Most Leniant U.S. States When it Comes to Auto Insurance

nissan-885309_640Let’s be real. Adulthood is expensive. Way more expensive than you thought it would be. Between rent, car payments, groceries, and taxes, you barely have any money left. You may be trying to figure out where you can cut corners to save yourself some dough, but it seems everything has a minimum payment or requirement.

When it comes to minimum requirements, you don’t want to mess around, especially when it comes to auto insurance. Not all states are super strict, though. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need liability, uninsured motorist, medical, and personal injury coverage in every state. There is no national minimum requirement; each state mandates their own minimum. If you’re wondering where you may be able to skate by with fewer minimum coverages required, here are some of the most lenient U.S. States:

New Hampshire

The Granite State is widely known for being lenient with their minimum auto insurance requirements, provided individuals assume and can prove financial responsibility. While it doesn’t have the cheapest of all U.S. states (though it’s close, ranking 5th with an average car insurance payment of $941 for the year of 2016), New Hampshire is one of only two states that take this approach to car insurance. The state also rewards those who elect to purchase auto insrance coverage with lower premiums.

Virginia

Old Dominion is similar to New Hampshire, in that it only requires that drivers assume financial responsibility and provide coverage for uninsured motorists. Virginia’s $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee, which expires yearly and must be renewed with the vehicle’s annual registration, gives car owners the option of opting not to insure their vehicles. This is certainly a risky choice to make, so many drivers opt to insure their cars, meeting the minimum coverage requirements of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $20,000 for property damage.

Wisconsin

The Badger State is not only flexible, only requiring liability insurance coverage with minimum limits of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $10,000 for property damage, and uninsured motorist with the same minimum coverages, but also has an exceptionally low average car insurance payment ($912 in 2016, the 3rd lowest in USA). Plus, with beautiful landscapes and wide open roads, Wisconsin is one of the safer states to be driving in.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State, like 48 other states and the District of Columbia, requires drivers to have liability auto insurance coverage. With minimum limits of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage, and no requisite Uninsured Motorist coverage, Mississippi keeps the Southern laid-back attitude going by allowing drivers the option to post a bond or make a cash or security deposit equal to the minimum coverage amount, according to DMV.org. Plus, Mississippi’s annual average auto insurance payment of $1,277 is right below the national average.

Ohio

The Buckeye State is more restrictive than other states on our list, but is still quite lenient. With a high percentage of uninsured drivers despite a legal requisite for insurance, you may get into some trouble if you get in an accident. With only Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability coverage required, you may also want to protect yourself with optional Uninsured Motorist coverage. Since the average auto insurance payment in Ohio (with an average annual rate of $900 in 2016) is less than all other states but Maine, you’ll have a little extra cash to better protect yourself.

The next two states are lenient in their requirements, but have a relatively high average car insurance payments, so don’t look here for savings.

California

The Golden State may have some of the most lenient coverage requirements, demanding only liability and not medical or uninsured motorist coverage, but the average yearly auto insurance premium of $1,752, does not seem to reflect that. In addition to the high insurance premiums, California can be a risky state to drive in, so you may want to bulk up on your coverage to avoid hefty costs in the long-run.

Florida

The Sunshine State is one of the most dangerous states in the U.S. to drive in, but really lenient on liability coverage. In addition to Liability, Medical and Personal Injury Coverage also required. Uninsured Motorist coverage, however, is not. With 23.8 percent of Florida drivers on the road as of 2012 being uninsured, you may want to purchase the optional Uninsured Motorist coverage, too. With an average annual insurance premium of $1,654, your insurance will cost you.

While you may not be moving today, the above states are definitely good options to keep in mind if you’re looking to make a big move in the future and want to find ways to save or at least reduce the amount of coverage required of you when you’re on the road.

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Effective Ways to Stop Yourself from Spending Your Retirement Money

Saving money for retirement is something everyone should do, but most don’t. Even those who do manage to save something for retirement end up spending it before retiring anyway. You can only spend retirement in relative ease if you can afford it. You won’t be able to take up second jobs, side hustle, freelance or apply for loans during the final years of your life. It’s every important to have money saved to address important housing, medical, and lifestyle needs in your late years.

If you are thinking about or are already spending your retirement money, you need to stop right now. Here are a few tips that might help.

Keep Your Retirement Savings Inaccessible

The best way to not spend your retirement savings is to keep the money inaccessible. For example, don’t use a regular savings account for your retirement financial needs. That’s just too easy to withdraw from or get mixed up in other accounts. Open a separate retirement savings account that you cannot access as easily as your other accounts. This will discourage you from accessing funds impulsively.

Have Multiple Savings Accounts

Some people use a single savings account for everything including retirement. The problem with this approach is that you will probably end up withdrawing money from this account. For example, if you have a single savings account for retirement and emergencies, you will certainly end up making withdrawals if your car breaks down or if you end up in the ER. You could end up with nothing by the time you retire if you constantly withdraw money from the account. You can easily tackle this problem by opening different savings accounts for different needs.

Invest Retirement Savings

If you have already racked up a considerable amount of retirement savings, you could be tempted to use that money on vanity purchases like a boat or a beach house. You can control spending money impulsively by investing the funds. Beware, however, that you should never use your retirement savings in risky investments. Instead, use retirement savings in low-risk investments like government bonds. Government bonds that last for decades are perfect to keep retirement savings inaccessible, and also possibly growing.

Use a Savings Account that Makes It Very Hard to Withdraw Money

The main reason you end up spending your retirement savings is because you have easy access to the funds. So, you should limit this access. You can, for example, put the money in an account that makes it difficult to withdraw money. Some banks require weeks of processing before a withdrawal is approved for a certain account. Try to use one of these accounts for your retirement savings. If you can’t withdraw, you won’t.

Last but not least, planning for retirement early will also help you keep your money in place. You will be less tempted to use your retirement savings if you know what you are going to do with it once you retire. Let’s say you plan early to buy a beach house to retire at. When you have a goal like this, you are less likely to use retirement savings prematurely.

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