It’s true that Americans can legally import, own and drive any foreign-market car they want—so long as it is more than 25 years old. Sidestep the rules and you’re liable to have your car seized, and even destroyed, by United States Customs and Border Protection.In two memorable instances, the agency crushed an illicit late-model Land Rover Defender (in 2013) and 2000 Mini Cooper (in 2014)—never mind that these were newer, arguably safer and more efficient versions of cars once legally sold here without issue. Dramatic photos of the carnage were then shared, as if to serve as a warning for would-be automotive bootleggers. Clearly someone thinks this is a matter of national security—or acts that way for the cameras.The basis for this enforcement? The Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act, commonly known as the 25-year import rule. It prevents individuals from importing new foreign-market vehicles without undertaking a lengthy—and costly—testing … [Read more...] about Who really benefits from the 25-year import rule?
Average 25 year old savings
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica proved to be an excellent vehicle for my family’s first-ever serious road trip. It was the summer of 1974. Having spent the day at the amusement park then known as Six Flags over Middle America, my family and I hit the swimming pool at the Safari Camp Ground at which we were staying for the week. It was during a rather spirited session of Marco Polo involving several families that someone’s mother—not mine—interrupted the aquatic merriment. She had brought a radio poolside, and yelled for everyone to shut up and listen. Earnestly, party-pooper lady set the radio down next to the water and cranked it up as loud as it would go. I recall my father, at first annoyed by the interruption, taking on a stern look and making his way toward the radio. The 2017 Pacifica boasts almost 140 cubic feet of cargo space. I’m not convinced we made very efficient use of all that room. A deep, measured voice echoed out over the still-sloshing pool … [Read more...] about American Travelogue: An Old-School Family Road Trip in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
We need to talk about chickens. Wherever human beings exist on the planet, they are almost certainly eating chickens -- or chicken eggs. From Delhi to Beijing, Moscow to Oona-Woop-Woop, the humble fowl completes our roasts, soups and breakfast plates.Fifty billion chickens are reared every year, but around 6 billion male chicks never make it past a day old. Hatcheries across the world wait for the boys to poke out of an egg, only to send them to their assured deaths: a high-speed, industrial grinder that instantly macerates them. It's a gruesome fate, but it's currently the most economic and -- remarkably, some would say -- the most humane way to deal with these "useless" birds. An unfortunate truth of chicken biology: Males do not produce eggs. Any male hatched to be an egg-laying chicken is worthless, destined to die. Now playing: Watch this: CRISPR explained with crisps (and assorted snacks) 3:36 But if there was a way to determine the sex of the chick before it hatches, … [Read more...] about How CRISPR could save 6 billion chickens from the meat grinder
Although you can do many free or inexpensive things in and around your home to upgrade its energy efficiency, there are times when purchasing or upgrading something in order to save money on your utility bill can make sense. Think of this as "investing in energy efficiency." Here's an example: If your refrigerator is 15 years old or older, replacing it with a new one could reduce your energy bill by five dollars or more every month: 60 dollars a year. If that new refrigerator costs $600, you're getting a 10 percent return on your money -- much more than banks are paying on savings, checking accounts, or even certificates of deposit. And the extra bonus is that money "earned" on energy savings isn't subject to state or federal income tax. A 10 percent, tax-free return on a moderate investment? That beats leaving potentially savings-producing money like this in a bank account (where returns are low -- and also taxed). When you invest money and time in projects like replacing windows and … [Read more...] about How to Save Money on Home Energy
Graduates of Bowie State University put messages on their mortarboard hats during the school's graduation ceremony in College Park, Maryland, 2013. Should paying for college take precedence over saving for retirement? Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Every parent wants their child to succeed and have every advantage in life. With student loan debt now averaging more than $34,000 per college graduate, it's natural for parents to want to protect their kids from this crippling financial burden. But financial professionals agree that the best way to take care of your kids is to take care of yourself first. That means saving for retirement before saving for college. Here are four reasons why. 1. There Are No Loans for Retirement. In a perfect world, parents would earn enough and save enough to fully fund both their retirement and their kids' college educations. But for most families, one savings goal needs to take priority over another. In that case, financial planners say, you need to … [Read more...] about The Kids’ College Funds Can Wait. Save for Retirement First