During the last five years of my father’s life, he began a series of letters and memos to my younger brother and me about his life. Dad was not a famous man, nor a particularly accomplished man – at least, not by standard measures of success. Nevertheless, his letters chronicling a childhood during the Depression in the midst of the Dust Bowl, his experiences as a infantryman on the battlefields of Europe, and life in the 1950s were an incredible record of an extraordinary life and time in the history of America.
By Jacqueline Curtis
Is it me, or do the holidays seem to creep up quicker each year? One minute, you’re carving your Halloween pumpkin, and the next, you’re battling crowds for the last video game console for your nine-year-old son. Yes, it’s getting to be that time of year again. And while the holidays might conjure images of juicy turkeys, family time, and carol-singing, they may also bring to mind something less festive: crushing credit card debt.
According to the American Research Group, the average American family plans to spend more than $800 on gifts alone for the holiday season. And 37% of Americans use their credit cards to fund their holiday spending.
By Jacqueline Curtis
One of the most common fashion shopping tips for building a great wardrobe is to base it on timeless foundation pieces, and then add trendier clothes each season. Unfortunately, while that advice represents a great place to start, it’s not always clear what those “foundation” pieces actually are. Investing in your wardrobe is great, but it’s crucial to know exactly what to buy.
By Laura Williams
I’m a long-time sufferer of chronic and acute back pain. The first time I experienced pain was as a 20-year-old college student – I was lifting weights, and an inconsiderate gym-goer bumped into me as I was lifting a barbell over my head. I had to move awkwardly to maintain my balance, and just like that, my back tweaked.
For a long time my pain was relatively low – it was there, but it was never serious enough to seek treatment. Plus I was in good shape, which made the pain more manageable.
By Michael Lewis
Imagine a future where you have 24-7 worldwide access to an unlimited team of personal tutors, each an expert in their field. These “experts” explain their subjects in simple, practical language; they are incredibly patient, willing to repeat lessons without complaint; and their advice is free or comes at a minimal cost. That future is here – in the guise of a new instructional platform pioneered by Internet firms like Udemy.
By Michael Lewis
Gene Perret, the comedy writer for such popular television shows as “All in the Family,” “Three’s Company,” and “The Carol Burnett Show,” once said of retirement, “It’s nice to get out of the rat race, but you have to get along with less cheese.” Almost everyone looks forward to that time when they can sleep as late as they want, spend their days traveling or playing golf, and opining about the state of the civilization.
But the responsibility for a comfortable retirement rests almost completely on the shoulders of the individual worker. Government programs like Social Security and Medicare provide a minimum level of income and healthcare costs to recipients – but those benefits are intended to be supplemented with employer benefits and private savings.
By Laura Williams
Trampolines aren’t just for kids. The repetitive bouncing motion of trampolining actually has many health benefits that make it appropriate for people of all ages and almost all health statuses.
The trick to getting the most out of a trampoline is choosing – and using – a trampoline that’s most appropriate for your needs and living situation. Consider the health benefits of trampolining as well as your goals, budget, and space to find (and get inspired to use) the right one.
By Michael Lewis
The idea that a growing economy benefits all classes has a long history of acceptance. It has been embedded in political rhetoric for the past half-century, regardless of party – in fact, John F. Kennedy is credited with the saying, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
The theory – popularized as “trickle-down economics” – presumes that economic policies that help the wealthy eventually benefit everyone. It’s led to federal legislation reducing taxes on the wealthy and easing corporate regulation, as well as Supreme Court decisions increasing the legal rights of corporations, bringing them in near-parity with natural beings.
Both the USAA Rewards American Express Card and the USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card feature programs that award points for gasoline and grocery purchases. The primary difference between them is the rewards themselves. When you make purchases with the Rewards American Express card you earn points, and with the Cash Rewards card, you receive cash back.
If you are a servicemember of the U.S. armed forces – or are related to one – the many benefits offered by the USAA Cash Rewards American Express may be right for you.
Similar to the USAA World MasterCard, the USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard rewards all purchases at a flat rate. This frees you from specific spending categories and allows you to earn rewards on everything you buy. However, instead of earning points, you earn a cash back percentage of what you spend. This card and program are also available through Visa with the USAA Cash Rewards Visa Card.
- Fees. There is no annual fee. Balance transfers are 3% of the amount transferred up to a maximum fee of $200. Foreign transactions are 1%.
The USAA was established in 1922 by Army officers who wanted to self-insure one another, as they were perceived as a high-risk group and couldn’t secure standard auto insurance. Since then, the USAA has developed into a diversified group of financial services companies. The USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard, its plain vanilla credit card, is a great option because of its low rates and fees.
If you are affiliated with the military or a family member of a qualifying member, this just may be the right credit card for your wallet.
USAA provides many financial products to service members, their families, and those affiliated with the military – and credit cards are among the most popular of them. The USAA American Express Rewards Card features a low-interest opportunity and a rewards program for earning significant points on gasoline and grocery purchases. If you qualify, you may want to give serious thought to the USAA Rewards American Express card.
- Sign-up Bonus. When you make your first purchase you receive a bonus of 2,500 points, which is worth $25 if redeemed for airfare.
USAA provides a number of USAA Military Affiliate Cards that feature logos and emblems, allowing you to showcase your pride in hundreds of organizations. These organizations fall within all military branches: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and veteran’s groups such as The American Legion and Jewish War Veterans of the United States. Many of these cards are available through both American Express and World MasterCard – which one you choose depends mainly on how you intend to use it.
- Sign-up Bonus. When you make your first purchase, you earn a bonus of 2,500 points which can be redeemed for $25 in airfare.
The USAA World MasterCard offers similar benefits to the USAA Rewards American Express Card. The differences, other than one being a MasterCard (making it more widely accepted than the American Express), lie in the rewards program. Rather than rewarding gasoline and grocery purchases, the USAA World MasterCard rewards all purchases with a flat rate for cash back, which could be beneficial to service members who don’t have use for rewards in certain categories. You need to be a servicemember or family member of a qualifying servicemember to qualify for a USAA credit card.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) was established by servicemembers who wanted to provide an auto insurance option for other members of the armed forces. These days, it has evolved into one of the largest providers of financial products, including credit cards, for millions of military personnel and their families.
The USAA Platinum® Visa® offers you a choice between the USAA Rewards program and a Cash Rewards program. With USAA Rewards, the USAA Platinum Visa offers a sign-up bonus and flat-rate rewards program which awards one point per dollar spent on all purchases, as well as access to MemberShop and additional military benefits.