Best Life Insurance Rates

best life insurance rates
Life Insurance Ratings

Why worry about Life Insurance Rates or ratings? Things like term insurance, etc., etc.. – all sounds kind of boring, doesn’t it? Choosing a Life insurance policy is one of the most important, yet boringly, daunting financial decisions we can make in our life times. The reason is quite simple: It’s hard to get excited about buying something we hope we never have to use. We love buying products that we want to use, not products we hope we never have to use. Why worry about Life Insurance rates? Such is life. A necessity, but hardly anything to get excited about.  Life Insurance is a Must-Do, not a Want-To-Do item in our lives. So, we look for the best life insurance rates and answer other questions like whole life insurance, universal life insurance, term life insurance rates. If you want cheap life insurance, you’ll have to do your home work; and you’ll need a medical exam. We go through all the trouble for our family; the same reason we need health insurance. These days, you don’t need to get insurance quotes from an agent; you can shop for life insurance rates, online. Either way, insurers are competing to give you the best life insurance rates.

How to find the Best Life Insurance

Why Life Insurance Ratings Count

Consumer advocate groups such as A.M Best Company, provide life insurance ratings on the top life insurance companies in America. Life Insurance Ratings on short-term, mid-termand long-term life insurance companies are based on several factors. Service, price, company stability are among the top criteria used to provide these annual life insurance ratings. Unfortunately, most of these consumer research advocates charge us a price tag to uncover the best life insurance ratings as part of their analysis. Companies like A.M Best are more geared towards providing us with a life insurance company’s financial stability, but charge us for the rest of the information. This sort of defeats the purpose of trying to save money on your term life insurance premium, doesn’t it?

Best Life Insurance Rates Through Referrals

Years ago, I found a really good insurance carrier thanks to a friend who referred me, and I realized that this is how most of us shop for term life insurance. We shop by premium from friends or relatives that had similar needs and told us what they pay. Keep in mind, there are a variety of factors that can influence these ratings. For one thing, when we sign up for a new policy, we are required to have a medical physical. In most cases, the life insurance company will send a registered nurse to your work or office to administer the physical. Your rates will go up dramatically if you smoke, and just slightly if you have ‘high’ cholesterol or are considered by their standards, overweight. It varies by insurance company how much of an impact your physical health with have on your life insurance premium. The other thing that will greatly impact rates from one Life Insurance company to another, is the amount of coverage. On average, most young to middle-aged, primary bread-winners are usually getting lump sum life insurance coverage that is 10-20 times greater than their annual income. The premiums from some life insurance carriers might be better for higher coverage amounts or vice versa. Determining which Life Insurance Carrier is best, is not that much different than comparing Cell Phone plans, where certain carriers are geared better for some people’s needs, requirements and desires than others. For the majority of us, the first place to determine a carrier is to shop for the best rates. Fortunately, there is an organization which provides us with Life Insurance Rankings based on Premiums. The Insurance Information Institute provides an annual ranking of the Top-10 life insurance companies. For your convenience, I have included their ratings of the rates, below.

Top-10 Life Insurance Ratings

  1. MetLife
  2. Prudential Financial
  3. New York Life
  5. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
  6. Northwestern Mutual
  7. Aflac
  8. Genworth Financial
  9. Principal Financial
  10. Lincoln Financial


Best Term Life Deals Come Through Friends

Life Insurance Ratings are only Part of the Equation

Ironically, the list above does not include the company I use for my own life insurance, First Penn. In fact, First Penn offered me better premium rates than the one at the very top of the list. So, while top ten Lists are a good starting point, the ultimate way to find the best carrier is to find people, friends and relatives you know whom roughly match your own profile and ask them about their own term policy. Lastly, you will want to compare your friend’s recommendation to the insurance company rating that is provided by a company like A.M Best or Moody’s. This information can be found on the internet in the form of  letter ratings such as AAA or A++,  or simply described in words like exceptional, strong or very strong.  Finding a good life insurance policy is really a two step process; life insurance ratings are the third.

  • Shop Friend’s Advice
  • Compare Friend’s to Company Stability Ratings
  • Check out the Life Insurance Ratings

When said friend recommends an insurance company with a reasonable premium and a strong financial stability rating, you’re found what you need. Stay healthy, happy and safe. Pay as little as possible for something that both, your loved ones, and your insurance company hope is never used. Remember, only 1/3rd of the equation is life insurance rates.

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Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator

Ti-84 Silver Edition Calculator
Ti-84 Silver Edition Calculator

Imagine being a high school or college kid taking advanced Algebra and not having a Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator. When I was a kid I didn’t have even the old fashioned, Ti83 Calculator, let alone a Ti84 ;  much less the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition Calculator. Today, the fancy Ti83 Calculator and Ti84 Calculators are probably something that all, but the nerdiest of high school students would agree they could do without. In fact, these expensive, Ti Geeky Calculators are the one thing that both parents and non-nerd students wish had never been invented. Parents are understandably upset when they learn that the old Ti83 Calculator they purchased for the older kid is no longer sufficient or expensive enough to learn algebra these days. They will have to invest another $120 dollars to get the very latest Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition;  and anticipate spending $150 by the time the very latest, Ti Inspire comes out for the next kid. In return, their teenage children become very upset and stressed when they realize they have to learn how to use an expensive tech-gadget that is no where near as cool or advanced as their cell phone or MP3 player. A few years ago, when my daughter said, “Mom, Dad; I need a Texas Instruments Ti83 Graphing Calculator for school”, I knew by the sounds of it that it would be neither cheap, nor much fun to learn how to use. For some reason, today’s computers are not advanced enough to perform intense, mathematical graphical equations on a monotone, 3″ screen, but that’s besides the point.

What is the Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator?

While it’s true that even a low-end computer can run circles around the latest Ti83/Ti84/Inspire Calculators and display the results in beautiful, full color on your 24″ wide screen monitor, they just don’t have the geek-appeal to make them useful for advanced math these days. The Ti84 is the Pocket Protector for the geeks of the 21st century. The public school system, in its infinite wisdom, decided to make it mandatory for all students to own these modern-day pocket protectors, to prevent modern-day nerds from getting beat up in school every day. Now, virtually every teenage child is required to carry these 70’s-ish-looking tech gadgets in their back-packs to school with them every day. The geniuses at Texas Instruments designed them to be just large enough so they won’t fit in your shirt pocket like the old fashioned pocket protectors. As a result, the only way to know who the real nerds are is to find the kids that who actually know how to use their calculators. Of course, they are way too valuable to beat-up because they are the only ones who can teach the rest of the kids in school how to use them.  Now onto the specifics:

Ti 84 Silver Edition Specifications

The Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator is equipped with a z80 15MHz Processor, 1.5MB of Flash ROM and 128KB of user accessible RAM . The Display is a 16×8, 96×64 Pixel Monochrome Screen. Surprisingly, the Ti 84 is equipped with a USB Port; 1970’s meet the 21st century! These Ti Calculators are built for math programming and include Ti Basic and Assembly Programming Languages. Also, they are equipped to handle numerous math applications, including App4Math, a popular upgrade that allows students to input problems as they are from text books. The Ti 84 Silver Edition Calculator is approved for use on SAT and ACT tests.

The Bottom Line for the Ti 84

Like it or not, the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition Calculator or fancier more expensive versions, are a requirement for students these days. The Ti 84 has been around since 2004, with various upgrades and improvements along the way, including the Silver and Plus Editions. The Ti 84 is the very latest calculator in the series. There is now a newer calculator out called, the Ti Inspire. The Ti Inspire has many new tools, but falls short of the Ti 84 in many respects, according to some users. What these calculators do for learning math is not up for debate. If you have kids, whether they like math or not, they will be using expensive Ti Calculators. The key is to find them used or at greatly discounted prices, because more than likely, this is not a gadget that most parents are going to find on their kid’s Christmas wish lists anytime soon.

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The Review

Alkalol Sinus Remedy
Alkalol Sinus AlRemedy

When I wrote about Alkalol last year, I didn’t have enough experience with the product to realize how valuable it is as a sinus congestion preventative. I had used this sinus remedy in the past for treating head colds and sinus congestion, but usually stopped using it when my symptoms improved. As reported in my Neilmed Sinus Rinse, alkalol really helps. Since that time, I’ve learned that it not only helps clear up congestion, but it prevents it from occurring in the first place. For the last several years, I’ve had problems sleeping at night because the right side of my nose clogs up. It helps to sleep on my left side, but then I get sore and restless from not being able to roll over. If I attempt to sleep on my right side, I wake up with a stuffed up nasal passage and sinus headache underneath my right eye. I’ve tried so many things, including the Neilmed Sinus Rinse, which does help, but not completely.

It seems surprising to me that most people have never heard of this product, or know where to find it and how to use it. I decided it would be worth describing this sinus remedy solution in greater detail and how I use it to keep my nasal passages clear while I sleep at night.

Alkalol is a 16oz bottle of natural antiseptic including antiseptic, menthol, eucalyptol, camphor, oils of wintergreen, spearmint, pine, and cinnamon. It is actually a very pleasant smelling liquid. To use for sinus congestion, I recommend mixing a saline solution along with it into the neilmed sinus rinse container or any other type of sinus rinse dispenser. The Neilmed sinus rinse kit comes with individual packages of saline powder. If you’re a chronic sinus sufferer, you will want to learn to make your own saline mixture to save money. I use about 2/3rds salt to 1/3rd baking soda and keep a cup in the medicine cabinet with a small spoon. My procedure is to use both products together. The instructions on the bottle, recommend using it at full strength. I think it is way too strong for that and could actually do damage or irritate your sinuses if you breathe it up your nose at 100% strength. I tried it this way the very first time and it was extremely painful. Here is the way I use Alkalol: I fill the Neilmed sinus bottle with warm water up to about ½” below the recommended line. Next, I mix about 2/3rd teaspoon of the saline powder into the bottle, then fill it the rest of the way up with the solution. I screw the nose dropper and syringe onto the bottle and shake to mix. Next, I simply breath the solution through one nostril until it flows out the other. I do this until the bottle is empty. Aftewards, I rinse and thoroughly clean the bottle with soap and spray off with rubbing alcohol. Finally, I simply clean and gently blow my nose. You wouldn’t believe how refreshing and invigorating this feels and it keeps your nose feeling clear for hours. I do this procedure twice a day; once at night before bed and once in the morning. I have tried this extensively, on and off for the last 6 months and I am convinced that I sleep and breathe 100% better when I use the alkalol mixture as opposed to just a saline rinse, alone.

Another good reason for not using the product at full strength is the price. The price of a 16oz bottle is reasonable, but I’d go through several bottles a week if I was using it at full strength, twice a day. I’ve found alkalol for $4.99 a bottle at Safeway, in the sinus aisle; $4.39 at the Kmart Pharmacy, and for only $3.99 at the King Soopers Pharmacy. If you don’t see this in the aisle, ask the pharmacist for it. It is a completely natural antiseptic, so I’m not sure why it’s kept behind the pharmacy counter in most cases.

It can sometimes be difficult to find alkalol at the drug store of your favorite grocery store. Most often, you will have to ask the pharmacist for it, and in some cases they will not even stock it unless you ask them to! Don’t get caught off-guard with a stuffy head-cold or sinus infection without some on hand.

If you suffer from sinus congestion, particularly at night, please try my twice a day remedy of saline and alkalol. Please leave a comment on how well it works for you.

How well does Alkalol work for you?

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