Term vs Whole Life Insurance

Life insurance is incredibly important when it comes to making sure our loved ones are left behind in safe hands in the wake of our death. However, the nuances between the varierty of insurances available can often make one’s head spin. It is for this reason that I will address some of these nuances in an attempt to make the convoluted and complicated world of hypotheticals easy to understand.

Here, I will be discussing both term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term is a bit more simplistic and also boasts the lower cost. However, more of us have been exposed to whole life insurance since it has more publicity behind it.

Term Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance, as the name hints, only covers a certain amount of time, a term if you will.  Occasionally, you may hear this sort of plan referred to as “pure life insurance” since it’s really only supposed to protect your dependents. Terms can last anywhere from one to thirty years, yet the most common is 20 years. Generally, the premium does not increase or decrease throughout the contract, but of course every plan is its own and so it behooves you to make sure that that it is the case should you decide to move forward with a term plan.

For the record, you should pick a term plan for the years your dependents would be the most, for lack of a better word, dependent on you. This way, in the event that the worst happens, your family is provided for. Ideally, the payout they receive will be the equivalent of your current income so as to provide for the smoothest transition possible should you suddenly not be around.

Whole Life Insurance

This sort of plan is permanent, and has you covered from the start of the plan to the end of your life. This said, there is an investment involved that is titled the “cash value” of the plan. This cash value grows at a slow and steady pace and is tax-deferred so you won’t have to pay any percentage based on its gains. However, you can borrow money against the account or even forfeit the policy for cash. However, if you don’t manage to pay the plan back, with interest, you will decrease your benefits until you surrender the entire policy and the death benefit with it.

Frankly, as a whole, whole life insurance is more straightforward than term plans in that the numbers behind it don’t change. Yet, even though this is the case, the plans are typically more expensive, and although offering more benefits than term, they generally cause overbuying as well. Actually, as I mentioned in a previous article, this is because when we grow older we need less benefits, but as stated above, the numbers with whole life insurance plans don’t change. So even when you have less financial obligations and your kids are moved out of the house, you are still paying the same premiums.

This all said, it is up to you to decide which plan to pursue. Of course, every individual has unique circumstances that dictate which plan is best for them. In my personal opinion, you should always be sure to consult a professional before you commit to a plan, and remember to shop around. Insurance companies offer different pricing for different age groups and different policies, so make sure you weigh your options.

 

Life Insurance, Robert Taurosa, Scale

 

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Term vs Whole Life Insurance

How Far, Really, Can A Car Go on One Charge?

In a world increasingly conscious of the environment, electric vehicles have been at the helm of cutting down fossil fuels. You would think, considering how surrounded we are by climate change’s harsh realities, we would be jumping at the prospect of electronic vehicles that do not spout pollution into our already tainted atmosphere. However, the numbers don’t reflect that. In fact, the percentage of new car sales in 2015 being directed to electronic vehicles was less than one percent. Astounding, but understandable when you look at electronic vehicles in a side-by-side comparison with their internal combustion brothers and sisters. Perhaps the most significant question that is raised out of such a comparison, is how far can an electronic car go on “one tank,” or rather, one charge. Here are three of the most popular electric vehicles and the range they boast:

Chevy Volt (53 Miles)

With a fully charged battery, the Chevy Volt claims to be able to travel a full range of 53 solely electric miles. While certainly a considerable distance, it seems this range would be best reserved for merely traveling to and from work. For any individual considering an interstate, or even an international, trip, the Chevy Volt is not a viable choice. While of course, interstate travel is surely not the deciding factor when purchasing an automobile, it is a factor nonetheless; and the fact that the Chevy Volt is one of the longer lasting batteries presents a problem to a mass consumer migration to EV’s.

Tesla Model S (270 Miles)

This sporty sedan not only beckons customers forth with its hit aerodynamic aesthetic, but also draws them in with a larger, 270 mile range. This increase in range decreases the new phenomenon known as “range anxiety,” all the while boasting a more than capable engine with a body that makes heads turn. However, there is a catch, the price. At 85,000$, the Tesla Model S is not necessarily a budget vehicle.

Chevy Spark (82 Miles)

This remarkably small vehicle boasts 82 miles on a single charge and only costs 25,170$, a huge reduction when compared with the Tesla. Of course, the aesthetics and performance of the Spark do not quite match that of Tesla, as I imagine is expected. At 128 miles per gallon in the city, the Spark’s gas reduction perfomance is unparalleled. For comparison, the Tesla sits at 95/mpg city.

 

Palm Tree

 

 

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How Far, Really, Can A Car Go on One Charge?

Future Cars Pt 2

The realm of street-legal speed is a hotly contested one. Car companies will push the boundary as far as possible, squeezing more horsepower and shaving seconds off their 0-60 runs. This lRobert Taurosaatest entry in the world’s fastest car will surely run you a pretty penny, for both the price tag and any possible incursions with the law your joyriding might earn.

The current holder of the fastest production car is the Bugatti Veyron. The 16.4 Super Sport “World Record Edition,” is capable of some pretty astounding speeds. In a long enough stretch, this car can reach up to 270 mph. Capable of going 0-60 in 2 seconds, this speed demon will have you around the block and back seconds after the light turns green.

Though reaching the top-speed would prove difficult on any normal road, all the discerning driver would need is a rented landing strip. Considering the cost of this car, renting such a lavish speed strip should be a pittance. Just pushing the envelope on what it is to be street legal, the geniuses at Bugatti know speed, and know that their clientele expect it.

So, why? Why get a car so fast that you’d need specific situations to see what it’s capable of? The experience has been likened to riding in a space ship. The smooth curves of the interior match the wind-slicing body design, each bend meant to evoke a feeling of motion. This is more than a vehicle, it’s speed incarnate. Though the price may be steep for some, many would leap at the chance to sit behind the steering wheel for just a few minutes of uninhibited driving.

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Future Cars Pt 2

Future Cars Pt 1

Robert TaurosaYears ago, futurists predicted the year 2000 would be one of wonder and science. Cars with domed roofs zipping through the sky while we stand on automated sidewalks and take our meals entirely in pill form. Though that future may not have come true in its entirety, Google’s most recent development could be the next wave of the future. Having ripped a page out of Golden Age Sci-Fi and put it on the road, Google presents the self-driving car.

Showing off its most recent prototype last Saturday at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California, Google proved that it owns the cutting edge. While prototypes of this vehicle were unveiled in May, Google has been road testing their latest creation since June. Keeping it sheltered from the public eye, Google kept their baby behind glass, only available for a chosen few to see.

Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car program, announced the car’s many features. Along with your typical air-conditioning and power windows, you can elect to remove your accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and steering wheel. While the car does come with a fail-safe stop button, the final model will look entirely different. Only being a prototype, this early peek at what Google plans to offer has titillated many. Unveiling their vehicle as part of the Paint the Town project, Google sought local artists to submit artwork to be showcased on the vehicles. Introducing a concept as foreign and futuristic as a self driving car will take all the positive P.R. Google can muster.

With a history of successful innovations under their belt, it should come as no surprise that Google is the one to introduce such a major leap in the technology. While it may be several years before the highways are bustling with self-piloting cars, it’s no doubt that the future is upon us.

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Future Cars Pt 1

Automatic Racer

We’ve only just gotten used to cars that drive themselves, but now there’s a new trend coming around the bend. Formula One, known for cars breaking the sound barrier and peeling around the corners at breakneck speeds, has found a new competitor. With hopes of giving birth to a new breed of racing, the geniuses behind Formula One are hard at work with their latest sport.

Roborace, a futuristic take on racing, will be held by entirely unmanned vehicles. Designed to draw in crowds of younger viewers with its sci-fi bend, Roborace will combine the speed of the F1 racing with the precision of computer-driven vehicles. An offshoot of Formula E, the latest addition to the Formula One lineage, Roborace is part of a movement toward greener, healthier ways to race.

Robert TaurosaTouting their latest project as a fusion of future tech and modern modality, the brilliant minds behind Roborace are hopeful that showing how seamlessly the two cooperate will fill seats with eager viewers. Additionally, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has put up a large cash sum for any able developer able to race across the Mojave Desert in an unmanned vehicle. To this day, only one group has been able to cross the finish line, but the competition, designed to drive the production of smarter unmanned vehicles, has drawn plenty of attention.

Designed to tax the automation systems of driverless cars, this project is equal parts new sport and product test. While automated vehicles have become a reality, the programs that operate them have yet to be put to any real speed test. Roborace may not only be the most futuristic race to date but the birthplace of advanced driving A.I. For more information on this science fiction subject, follow the link here.

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Automatic Racer

The Automated Automobile

The automobile market is changing in some unexpected ways. Ever since the concept of the automated car hit the streets, companies the world over have been thinking up ways to join in the race. While old hats like Volkswagen fall victim to their own poor planning and product placement, newcomers to the auto industry like Apple and Google are offering a piece of the future we’ve all wanted since the days of Golden Age science fiction.

While many are reluctant to let go of their gas-guzzlers, the wave of the future is inevitably going to be electric vehicles and battery power. Whether protecting the environment with their lack of emissions or severing our reliance on fossil fuels, the benefits of electric cars outweigh any potential detriments.

Robert TaurosaAlong with the advent of clean-running cars, inventors have begun developing hands-free vehicles. The concept, similarly helpful as removing fossil fuels, has many more benefits than its classic counterpart. While some cars will have an option to make them able to be manually operated, a simple button press will perform all the necessary functions of a car. Reducing incidents of traffic fatalities, and subsequently dropping the cost of repairing damaged roads and the man-hours needed to attend to the grim aftermath will allow us as a race to more appropriately allocate our time and energy.

The design of modern electric cars not only remove the need for expensive and environmentally impactful fuels but will offer more direct and consistent power. Where a fuel-based engine’s output is directly related to the force exerted on the pedal, the controlled and evenly distributed power of an electric engine can deliver real power over sustained use. While the fantasy of flying cars remains elusive to this day, we may soon live in an era where we can all face each other while we zip down the road. A time where snow, rain, and inclement weather are little more than hindrances for your onboard computer to map and avoid.

 

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The Automated Automobile

Google Wheels

Google has always been on the cutting edge of technology; their contributions to the modern world, substantial. From Chrome to Glass, there isn’t much Google doesn’t have a hand in. This pioneering spirit left no room for surprise when Google announced their latest foray into the automobile industry. Though fraught with antipathy, Google’s self-driving car is off the testing floor and on the road.

When Google’s autonomous car was first unveiled, auto-industry enthusiasts laughed it off as a “self-driving toaster.” Absent from Google’s vehicle are the frills and body curves that define luxury automobiles, and its function over form design left analysts scratching their heads as to the practicality of such a practical vehicle in a market where style so often trumps substance. However, recent movement in Google’s auto department has these former executives shaking at their steering wheels.

Joining the Google team to assist in their automotive initiative, John Krafcik, former CEO of Hyundai Motor America and president of TruCar, is one of the industry’s heaviest hitters. Those industry professionals so eager to mock Google’s entry into the market found their words hard to swallow when faced with a clear and definitive answer with plans for future involvement in the auto industry.

Robert TaurosaAs they have in the past when Google has decided to change the world, they form a crack team of industry experts. John Krafcik is the first of many powerful industry names to join the cause. Google’s roster of famous names includes former Boeing CEO Alan Mulally and GM’s former boss of R&D Lawrence Burns. This tremendous joining of skill and industry know-how makes Google’s roster something to be feared.

As traffic deaths continue to rise as the amount of in-car distractions increase, Google is projecting a reduction of nearly 30,000 traffic-related incidents. The simple to use interface has all of three buttons for going, slowing, and quickly stopping. This newfound freedom from the responsibilities of the road allows Google to completely redesign the interior of their vehicle when the model is ready to hit the street. The “cars of tomorrow” we were promised so long ago, may finally be making their first appearance.

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Google Wheels

AIG Fights For Its Life Insurance

AIG (American International Group) has been embroiled in a court case with their life insurance company, Coventry First, since last week. Stating that Coventry has been overcharging them for years, AIG is seeking reparations in the amount of $1.76 billion for damages, and the potential harm visited on the accounts of elderly employees. Accusing Coventry First of not only artificially inflating the prices of nearly 300 accounts but doing so in such a way as to conceal their dealings, AIG is not pulling punches..

Robert TaurosaIn what can only be described as a mafia-esq scheme to hide their business transactions, Coventry First’s blatant and inappropriate use of money they had no right to claim has placed more than a target on their back. Though Coventry claims the policy prices were being manipulated with AIG consent, few can deny the shady and back-alley nature of these deals. investors purchasing these insurance plans on the secondary market need only pay the premiums, and they become the sole beneficiary when the owner of the policy passes on.

Of the nearly 7.000 life settlements purchased from Coventry with a face value of $20 billion, Coventry required an additional $150 million in disguised markups and fees. AIG said it’s entitled to more than $250 million in damages, including interest, based on pretrial rulings that found Coventry liable on certain breach of contract claims. AIG is also looking to have Coventry disclose all collected fees, including legitimate payments for undisputed policies, as well as to impose triple damages under the civil racketeering statute.

It is never wise to play games with other people’s money, and Coventry is now reaping the horrible wind that they’ve sewn. Though the trial continues, the dollar amounts being tossed around in court are staggering, and can make or break whoever comes out the victor.

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AIG Fights For Its Life Insurance

White Lotus Esprit Turbo!

Have you ever watched the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me”? Do you Remember the White Lotus Espirit? One of the Coolest cars created to date!  It was a submarine and a car all in one. But no, seriously the veichle was sumbersible and equipped with and endless amount of weapons. More over there were also two Lotus Espirit Turbos in “For Your Eyes Only”, which didnt reveal much of the cars capabilites other than the car self ditsruting and driving on snow. In 2009 one of the two Espirit turbos went out for auction at the Coys Auction at Blenheim Palace in England.

James Bond films were knows for the action pact story lines and innovative veuchles that came along with the action packed thrillers. In “For Your Eyes Only” (smilar to the one below), Bond uses the first Esprit (a white one) to drive to the estate of a Cuban hitman in Madrid. The car blows up when one of the hitman’s henchmen tries to steal it, and Q replaces it with another one, which Bond takes to the snowy hills of Cortina, Italy. Neither car was used in any chase scenes. That honor went to a yellow Citroen 2CV…

Robert Taurosas Car

Robert Taurosas 88 Espirt Turbo

 

  • Lotus Esprit, manufactured or sold in 1988, version for Europe
  • 2-door coupe body type
  • RWD (rear-wheel drive), manual 5-speed gearbox
  • petrol (gasoline) engine with displacement: 2174 cm3 / 132.5 cui, advertised power: 128 kW / 172 hp / 174 PS ( DIN ), Torque net: 221 Nm / 163 lb-ft
  • characteristic dimensions: outside length: 4330 mm / 170.5 in, wheelbase: 2438 mm / 96 in
  • reference weights: base curb weight: 1177 kg / 2595 lbs, gross weight GVWR: 1450 kg / 3197 lbs
  • how fast is this car ? top speed: 222 km/h (138 mph) (declared by factory);
  • accelerations: 0- 60 mph 6.5 s, 0- 100 km/h 6.8 s (declared by factory), 1/4 mile drag time (402 m) 15.3 s (a-c simulation)
  • fuel consumption and mileage: 10.1 l/100km / 28.1 mpg (imp.) / 23.4 mpg (U.S.) / 9.9 km/l average estimated by a-c: 12.4 l/100km / 22.9 mpg (imp.) / 19 mpg (U.S.) / 8.1 km/l

 

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White Lotus Esprit Turbo!

Porsche Carrera 911!

Years: 1965–1989

Wheelbase: 87.0 in (1965–1968); 89.3 in (1968–1989)

Overall length: 168.9 in

Power: 130 hp (1965); 214 hp (1989)

Price: $6490 (1965); $51,770 (1988)

Weight, as tested: 2720 lb (1965); 2760 lb (1984)

porsche porsche1990-roberttaurosa2 porsche1990-roberttaurosa3

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Porsche Carrera 911!