While thinking about preparing for death isn't exactly a walk in the park, obtaining life insurance is something we all can benefit from, in order to be sure those we care about are covered financially after we're gone. Before getting your policy, brush up on these common terms associated with life insurance so you know what you're signing up for.

Agent: Unless you're Brad Pitt and being pitched for a blockbuster, this is the party who handles contracts of insurance and services the policyholder of the plan for the insurer.

Annuity: The contract that gives details of a periodic income provision at pre-set intervals is an annuity. This is usually a life-long agreement.



Beneficiary: When a policyholder dies, the person named in their plan who will receive their insurance proceeds is the beneficiary (AKA: lucky son-of-a-gun).

Binding: This is temporary insurance coverage given to the applicant while the underwriting process takes place.

Death Benefit: While it sounds like an oxymoron, a death benefit is the payment given to beneficiaries of a policy holder when the insured passes away. AKA proceeds or face amount.



Evidence of Insurability: In order to be eligible for a life insurance plan, you must provide proof of health and financial information/job details to access your "risk" level. Now if only Trump would release his tax returns…

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: While usually more expensive than the average policy, this is the type of life insurance where the applicant needn't submit their health information and they can still obtain insurance no matter their health status.

In-Force: While this could be a comic book hero's alter-ego, in-force describes an active life insurance policy which by all accounts is in good standing.

Insured: The person you want to be! This is the person who is covered by a life insurance policy.

Other Insured Rider: Kind of like the person riding "shot gun." This is an optional add-on to a policy which allows for coverage for another person other than the insured.

Permanent Life Insurance: No, you're not going to live forever. Permanent life insurance provides coverage to the insured until they die, rather than for a certain number of years.



Policy: This is the legally-binding document provided to the policyholder that lays out the terms of the insurance contract. Make it your "policy" to read all the fine print.

Policy Owner: This is the lady or gent who owns a life insurance policy. The insured and the policy owner are not necessarily the same person, but they can be.

Premium: This is the payment or payments the policyholder agrees to make towards their insurance policy. Usually, the payments are required annually, twice a year, quarterly, or monthly.

Smoker Ratings: This isn't the Marlboro Man's assessment of the latest movies, but a higher premium charged to tobacco users by insurance companies. As if cigarettes didn't cost enough already!

Standard Risk: This is what insurance companies call a person who is considered to have an average life span based on their lifestyle and health.

Sub-Standard Risk: As you may guess, this is a person who is assumed to have less-than-average longevity due to poor health, risky behaviors, and additional frowned-upon traits. Not only are these folks deemed sub-par, but they must pay higher premiums. Kick 'em while they're down, why don't ya?

Suicide Clause: An insurance company need not pay the death benefit if an insured person commits suicide within a certain period after they get their life insurance policy. This is generally two years' time. Sad, but true.

Underwriter: This person carefully reviews the insurance application and makes the decision if the life insurance applicant meets all qualifications as well as the premium they will adhere to.

Uninsurable Risk: When an insurance company assesses that a person's mortality risk is too high for them to be insured, this person is considered an uninsurable risk.

Now that you're a vocabulary whiz, it's time to inquire about that policy. Before it's too late...

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.