlines while your autonomous vehicle navigates your 10-mile commute. Another self-driving vehicle owner is Snapchatting away in an oncoming lane, oblivious as you are. Wham. The two cars collide on an icy intersection. Who’s at fault? Most industry analysts say it’s the vehicle manufacturer, or possibly one of the technology companies that developed the various automated driving or safety features built into the car. In fact, in 2015, Google, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo all agreed to accept liability for accidents that occur when one of their vehicles is in autonomous mode. Taking Control of the Wheel If self-driving vehicles proliferate as predicted (analysts say they’ll be the norm in 2050), what will be the need for car insurance? After all, if your hands aren’t on the wheel and your foot isn’t on the gas or brake pedal, you’re no longer a driver, but…

12 Savvy Solutions to Taming Your Vacation Budget

If you’re lucky, you’re reading this article on an island while rubbing on sunscreen and mulling over another strawberry daiquiri.  Most likely, you’re reading this in your living room, checking your Facebook page and wondering if a medium latte is really worth that extra 83 cents. Everyone deserves a vacation ―and you don’t have to break the bank to do it. The trick to sticking to and taming a vacation budget is to know how to make the most of your vacation dollars. If you’re trying to sneak in that much-needed vacation within the next few weeks, chances are your efforts to travel on a budget will be difficult to accomplish last minute. Fortunately, cheap flights abound, not all exotic destinations have 4 dollar signs next to their names, and options do exist for families if you plan early and are willing to be a little adventurous. Here are 12…

Top 11 Best Places to Live in 2016

Looking for places where homes are affordable and jobs are plentiful?   Then we’ve got the list for you. Money recently released its Best Places to Live report for 2016, analyzing more than 800 cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. For this year’s report, researchers crunched numbers and analyzed 60 key factors: taxes, education, healthcare and more.  The top contenders include some of the usual suspects like Naperville, Illinois, along with new neighborhoods like Weston, Florida. Whether established or just emerging on the scene, these 11 communities earned the highest scores and are all incredible places to dwell. Columbia, Maryland Columbia turns 50 next year, and it’s never looked so good. One of the most successful planned communities in the country, Columbia is a magnet in the Baltimore–Washington corridor, attracting families in search of good schools and businesses hungry for educated employees. Population – 102,221 Median Home Price – $310,000 Property…

Does Driver Assistance Mean You Don't Need Auto Insurance?

While the technology exists for cars to drive around on their own, self-driving cars are a long way from hitting the mainstream. However, some features from self-driving cars are available today in the form of driver assistance. Today’s cars can change lanes, avoid accidents, and stay in a lane without much input from the driver, but does a car that can drive on its own mean you don’t need auto insurance? Let’s take a look at the legality of self-driving and driver assisted cars as it pertains to car insurance. Do Cars Really Drive on Their Own? Recently in Texas, someone was driving along in his Tesla with driver assist features turned on. However, driver assist is not the same as a completely autonomous self-driving car. If you put too much trust in these features, you could end up just like the driver in Texas, with a busted Tesla. This…

5 Reasons Why Renters Insurance Is Worth the Money

Ask most homeowners if they have homeowners insurance, and the majority will say they do – after all, mortgage lenders require them to have it. But ask your average renter if he or she has renters insurance, and chances are you’ll get a very different answer. According to a 2015 poll conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, only 40 percent of people who rent their homes have renters insurance policies – as opposed to the 95 percent of homeowners who have homeowners coverage. Though some landlords require proof of renters insurance upon signing a lease, it’s easy to dismiss it as an unnecessary expense when you don’t own the place you’re renting. But while you may not be liable for the roof over your head, you’re still liable for everything you own inside your rental – from your clothes to your computer to your pets. Here are five reasons why protecting…

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