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Tip of the Week


If you were born between 1979 and 1994, you may have heard yourself described as part of Generation Y. Characteristics that define your generation include a tendency to be independent, opinionated and well informed.


A 2010 study by Prudential, "Reaching Gen Y - easier than you think," suggests that one area where you might benefit from more knowledge is in the area of life insurance.


Figuring out what products and services fit your needs is always the first step to purchasing life insurance. Before you get started, a basic understanding of the differences between types of life insurance is helpful:


- Term life insurance: Like its name implies, term life insurance provides coverage for a specified "term" or period of time. It is usually less expensive than "permanent" insurance, especially in the early years of the policy. It typically does not offer potential for cash value accumulation. Rather, it typically provides a death benefit for a limited amount of time.


- Permanent life insurance: Permanent life insurance is designed to provide coverage for your entire life. Premiums are typically due for the life of the policy. In addition to providing a death benefit, permanent policies are usually designed to accumulate cash value.


- ARA


BBB Watch


In the past three years, more than 53,000 customers nationally have complained to the Better Business Bureau about satellite TV providers, with 39,000 of those complaints filed against DirecTV and 13,000 filed against Dish Network. Many complaints stem from fees and terms outlined in the customer agreement, and the BBB recommends that TV viewers planning to make the switch to satellite read the fine print closely.


The complex policies and fees that are sometimes unique to satellite service has led many customers to complain to the BBB about the contractual obligations outlined - but often overlooked - in the fine print of their agreement.


"Many complaints to the BBB about satellite providers stem from steep cancellation fees," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "If customers aren't satisfied with their service or they can't afford the cost after the introductory period, it isn't that easy to cancel because the early termination fees can run into the hundreds of dollars."


For more information on consumer safe shopping, visit www.bbb.org.


The List


Here are the best colleges in America, according to www.forbes.com:


1. Williams College


2. Princeton University


3. Amherst College


4. United States Military Academy


5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology


6. Stanford University


7. Swarthmore College


8. Harvard University


9. Claremont McKenna College


10. Yale University


Number to Know


60: Number of stores that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. plans to close in 2010, despite the company making a profit in the second quarter.


GateHouse News Service