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Lil Wayne Mocks Mitt Romney In New Song

Nicki Minaj got the headlines for saying she’d be “voting for Mitt Romney,” but another track on Lil Wayne’s Dedication 4 ridicules the GOP candidate, too. “Nigga call me Mitch Romney!”

By Michael Hastings

Nicki Minaj made headlines when she sort of endorsed Mitt Romney in a remix of the hit song “Mercy” on Lil Wayne’s new album Dedication 4, released earlier this month.

But another song on the album — called “Cashed Out” — also mocks Romney, taking shots at the GOP candidates strategy of stashing his money in off-shore bank accounts in Bermuda, the Caymans, and Switzerland, to name a few.

The song begins:

As another election year upon us. This last four years has been good to me. A couple of dollars in a couple different bank acccounts. Some here, some off shore. Nigga call me Mitch Romney!

In recent days, questions have been raised about whether the hip-hop community still supports Obama. The answer appears to be: yes.

President Obama with Jay-Z and Beyonce at a recent New York fundraiser.

Lil Wayne Mocks Mitt Romney In New Song

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Texting & Driving: Teen Drivers Don’t Necessarily Practice What They Preach

texting while driving

Texting & Driving: Teen Drivers Don’t Necessarily Practice What They Preach

by James M. Flammang

“Do as I say, not as I do.” Plenty of parents and other adults have long been criticized for delivering this argument to youngsters. Now, it appears that teenage drivers are adopting that same illogical stand when it comes to texting and driving and other high-risk driving.

According to a recent national survey conducted by State Farm and Harris Interactive, teenagers riding in a car are actively discouraging the driver from texting while driving. But when they’re behind the wheel themselves, it’s a different story.

While in passenger mode, 78 percent of surveyed teens claimed they “spoke up and pointed out a driver’s distracted behavior.” Having done so, 84 percent insisted that the driver listened to their objection and ceased the distracting activity.

State Farm cites the comments of an 18-year-old Pennsylvania driver, Navea Frazier. “When I’m in a car with my friends,” Frazier reported, I say, ‘Hey, don’t do that. I’ll text for you.’ I’m the designated texter. And they always stop driving distracted.”

Of the 16 percent of teens who chose not to point out the troubling behavior, nearly half said, “they felt the driver could handle the distraction.”

Most distressing is the response from 34 percent of the surveyed teens: While they might ask friends or others not to text and drive, they continue to engage in texting themselves when behind the wheel. “Research tells us that texting while driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving,” says Chris Mullen, State Farm’s director of technology research. Teens need to “understand that no one can handle driving distracted.”

teen texting and driving

Another study, by the National Safety Council, reveals a troubling disparity between attitudes about drowsy driving versus driving while intoxicated. “Drunk driving is universally viewed as dangerous,” says Janet Froetscher, president/CEO of the Council. However, “young people especially don’t understand the very risks associated with drowsy and distracted driving.” They often believe sleep-deprived driving is “understandable” rather than “wrong.”

According to the Council, sleep-related and alcohol-related crashes “occur predominantly among young drivers.” Furthermore, during long highway trips, drivers under age 30 are more sleep-deprived than those in other age groups.

texting and driving

As for those respondents who claim the distracted teenage driver always stops texting when warned by a passenger, we’d bet that a bit of exaggeration is going on. Either that, or teenagers have changed considerably in the 21st century. A few decades back, suggesting from the back seat that a young driver tone down his antics was more likely to result in snickers and derision from other passengers than immediate cessation of the dangerous misbehavior. Are you a teen or adult who thinks texting and driving at the same time is a distraction you can handle?

Learn more about driving safety and improving your driving skills in autoMedia’s Drive Smart section. 

Texting & Driving: Teen Drivers Don’t Necessarily Practice What They Preach

 

6 Other Types of Life Insurance Every Policyholder Should Know About

life insurance

Knowing about the basic types of insurance out there is a great start towards finding the perfect solution. Usually, an insurance agent will talk at length with any new customer to discover their particular needs so they can suggest a policy that makes the best fit.

There are a few other types of life insurance out there that provide specific solutions. In certain cases, it just makes sense to go with these prepackaged plans.

Here are 6 special-need types of life insurance everyone should know about before making an insurance decision.

1. Mortgage Life Insurance

One of the main concerns of insured people is what the loss of an income stream can mean for their family in the event of their passing. This is particularly true if they have costly bills to worry about, and for most that means the mortgage.

One unique form of insurance offered by life insurance companies, mortgage life insurance, can provide enough to pay off an entire mortgage in the case of the policyholder’s death.

The death benefit is paid directly to the beneficiaries and does not have to be used to pay off the mortgage.

Keep in mind that these policies are form of term insurance. It is not a permanent benefit.

2. Senior Life Insurance

If the policyholder is concerned about a beneficiary’s ability to handle a large cash payout directly after the occurrence of death, senior life insurance might be the answer. Instead of paying the entire death benefit at once, small amounts are released in the early years preceding the policyholder’s death. After a set period has passed, the entire amount is released.

3. Juvenile Life Insurance

For those who want to get their child off on the right foot with their insurance, juvenile life insurance policies are available. This is a way to build up cash value early in a child’s life while leveraging their low risk of death to access a low premium.

This provides a head start for the insured, building up a good deal of interest over those additional years.

4. Family Life Insurance

Losing anyone in the family can be financially devastating – not just the breadwinner. If the insured wants to cover the entire family, including the children, family insurance may be the answer.

This type of insurance is sold in units per person and allows for those who bring in the highest income stream to be insured for the most, reflecting the realities faced by the modern-day family.

5. Family Income Life Insurance

With family income life insurance policies, an income amount is agreed to be paid out for a certain number of years after the insured (usually the breadwinner) passes away, allowing the family time to prepare for a new standard of living.

6. Credit Life Insurance

Most people take on debt for a reason and accept the risks associated with that debt. But there’s one risk no one likes to create – the risk of leaving all debts behind for a grieving family.

Credit life insurance provides an answer. Like mortgage insurance, it pays off the balance of loans, whether they are car loans, education loans, or even credit cards.

Unlike mortgage insurance, however, credit life insurance is purchased through the financial institution orchestrating the loan in the first place. Payouts are made directly to the lender rather than the family of the deceased.

Do any of these life insurance types seem to be the perfect match for what you’re looking for in a policy? Get in touch with a seasoned professional today to discuss more or find out if there is something else you don’t know about.

6 Other Types of Life Insurance Every Policyholder Should Know About

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In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland

Hurricane Isaac, while dissipating, is still wreaking havoc on the area surrounding New Orleans, causing major flooding in Mississippi, threatening a dam failure in low-lying areas, and causing one fatality so far.

By MADISON GRAY

Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Rescue workers transport residents trapped by rising water from Hurricane Isaac in the River Forest subdivision

Almost two days after Hurricane Isaac made landfall, striking the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, entire towns have been inundated with floodwaters, downing power lines across the region. Workers are scrambling to restore electricity to the affected area, a 300-mile wide swath of land stretching from southwesternMississippi to eastern Texas.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said utilities through the state are reporting a total of 900,000 were without electricity Thursday. Power utility Entergy said more than 760,000 of their customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas are experiencing power outages. As the storm moves toward Baton Rouge at a painfully slow nine miles per hour, despite flooding and storm surges still gripping the state, Entergy says they’ve dispatched a crew of 10,000 workers to help turn the lights back on.

“We have damage assessment teams on the ground in southeast Louisiana and repair crews are starting to restore power, so restoration has already begun,” Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde told TIME. “But we’re still being hampered by weather conditions, so that will slow us down.”

(PHOTOS: Scenes of Isaac’s Wrath)

He said that the utility is working as fast as possible, but given the circumstances, there’s no estimate when power will be fully restored to the area. “Until the storm gets out of here and there’s a full assessment, it’s hard to tell.” Some New Orleans residents are approaching their second day without power, and with temperatures expected to climb into the upper 80s this weekend as the storm vacates the city, concern turns to the stifling heat.

“We’re asking for customers’ patience. It’s been a very frustrating storm because it’s moved so slowly,” Lagarde said. “We couldn’t get people on the ground yesterday, so we’re asking customers to give us some time.”

(PHOTOS: The Most Destructive U.S. Hurricanes of All Time)

While no deaths have been reported because of lack of electricity, the storm has claimed its first victim. A tow truck driver was killed by a falling tree in Picayune, Miss., Sue McClaney, associate administrator in the Pearl River County planning office told TIME. The Associated Press reports the tree fell on the driver of the truck, identified by officials as Greg Parker, just after midnight. McClaney said the area is still inundated by the storm’s effects — 37 roads in the area are flooded. To compound matters, she said: “We’ve got high tides coming in right now.”

Those tides are stoking fears that a dam close to the Louisiana-Mississippi border may fail, threatening low-lying areas and forcing the evacuation of Tangipahoa Parish, La. Gordon Burgess, the parish’s president, told  WWL-TV that the threat affects 50,000 to 60,000 people, who were given a mandatory evacuation notice at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Jindal said that officials are working on a controlled breach of the dam, without which waters would rise to a level of 17 feet affecting several communities along the Tangipahoa River very quickly. “If this dam were to break, it would take about 90 minutes for this water to get to Kentwood,” he said, referring to the Louisiana town lying south of the dam in McComb, Miss.

At a news conference, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said Isaac brought heavy precipitation to the area, but noted that preparations and improvements made since Hurricane Katrina held. “Isaac dumped 10 to 15 inches on the region,” he said. “Our levees and floodgates held as they were designed to do.”

Also on Thursday, President Obama declared a major disaster for Louisiana, which releases FEMA funds to 36 parishes for emergency measures. State and local recovery efforts will be supplemented by federal aid on a cost-sharing basis, the agency said in a statement.

As Isaac begins to dissipate and cleanup efforts begin in the Gulf Coast region, the National Weather Service reported that the fifth named hurricane of the 2012 season has formed. Kirk is currently located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is moving northwest at 12 mph. However, it is not yet considered a threat to land.

In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland  

Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance

Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance

Everyone please take your seats. There will be plenty of time to talk with your friends after class. Today, I will highlight some of the different types of permanent life insurance. We have a lot to go through in one short class period. So, please pay close attention and don’t disrupt unless you have a serious question.

What Is Permanent Life Insurance

For those of you who missed last week’s class, a permanent life insurance policy is effective throughout your life. It never expires unless you stop making payments or cancel the policy. Compared to term life insurance, they have higher premiums, but they do accumulate cash value throughout the life of the policy. These cash values are tax-deferred and are often used for retirement savings and making major purchases.

There are too many kinds of permanent life insurance policies to cover in one class. We will be focusing on some of the most common types.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance policies are among the safest and most reliable permanent life insurance products. Whole life offers a guaranteed death benefit that will not fluctuate. It also features a guaranteed rate of return. The cash value of a whole life policy grows at a predetermined rate. It is guaranteed to accumulate over the course of the policy.

Variable Life Insurance

Variable life insurance is so named because it varies. It is offered via a prospectus. Cash value and death benefits depend on the performance of an investment portfolio. You can invest in stocks and/or bonds. Variable life insurance comes with higher risk. Poor portfolio performances can decrease death benefits and cash values. It also has higher rewards. A variable life policy can greatly outperform whole life policies with wise investments.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance offers more flexible premium payments. You can pay more when you have cash at hand and less at other times. You also have the ability to pay when you want. Universal life policies also offer the ability to adjust death benefits with greater ease. Like whole life, universal life insurance usually features a guaranteed rate of return on your cash value.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

As the name suggests, variable universal life insurance combines variable and universal features. These are the most flexible policies. You have the option to have some control over your payments, while also utilizing an investment portfolio. Since you have the options of paying higher premiums, you can grow your investments faster. You can also skip the occasional payment when times are tight.

Thank you for your attention. That was a lot to get through in one class. There are many other types of permanent life insurance policies. Going through all of them would take the entire semester. Any questions?

Yes. We will be going back to term life insurance. Make sure to do the reading on term life options in your text to prepare for next week.

Class is dismissed.

Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance
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Saving texters from themselves

texting driving statistics

by Matt Brownell from CarInsurance.com in Personal FinanceInsurance

Texting and driving has been blamed for more than 100,000 car crashes a year , and according to one study it raises the chances of an accident by 23 times. And now even mobile carriers are getting fed up with it.

In recent weeks, AT&T has stepped up its ” It Can Wait ” campaign against texting and driving, including a renewed push for DriveMode, a free app the carrier developed to curb texting while driving.

The app allows users to temporarily disable texting and e-mail functions, thereby reducing the urge to fire off a quick text or read email at a stoplight. Calls to 911 are allowed. The app also allows you to set an auto-reply message to anyone who texts you while it’s activated, and it lets you set up a limited list of contacts whom you can call (or receive calls from) behind the wheel.

Sprint offers the Drive First app, which automatically kicks in when the phone’s GPS detects that it’s moving faster than 10 mph. When active, the app locks the home screen, auto-replies to text messages and sends any phone calls (outside of five allowed numbers) to voicemail. But the service doesn’t come free: After a 15-day free trial, it will cost you $2 per month per line.

T-Mobile’s DriveSmart is free in its basic versions; a premium app that senses a vehicle in motion and notifies parents of any override costs $4.99 a month.

Dozens of other applications are available for smartphone users, with varying levels of restrictions and functionality, at prices that range from free to monthly fees.

But all of them work only if you choose to use them.

It’s dangerous, illegal and expensive

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the major phone carriers are offering such tools. In addition to the increasing the odds of an accident, texting while driving is also illegal.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 39 states and the District of Columbia have outright bans on texting while driving, and five more ban it for novice drivers. Fines can be substantial. But only a few states treat texting as a moving violation — the kind that can hit your driving record and eventually raise your rates.

Get into an accident, though, and you will be lucky if you walk away with only a texting violation as a reminder.

An at-fault accident can raise your rates substantially: An analysis of 841,000 car insurance quotes delivered through CarInsurance.com’s rate-comparison engine shows that drivers with a single claim were quoted rates that averaged $300 more than drivers with no claims, an increase of about 17 percent. An accident surcharge could hurt your rates for years.

And even that pales next to possible criminal prosecution. Prosecutions of texting drivers under manslaughter or negligence laws have become distressingly common; in fact, a Massachusetts teenager was sentenced in June to jail time under the state’s vehicular homicide law. He also lost his license for 15 years.

How much technology do you want?

Few people will lock their phones away, however dire the consequences. Instead, apps try to make texting less tempting and less distracting.

There’s iZup (as in, “eyes up”), a third-party app that shuts down your phone’s texting and data functions except for the GPS, as long as you’re going over 5 mph.

DriveSafe.ly, on the other hand, still lets you receive texts, but it reads them aloud so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. The free version will read messages up to 25 words in length, while a premium version for $14 a year has a larger word count cap and lets you dictate responses.

iOnRoad not only reads texts aloud, but also turns your phone into a collision-warning system. Mount it below your rearview mirror and the app uses your phone’s camera to monitor both your position in the lane and the distance to the car in front of you.

Despina Stavrinos, an expert on distracted driving and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, prefers those apps that totally shut down texting.

“Removing the whole element of distracted driving is the best way to combat the issue, but I’m not in support of the ones that do talk-to-text,” she says. Dictating texts or listening to them, she explains, is a “cognitive distraction” akin to talking on the phone, which is less dangerous than taking your eyes off the road to text but still a serious distraction.

The fine print at 60 mph

The rapidly evolving technology of text-avoidance still has some kinks.

For instance, apps that automatically activate at high speeds can’t distinguish between users who are moving fast because they’re behind the wheel or because they’re a passenger in a car or train. Some have a password-protected override in the event that you’re not the one behind the wheel. (Meanwhile, a team of engineers at Rutgers University has developed an app that uses the car’s Bluetooth speaker system to determine where the phone is located, providing a possible solution to the passenger problem.)

Another issue is that few of the available text-shutdown apps work on the iPhone, which doesn’t allow apps to run in the background and affect basic phone functions like texting. (The iPhone version of DriveSafe.ly, for instance, apologetically explains that reading text messages aloud “is not technically possible on iOS devices.”) The best bet for iPhone users is to dictate texts using Siri, though apps like JustDrive can at least be used by parents to monitor their teens’ behavior.

Finally, it’s worth noting that texting is hardly the only thing that can distract you on the road. As Stavrinos points out, “we pick on text messaging, but anything can take your attention off the road, even a child crying in the backseat.”

Anybody got a crying-child app?

Saving texters from themselves

Here’s What Happens To Google Employees When They Die

Google employee benefits last into the afterlife

It’s no surprise that the employee benefits of Google are among the best in the land—free haircuts,gourmet food, on-site doctors andhigh-tech “cleansing” toilets are among the most talked-about—but in a rare interview with Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock I discovered that the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife.

“This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.”  We were scheduled for a talk on Google’s widening age-gap (the oldest Googler is currently 83); I wanted to know how child- and healthcare benefits have evolved as the company has scaled.

Instead, Bock, who joined the company in 2006 after a stint with General Electric, blew me away by disclosing a never-before-made-public-perk:  Should a Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade. Even more surprising, a Google spokesperson confirms that there’s “no tenure requirement” for this benefit, meaning all 34 thousand Google employees qualify.

“One of the things we realized recently was that one of the harshest but most reliable facts of life is that at some point most of us will be confronted with the death of our partners,” Bock says. “And it’s a horrible, difficult time no matter what, and every time we went through this as a company we tried to find ways to help the surviving spouse of the Googler who’d passed away.” The case-by-case do-goodery was formally implemented in 2011. In addition to the 10-year pay package, surviving spouses will see all stocks vested immediately and any children will receive a $1,000 monthly payment from the company until they reach the age of 19 (or 23 if the child is a full-time student).

What makes the death benefit notable isn’t just its generosity—Google is, of course, far from cash-strapped—but rather that, unlike most employee perks on Google campuses that aim to increase happiness, creativity and productivity, providing death benefits is a no-win for the company. “Obviously there’s no benefit to Google,” Bock concedes. “But it’s important to the company to help our families through this horrific if inevitable life event.”

Google has been anticipating the major life events of their employees since day one. According to Bock,Sergey Brin got the ball rolling when the company had fewer than 100 employees, suggesting that the company could provide a nanny to each working mom or dad on staff. (“Obviously that’s an idea that’s been toned down,” Bock jokes). The company does have on-site child care but has raised its monthly fees significantly in recent years.

In maternity and paternity leave, however, Google benefits are at the head of the pack: according to a company spokesperson, new dads enjoy six weeks of paid leave while moms can take 18 weeks after the birth of a child. (Even better for the cash-strapped new parents: stocks will continue to vest on your leave).

But the link between maternity benefits and retaining employees is clear. According to a 2008 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 percent of men and women in the work force have kids under the age of 6, so anticipating their needs can mean keeping new parents on-board and, most importantly, engaged.

“When we think about [employee] needs at Google, we think less about how old you are that we do about your particular cluster of needs,” Bock says. “For someone who fits a certain profile—say, an aging parent to take care of, or kids or grandkids to support–whatever your cluster of needs are, we do our best to discern the best package of perks and programs to meet them.”

Google People experts use three methods to tap into the needs of employees: an annual survey called “Googlegeist” that measures the temperature of employees in every department and analyzes data to identify emerging trends, employee resource groups (read: clubs) where like-minded employees share ideas that are funneled up to HR (Bock says the most active are the “Grayglers,” the self-titled club for over-the-hill Googlers), and email aliases that run the gamut from financial advice to childcare options to café feedback.

Google gets a lot of press for its perks, Bock says, but he’s loathe to even use that word. “People say ‘you’re Google, of course you can offer these crazy things,’” but from where Bock sits, it’s not even about the money. “There is, of course, research that show employee benefit programs like ours can improve retention, and appear to improve performance on some level,” he says.

“But it turns out that the reason we’re doing these things for employees is not because it’s important to the business, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. When it comes down to it, it’s better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn’t. And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care.”

Here’s What Happens To Google Employees When They Die

10 Cities Where Homes Cost Less Than A Car: 24/7 Wall St.

By 

24/7 Wall St.: For many Americans, homeownership is the epitome of living the American dream. Yet, in towns with high tumbling home prices and double-digit vacancy rates, median-priced homes now cost the equivalent of new American cars — except, as investments go, they’re slightly more risky.

Call it the dark side of the American dream – but if you can only afford to buy just one, which would you choose? In hard-hit cities, why own a home when you can rent one without the risk of foreclosure if your job falls through? Or, for about the same money, you can sport new wheels, facing only the risk of repossession — a lesser credit report complication than a foreclosure. While a car is unlikely to increase in value, its depreciation is both more manageable and predictable than a home.

“Buying a home in most places is risky,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist and head of analytics at real estate site Trulia. These high risks in towns such as Detroit, Michigan or Youngstown, Ohio have helped depress housing prices. And until the labor market improves there’s no real chance of a strong recovery in housing. “Towns with a history of job losses probably won’t see big price gains, especially if they have high vacancy rates, because it means buyers have a lot of homes to choose from,” says Kolko.

This quandary is especially meaningful to residents of Motor City, who have experienced deepening levels of housing hell in recent years. Much has been written about Detroit’s high misery index, and the challenges of thriving in a city with high unemployment, high crime rates, and city services under severe budgetary constraints. And yet, for those willing to take a long view of the city, Detroit also offers amazing bargains to residents dedicated to living in that community.

Despite its problems, even in Detroit, it’s not unusual for multiple buyers to vie for an appealing home in a nice neighborhood. The city has one of the highest rental vacancy rates in America and boasts a four-month supply of homes on the market, according to a recent report in the Detroit Free Press. A buyer’s market is typically six or more months’ supply.

Many residents of depressed cities in Michigan, Florida, Indiana and Ohio have been slammed by job losses and tumbling housing prices, too, and recovery is coming slowly if at all. Yet, on the positive side, these towns also offer a low cost of living by American standards that make for attractive buy-side opportunities for those willing to take a long view of homeownership.

24/7 Wall St. asked Trulia, a leading provider of real estate listings and market data, to identify and rank cities by the median prices of homes sold last year. Trulia limited the list to markets with an adequate supply of non-foreclosure, single-family homes, which ruled out markets that may have unusual spikes in median sales prices. To provide further context of how economic data can impact local housing market conditions we also gathered median-income data as well as Q1 2012 vacancy rates from the U.S. Census Bureau, unemployment numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and June 2012 foreclosure figures from RealtyTrac.

With home prices at 30-year lows and mortgages available at record low rates, some residents in troubled cities will be tempted to take the plunge and buy a home. Yet, amid this fledgling recovery there’s still the allure of plunking down a small deposit and buying a car that can take you to a city that offers a healthier housing market and stronger long-term job prospects.

10 Cities Where Homes Cost Less Than A Car: 24/7 Wall St.

Newton Real Estate Services – What Do Full Service Real Estate Brokers And Agents Do To Earn All That Money?

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Alzheimer’s disease: 7 things that raise your risk

Alzheimer's disease: 7 things that raise your risk

Think Alzheimer’s disease strikes out of the blue? Maybe not. A new study published in The Lancet Neurology shows that healthy living can help prevent Alzheimer’s. The study found seven conditions in particular that account for up to half of the 35 million cases of Alzheimer’s around the world and in the U.S. What are these behaviors? Keep clicking to see the top 7 risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease…

7. Diabetes

7. Diabetes

Problems with blood sugar control kick off the list of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s. The study suggests that 3 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. are linked to diabetes.

6. Low education (TIE)

6. Low education (TIE)

Time to go back to school – or to pick up a crossword puzzle? Low education – or simply not using your brain enough – accounts for 7 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S.

6. Obesity (TIE)

5. Obesity (TIE)

Packing on the pounds as you pile on the years? Midlife obesity accounts for 7 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S.

4. High blood pressure

4. High blood pressure

How’s your blood pressure? Keep it in check – 8 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are linked to mid-life hypertension.

3. Smoking

3. Smoking

Need another reason not to smoke? Smoking accounts for 11 percent of Alzheimer’s cases.

2. Depression

2. Depression

Depressed? Maybe it’s time to seek treatment – 15 percent of Alzheimer’s cases may stem from depression.

1. Too little exercise

1. Too little exercise

Not enough physical activity is the number one preventable factor that contributes to Alzheimer’s cases. About one third of the U.S. population is sedentary, so the highest risk factor is also dangerously common – time to get up and move.

Alzheimer’s disease: 7 things that raise your risk

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Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

Supreme Court health care ruling watched by investors

By Matt Krantz

Investors are almost as interested in what the Supreme Court does with health care reform Thursday as patients and doctors.

Depending on what the high court decides regarding the legality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the fate of the nation’s health care system is in balance, potentially upending again how the key players are paid.

The statute, often called Obamacare, passed in 2009 and stands to change the industry, so the decision is critical to investors in health care stocks. “It’s a sweeping piece of legislation that has a broad impact on how (health care) industries are structured,” says Matthew Coffina, health care analyst at Morningstar.

STORY: Supreme court ruling won’t stop push to control health costs

Investors are anticipating how stocks in various areas will react:

Managed care companies and insurers. If there’s a part of the medical industry facing the most flux from the rule, it’s insurers, says Dave Shove, analyst at BMO. Insurers, such as UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint and Aetna, stand to benefit as more than 30 million additional Americans become potential customers. “It’s one of the biggest growth drivers the industry will ever have,” says Jeffrey Loo, analyst at S&P Capital IQ. But with that comes the increase in government rules over the size of insurers’ profits, Shove says.

Hospital operators. Hospitals are big winners from the statute, thus the largest potential losers if it’s struck down, Coffina says. Under the measure, hospitals get paidfor visits by uninsured patients, rather than eating these “charity care” cases, he says. Large hospitals include HCA and Universal Health Services.

•Medical technology companies. Companies that make medical equipment are among those helped least by the measure, Loo says. These companies must pay a 2.3% annual fee on U.S. sales as a tax part of the rule, Loo says. Big players include Johnson & Johnson and Stryker.

Drug companies. If health care reform stands, drug companies benefit, because it takes many more onerous rules off the table, Loo says. If the measure is overturned, drug companies may need to brace for discussion to reopen on tougher rules , he says.

Since most health care companies benefit from the rule, the biggest risk is the measure being overturned, Loo says. If the measure is rejected, investors must brace for uncertainty as lawmakers go back to the drawing board, Shove says. “What is judicial risk will turn into election risk and then legislative risk,” he says.

Supreme Court health care ruling watched by investors

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