Insurance Agencies Are Subsidizing The Cost Of The New Apple Watch- But There’s A Catch!

Fitness trackers have been around for awhile, but they have been strictly personal tools that people buy themselves to try to stay healthy. While there isn’t any data on whether or not these tools actually keep people healthy over a long period of time, they are proven to get new users up and moving around, which is the first step to a healthier future.

It looks like health insurance companies have picked up on this, and have decided to enter the 21st century by providing subsidies to their customers for Apple Watches. 


People with John Hancock insurance or Aetna will be able to get a new Apple Watch Series 2 for just about $25, but there’s a catch. Insurance companies have a vested interest in doing whatever keeps their customers healthy because it will cost them less to insure them down the road. To that end, the companies are setting fitness goals that their customers have to meet while they have the watch. If they do, that $25 is all they’ll have to pay.


However, if you get the Apple Watch and aren’t active enough, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee on the device over the course of 24 months that will basically amount to you paying the original price for it.

Not only are these companies using new technology to motivate their customers to stay happy, but they are adding a financial incentive on top of it. If you stay active and healthy, you get an extra bonus of a high tech piece of wrist-wear for only $25. However, if you flub on your goals, you have to pay the original price of the watch.

Sometimes it’s hard to go for a walk when I know I should, but if someone is going to charge me money if I don’t, you better believe I’ll be hitting the pavement pretty fast!


Financial Expert Shares One Piece Of Advice Everyone Should Know

Being financially independent for the first time in your life feels amazing one minute and terrifying the next. It’s exhilarating to realize you are beholden to no one, and then you realize that there’s no one to help you if you stumble. However, recently financial expert Farnoosh Torabi sat down with Business Insider for a FB Live Interview and postulated that maybe we think about this all wrong. She thinks that instead of being worried that you are your only resource, you should consider that thought “empowering.”


Torabi thinks that it’s good for her to remember that the tools that she, as an expert for more than a decade, uses on a daily basis are sometimes taken for granted. Not everyone has a 401k or an IRA, and many of us are struggling with debt. When she talks to people who worry about balancing their expenses on a small income and still providing for the future, she likes to tell them to remain flexible and openminded.  “You actually do have the ability to go out there and find your fortune, and work hard, and find resources for yourself and tap into them, and create your own wealth.”


Those of us who have worked minimum wage jobs for an extended period of time may think that Torabi views the world through privileged rose-colored glasses, but she thinks that people need to truly believe in their capability to become wealthy (or find happiness in personal relationships, or succeed in their careers) before they can actually do so. She knows that many may not share her views, but says that for her, wealth and success are firmly rooted in the belief that you can reach them to begin with.

New Technology Can Change The Way Cars Take Up Space In The City

When modern people discuss the problems that urban areas face, one of the biggest challenges is always space. There’s never enough of it, and if you think you have enough, just wait until tomorrow.

Believe it or not, one of the biggest occupiers of space in cities is the car. Think about it: when you commute alone, ⅘ of your car is empty. When no one is  driving on that four lane highway, it’s just an asphalt desert. When you have a parking space at home and at work, but you park at the grocery store, the two other spaces are left unused. Many downtown areas set aside up to 60% of their space for car-related areas and services. That’s an overwhelming percentage considering the constriction of living space in urban centers.


Well, the city of San Francisco seems to have some interesting ideas about that. As part of a contest for the Department of Transportation, San Francisco tried to reimagine what their city would look like with more ride-sharing services and better public transportation, and less cars and car-related space. The result is breathtaking. There’s suddenly room for more parks, more bike lanes, and more greenery in general.




It’s a lovely dream, but how do they actually want to get people to implement it?

Actually they laid out a three-step process to incentivize people to give up their cars. Step one would be to make people want to ride share more, perhaps by creating special lanes that only those cars could drive in. Step two is making the service affordable in a way that makes it accessible to the lowest income families, perhaps by making things like 6 passenger vans more common. Finally, step three is moving the city to automated electric vehicles, all of which would run on a city grid, which would make them more efficient and cut down on traffic.

All of this means a cleaner, more open, and more pedestrian-friendly city. Though San Francisco didn’t win the contest, they did make a big impression on city planners and forward thinkers alike with their proposals. Who knows, the future modern city could be completely carless!

Harvard Economist Says It’s Time To Abolish Cash

How much money do you have on you in cash, on average? While there are some special times in our lives when we have large bills on us, the majority of Americans rarely carry 50 and 100 dollar bills. It simply isn’t practical for us. Despite this fact, of the $1.38 trillion dollars of US currency that is currently circling the globe, $1.08 trillion of it is in bills $20 or higher. Those of you good at math out there will note that that is enough C notes for every living American – including children – to have 34 of them!


So where are all these mysterious big bills, if not in our wallets? Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff says a large chunk of it is in the hands of the black market and “world underground economy,” aiding in extortion, laundering, and trafficking of every kind. Basically, it facilitates the dirty work of bad men everywhere, inside US borders and beyond them. That’s why Rogoff, in his new book,The Curse of Cash, is advocating for abolishing large bills all together, starting with the $20 and moving up.


Rogoff says that about half of the $100 bills in circulation are held outside the country, and that the Fed has tried to justify that the half inside US borders is used for legitimate business, but can’t. Many people, he asserts, use big bills to pay people under the table; construction companies are infamous for this. It helps them avoid taxes and pay undocumented workers.


Rogoff knows that this might put a burden on low-income families, who often deal in cash for most things, but he says that this move would actually be better for them in the long run, allowing them to build social security without really paying taxes at all because of their meager income. The only people it would hurt, he asserts, is the very wealthy who, for untold (and perhaps nefarious) reasons, like to make deals in cash.

There isn’t any evidence that Rogoff’s idea will happen anytime soon, but it definitely gives us something to think about. A world without Benjamins? We’re not sure it sounds all that great…

Attention Investors! These Two Top Companies’ Sales Could Double Within Two Years

Investing is scary for a lot of people because of the risk involved; the safe bet is often not very profitable, and the risky one may downslide and take your whole nest egg with it. The dream (in the investing world) is to find a company that is stable enough to be safe while expanding rapidly to make you a big enough profit.

It’s not often that we can find these gems, or feel comfortable enough in their growth to predict it will continue, but we submit the following two companies for your consideration… they just might be both a safe and a wildly profitable investment!



This one should be a no-brainer, honestly. While a little riskier because of the marginal profits the company has made so far, Tesla is poised to double in growth.

Elon Musk is having quite a year – that Mars announcement alone was enough to place him firmly in our national consciousness – but his company is about to blow up. So far, Tesla’s profits have come from their wildly popular yet expensive electric vehicles, but next year the company will have a new line of EVs at half the price… and that’s just the beginning.

Following their merger with SolarCity, Musk announced his much-anticipated solar roofs, and as a bonus, a glimpse at a completely self-sufficient energy package for each home. In Musk’s ideal world, consumers would drive their Teslas, charge them at their houses with their solar roofs, and give their excess energy back to the grid to power other Tesla projects. It’s a rose-tinted future, but one that more and more people are buying into, causing Tesla to explode.



We’d consider this one a rogue safe-bet (if that makes any sense). Without any inside knowledge, it would seem like Facebook doesn’t have anywhere to go. The huge social media site already has a pretty steady amount of users; it isn’t ballooning in size like it did in the first two or three or even five years on the web. However, Facebook’s advertising strategy is exploding, with huge profits reported in the last 12 months, and more predicted to be on the way.


Despite what people might think, Facebook is also still inexplicably gaining users, with a growth rate of about 15% year over year! This social media monolith isn’t going anywhere, and would probably make investors a pretty penny over the next couple years.