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Here's what you should know before planning a trip to the Caribbean this winter


Caribbean cruise

  • Despite the damage done by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many of the islands in the Caribbean are open for tourism this winter.
  • AAA recommends that tourists remain aware of conditions that might affect their travel and use an agent to ensure a painless vacation experience.
  • Luxury travel advisor Jaclyn Sienna India is sending her clients to high-end resorts in St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Turks & Caicos, and a private island in the West Indies.


The Caribbean islands are a signature vacation spot for travelers looking to escape the cold, winter months around the holidays. But in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many have been left wondering whether it would be safe to travel to the region this year.

In early September, Irma formed in the Atlantic Ocean before moving northwest across parts of the Caribbean, Florida, and further west through parts of Georgia. Maria moved in a similar direction but did not reach as far north as Irma did. As a result of the hurricanes, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, and Barbuda, among other Caribbean destinations, received significant damage and have been recovering since.

But, according to the travel organization AAA, many of the Caribbean islands — including the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Barbados — will be open for tourism this winter.

AAA recommends tourists stay informed of global events that could affect travel and use an agent to make their vacation experience as seamless as possible.

AAA has a full list of Caribbean destinations it recommends visiting this winter. On the list are places that suffered minimal to no damage from the hurricanes — Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, The Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and St. Vincent & The Grenadines.

st. lucia, saint lucia

Where to stay

Jaclyn Sienna India, who owns the luxury travel company Sienna Charles, takes the hassle out of vacation planning for her high-end clients, making sure their vacations are successful logistically and emotionally.

Her recommendations change each year in response to the threat of natural disaster, disease, or violence, as well as the quality of accommodations for tourists. To ensure the quality of her clients' experience, she visits each potential location before booking it to get a first-hand look at how its operates.

"I’m particularly interested in seeing how all private island resorts have made enhancements for the upcoming season that will be particularly compelling," she said to Business Insider in an email.

She has often sent clients to St. Barts in the past, but this year, she says she's sending her clients to resorts that excel at the fundamentals — prime locations and high-quality residences with scenic views — and that offer amenities that make them stand out from their competition. Though some of her clients have opted to avoid the Caribbean and pursue skiing trips in Europe this year, India has been impressed by some of the offerings made by high-end Caribbean destinations. 

Many of her clients fly in private jets, so the recently extended runway at Mandarin Canouan Island, situated in the middle of St Vincent & The Grenadines, was an appealing choice this year.

But her clients have diverse needs, so she makes sure she keeps a variety of scenarios in mind when considering her client's options. Como Parrot Cay, located in the Turks & Caicos, gets high marks from India for its healthy dining options and top-notch spa and wellness programs.

como parrot cay

Oetker Jumby Bay, located on a private island in the West Indies, was her go-to choice for families because of its villas that come with access to private pools and beaches.

What to do before traveling

Before making reservations or hiring a travel agent, AAA recommends that travelers take steps to guard against the risks any trip presents.

Given the prevalence of hurricanes this year, and the potential for further storms before hurricane season ends on November 30, AAA advises travelers to invest in travel insurance, which could protect against hurricane-related cancellations. AAA also suggests enrolling in the US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which will make it easier for US consulates or embassies to notify travelers in case of of emergencies.

While the height of hurricane season is likely behind us, it's never a bad idea to prepare for the worst.

SEE ALSO: 23 reasons why your next Caribbean vacation should be to Jamaica

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: SCOTT GALLOWAY: Amazon is using an unfair advantage to dominate its competitors

The decade-long relationship of American power couple Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner


ivanka trump laughing with jared kushner

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary on October 26, 2017.

Trump posted on Instagram, "Happy eight-year anniversary to the love of my life!" along with a photo of the couple at their wedding.

Trump and Kushner are something of a power couple. The eldest daughter of President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump is an unpaid adviser in the White House; she was previously a Trump Organization executive vice president and the CEO of the Ivanka Trump lifestyle brand.

Kushner, meanwhile, is a senior adviser to President Trump and owns a real-estate empire; he was once the publisher of the New York Observer.

Together, Trump and Kushner have three young children.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up the highlights of their relationship, from their courtship to their marriage to their family life.

SEE ALSO: A look inside the daily life of Ivanka Trump, who works from the White House, likes watching 'Real Housewives,' and doesn't use her phone on Saturdays

Trump and Kushner met in 2007, at a networking lunch arranged by Trump's longtime business partner, who thought they could do deals together. 'The best deal we ever made!' Trump says of their meeting.

Source: Vogue

They started dating pretty quickly, Trump said, but it was a slow 'courtship.'

Source: New York Magazine

Trump and Kushner reportedly split in 2008 because of religious differences. Kushner was raised in the Modern Orthodox Jewish tradition. They rekindled their romance when a mutual friend invited them both to the same event.

Source: The New Yorker

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This timeline shows exactly how the day of JFK's assassination unfolded


Kennedy shot

President Donald Trump has allowed the release of a trove of documents connected to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and many hope that the documents will clarify some of the details in the Kennedy case that had previously led to speculation and conspiracy theories.

In conjunction with the release of the JFK files on Thursday, here's a rundown of the most important moments on the day of the assassination:

SEE ALSO: Here's where to read the new JFK files

DON'T MISS: Here are some of the unanswered questions that could be addressed in the JFK files

Friday, November 22, 1963, 12:30 a.m.

Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina are not living together. While Oswald lives in a boarding house at 1026 N. Beckley Ave. in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, Marina Oswald is living with Ruth Paine in Irving, Texas.

Unlike most weeks, Lee has showed up on Thursday evening instead of Friday evening. At 12:30 a.m., Marina notices that Lee is still awake.

6:30 a.m.

Lee Harvey Oswald gets out of bed after a restless night and gets ready for work. Before he leaves the house, he takes off his wedding ring and leaves it in a cup on top of Marina's dresser. He takes $170 out of his wallet and leaves it with his wedding ring.

He gets a ride into work at the Texas School Book Depository with Buell Wesley Fraizer. He is carrying something long and tells Fraizer they’re curtain rods for his room in the boarding house.

7 a.m.

President John F. Kennedy is at the Hotel Texas getting ready for his day. He will give a speech outside the hotel, give a speech to the Chamber of Commerce inside, and then leave Fort Worth for Dallas.

After a motorcade through Dallas and a speech at the Trade Mart, the Kennedy's will travel with the Johnson's to Austin and then to the Johnson Ranch for a weekend of rest.

Kennedy has just picked up The Dallas Morning News. He sees the infamous "black border" ad which accusing him of treason. He also sees a prediction from Richard Nixon that Kennedy will be dropping Johnson from the ticket.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Meet the 11 richest millennials in America, who have a combined fortune of $127 billion


Evan Spiegel Miranda Kerr

In the US, it doesn't take a lifetime to amass a 10-figure fortune.

In fact, nearly 3% of America's richest people— those with fortunes of at least $2 billion — are under 37, or part of the millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1998).

That's according to this year's Forbes 400 list, which determined the net worths of the wealthiest people in the US by taking into account stakes in public and private companies, real estate holdings, and other assets including art, jewelry, cars, and planes. All net worth estimates are current as of October 17, 2017.

Scroll through to see America's richest young people and how much their fortune is worth according to Forbes.

SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg and his college sweetheart wife Priscilla Chan are worth $74 billion — see their houses, cars, and travels

DON'T MISS: 11 self-made American billionaires who are on the Forbes 400 list for the first time

10. Julio Mario Santo Domingo III: $2.4 billion

Age: 32

Source of wealth: Inherited, Anheuser-Busch InBev 

Forbes 400 rank: 340

9 (TIE). Evan Spiegel: $3.1 billion

Age: 27

Source of wealth: Snapchat

Forbes 400 rank: 248

9 (TIE). Bobby Murphy: $3.1 billion

Age: 29

Source of wealth: Snapchat

Forbes 400 rank: 248

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The most exclusive private members' clubs in 9 major European cities, ranked by price


Club inside

While London and New York may be the most well-known for their private members' circuits, a number of European cities also host some chic and secretive clubs that are worth a visit — if you can get through the door, that is.

From a royal haunt in Stockholm to an "independent universe" in Athens or a rooftop haven away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, Business Insider has scoped out the coolest and most exclusive private members' clubs in 9 of the most stylish major European cities.

So if you're wondering where to be seen on your next city break — or you frequently travel with business across the continent and are looking for the most exclusive place to set down your briefcase — scroll down to discover the best private members' clubs Europe has to offer.

Each club is ranked in ascending order by the price of an annual membership.

9. Noppe, Stockholm — from €290 (£260 or $343).

Noppe Bar was founded by Count Carl Adam "Noppe" Lewenhaupt, and is apparently the place to be if you fancy rubbing shoulders with Swedish royalty and local celebrities.

Membership privileges include events and concerts arranged at the club. The bar also organises an exclusive golf tournament in the country, a famous summer party, and a shooting cup for its members.

To become a member of Noppe Bar you need two current members as proposers.

8. Salon de Bricolage, Athens — from €500 (£445 or $590).

Founded in 2009, Salon de Bricolage now boasts 3,000 members who can also use a number of other private clubs across the world under their membership.

Its members are from the arts, publishing, fashion, film, and business industries, "who seek and appreciate superior quality, sophistication and understated glamour," according to the club.

"Salon de Bricolage is a philosophy — a club dedicated to its own independent universe," a representative told Business Insider.

The club has two art apartments which are filled with contemporary Greek and foreign art, and can be used for professional presentations, business meetings, and dinners. They were designed by architect Tasos Zeppos.

7. Silencio, Paris — from €600 (£535 or $710).

Founded in 2011 and owned by David Lynch, Silencio says it is a "new kind of members clubs dedicated to creative communities."

Silencio describes itself as a place for encounters, and as "the successor to salons, 17th century Parisian literary circles, the clubs of 18th century London, the Dadaists of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, and the existentialists of the Tabou in Saint-Germain des Pres, as well as cultural landmarks like Le Palace in Paris and Studio 54 in New York."

It may sound a tad pretentious, but by the looks of its Instagram account, it's where the cool crew hang — including the likes of A$AP Rocky and Caecilia Tripp.

The club boasts a photo gallery, a 24-seat cinema, library, smoking room, two bars, and a stage. It's also open until 6.a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Recommended applicants are prioritised, and the sponsor then receives a free month's subscription if the application is accepted.

Under 30s and those living overseas benefit from a discounted rate of €600 a year, or €50 a month. For everyone else there's a standard membership or €900, or for €1,680 with extra benefits.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The first man to walk the Amazon explains how living wild can reset your body and make you happier


Business Insider spoke with Discovery channel host Ed Stafford, the first man to walk the length of the Amazon river, about how living away from civilization can reset our bodies and make us happier. 

Full transcript below:

Ed Stafford: I’ll go into an indigenous village, whether that would be in Africa or South America and you just see smiles and I say this, at the risk of sounding patronising, but there is definitely something in capitalism and in urbanisation that detracts from that interhuman interaction.

Kids being able to wander into each other’s houses without a care in the world.

Low crime rates, low cancer rates, all of those sorts of things. And I think we have to accept that we’re not going to reverse this.

There are so many humans on the planet that you have to have cities to an extent but it’s identifying the values and the reasons why some of those villages are almost idyllically happy because there aren’t all of these stresses and worries and diseases and crime and I think there’s a lot to learn.

I would love to spend more time in the indigenous villages.

It’s very obvious if you work the land you’re connected to the land. You understand the water cycle, you understand how things grow, you understand how to nourish something, how to pour love into something.

To have that sort of interaction in a city, crikey, it’s almost impossible to have that sort of interaction.

There was a study done on old people’s homes where they were given plants to look after and just having that responsibility to look after and grow a plant had a huge benefit in terms of decreasing the rate of senility. I couldn’t be more of an advocator of getting out in the world, into the hills, into the forest wherever you want to go to reconnect with nature and for me, it’s like a reset button, I think.

Everyone acknowledges we’re not going to spend all of our time naked in the woods, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend some time there in order to get yourself back on track and I think that’s important.

Produced by Jasper Pickering

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Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona just became the most expensive watch ever sold at auction


Paul Newman watch rolex

  • Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona has been sold for $17.8 million, breaking the record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction. 
  • It has taken the crown from a 1518 Patek Philip in steel that was sold in 2016 for $11 million. 
  • It was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder and took just 12 minutes to sell.

Paul Newman's very own Paul Newman Rolex Daytona went up for auction at Phillips Auction House in New York on Thursday and sold for a record-breaking $17.8 million (£13.6 million).

When the Paul Newman lot came up, the bidding was opened at $1 million, but a telephone bidder immediately placed a bid of $10 million, stunning the room into silence.

It was one of the most intense auction sales ever seen in vintage watch collectors' circles. 

Watch Saleroom paul newman auction

The bids then went back and forth between two telephone bidders and the timepiece was finally sold for $17.8 million — including buyer's premium. This makes it $6 million more expensive than the previous most expensive watch ever sold at auction.

It also breaks the record for the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction, which was previously held by the Rolex Bao Dai which sold for $5 million back in May. 

Paul Newman wearing rolex daytona

Aurel Bacs, the Senior Consultant, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has dubbed the watch the "'Adam and Eve' of the watch collecting world."  

The reason this watch is worth so much to collectors is the story and history behind it, as it's not made out of any precious metal and it is not the most complex watch in the world either. 

It was given to Newman by his wife Joanne Woodward while he was filming "Winning", he then gave it to his daughter's then-boyfriend James Cox with the famous quote "if you wind it up it keeps pretty good time." 

After that, the trail of the watch goes cold until Cox brought it to Phillips to auction with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Nell Newman Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are the watches worn by the smartest and most powerful men in the world

Starbucks holiday cups have undergone some major evolutions over the years — here's how they've changed



  • A Starbucks worker leaked a photo of what appears to be the chain's 2017 holiday cup.
  • The new cup diverges from the "red cup" trend of years past. 
  • Starbucks' holiday cups have been a point of controversy in recent years.


Starbucks' rumored new holiday cup has one drastic difference from those of years past. 

Earlier in October, an apparent Starbucks worker with the Reddit handle DarthSpoopy posted a (now-deleted) photo of what appears to be the company's "short" holiday cups on the r/Starbucks subreddit.

Since Starbucks launched holiday cups in 1997, its red cups have become a holiday mainstay — and a source of controversy. In 2015, the coffee giant faced backlash when it debuted minimalist red cups that some complained weren't "Christmas-y" enough.

Here's a look at Starbucks' cups from 2009 to 2017: 

BI Graphics_Starbucks red cups through the years

SEE ALSO: A Starbucks worker just leaked a photo of this year's holiday cups — and there's one huge difference from past years

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I ate like billionaire Warren Buffett for a week — and I felt awful

The 20 best smartphones in the world


pixel 2 xl

The top 20 smartphones?

You might wonder how there can possibly be so many different smartphones worth buying.

Well, believe it, because each phone here is a great choice. It was a big struggle to figure out how to rank them all.  

And it's only going to get harder. This list doesn't include phones we haven't reviewed yet, such as LG's new V30. That device and several others will almost certainly earn a place here.

But for now, here's our list of the best smartphones you can buy.

Note: Prices may vary depending on the retailer.

SEE ALSO: 8 reasons Google's Pixel is better than the iPhone

DON'T MISS: 11 reasons you should buy an iPhone 6S instead of the iPhone 8 or iPhone X

20. BlackBerry Classic

If you're still a BlackBerry fan, you'll love the Classic. It looks similar to older BlackBerry models but features a sharp touchscreen and an excellent physical keyboard.

Price: $199

19. Sony XZ Premium

Jeff Dunn, my former colleague, reviewed this phone for Business Insider, and he summed it up perfectly:

On the one hand, he wrote, "This is a good phone. The screen is great, the software is clean, and the whole thing is superfast."

But on the other, he added, "With its underwhelming battery and slippery, sometimes uncomfortable design, it's not the device that should reverse Sony's fortunes."

Previously priced at $800, the XZ Premium is now available for less than $600 on Amazon, which makes it easier to live with its shortcomings.

Price: $599

Read the Sony XZ Premium review » 


18. BlackBerry KeyOne

The KeyOne is BlackBerry's successor to the Priv. Both run Android and feature physical keyboards. But while the Priv's keyboard slid out from behind its screen, the KeyOne's is permanently located just below its display. 

The KeyOne is a great device for those who want a physical keyboard but also want access to Google's apps and services, which aren't available on other BlackBerry devices.

Price: $544

Read the BlackBerry KeyOne review »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Inside billionaire Warren Buffett's unconventional marriage, which included an open arrangement and 3-way Christmas cards


Warren Buffet wife Astrid

• Warren Buffett married Susan Thompson in 1952.

• She ultimately left Warren to pursue a singing career, but they remained amicably married until her death in 2004.

• Susan also introduced her husband to Astrid Menks, who became his companion. Buffett and Menks married in 2006.

For much of his life, investment guru Warren Buffett has had a less-than-conventional marriage.

While he remained married to his first wife, Susan, from 1952 till her death in 2004, he lived with Astrid Menks. Menks and Buffett didn't tie the knot until 2006, two years after Susan died.

But family members said the unusual arrangement worked for all those involved. According to the Daily Mail, the trio would even send out Christmas cards together — signed Warren, Susan, and Astrid.

"Unconventional is not a bad thing," Buffett's daughter, Susie Buffett, told the New York Times. "More people should have unconventional marriages."

Here's a look inside Warren Buffett's married life.

SEE ALSO: Inside the Trump-endorsed marriage of Mike Pence, who calls his wife 'mother' and refuses to dine with other women

Buffett's connection to his first wife, Susan, goes back to long before they were even born.

Source: Business Insider

Susan's grandfather once ran a campaign for Republican United States Representative Howard Buffett, Warren's grandfather. It apparently didn't go well. Their daughter, Susie Buffett, told Business Insider that it was "the only time my grandpa Buffett lost."

Source: Business Insider

Before he met Susan, Warren busied himself trying to win the heart of a woman named Betty Gallagher in 1949. She happened to be dating a ukulele player, so Buffett took up the instrument too.

Source: Hear Nebraska

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 things science says predict divorce


it's complicated

No one can say with 100% certainty that a couple is heading for disaster.

But social scientists have gotten pretty good at predicting who's most likely to wind up there. These couples share certain commonalities — in the way they fight and the way they describe their relationship, but also in their education level and employment status.

Below, Business Insider has rounded up seven factors that predict divorce.

SEE ALSO: 13 facts about divorce every couple should know before getting married

Getting married in your teens or after age 32

The best time to get married is when you feel ready, and when you've found someone you think you can spend a lifetime with. Don't force anything — or put it off — because a study told you to do so.

That said, research does suggest that couples who marry in their teens and couples who marry in their mid-30s or later are at greater risk for divorce than couples in their late 20s and early 30s. The risk is especially high for teenage couples.

That's according to research led by Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah. After age 32, Wolfinger found, your odds of divorce increase by about 5% every year.

As Wolfinger wrote in a blog post for the conservative-leaning Institute for Family Studies, "For almost everyone, the late twenties seems to be the best time to tie the knot."

Other research, published in 2015 in the journal Economic Inquiry, found that the odds of divorce among heterosexual couples increase with the age gap between spouses.

As Megan Garber reported at The Atlantic:

"A one-year discrepancy in a couple's ages, the study found, makes them 3% more likely to divorce (when compared to their same-aged counterparts); a 5-year difference, however, makes them 18% more likely to split up. And a 10-year difference makes them 39% more likely."

Having a husband who doesn't work full-time

A 2016 Harvard study, published in the American Sociological Review, suggests that it's not a couple's finances that affect their chances of divorce, but rather the division of labor.

When the researcher, Alexandra Killewald, looked at heterosexual marriages that began after 1975, she learned that couples in which the husband didn't have a full-time job had a 3.3% chance of divorcing the following year, compared to 2.5% among couples in which the husband did have a full-time job.

Wives' employment status, however, didn't much affect the couple's chances of divorce.

The researcher concludes that the male breadwinner stereotype is still very much alive, and can affect marital stability.

Not finishing high school

It doesn't seem fair that couples who spend more time in school are less likely to get divorced. But that's what the research suggests.

A post on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website highlights a result from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979), which looked at the marriage and divorce patterns of a group of young baby boomers. The post reads:

"The chance of a marriage ending in divorce was lower for people with more education, with over half of marriages of those who did not complete high school having ended in divorce compared with approximately 30 percent of marriages of college graduates."

It may have to do with the fact that lower educational attainment predicts lower income — which in turn predicts a more stressful life. As psychologist Eli Finkel previously told Business Insider:

"What I think is going on is it's really difficult to have a productive, happy marriage when your life circumstances are so stressful and when your day-to-day life involves, say three or four bus routes in order to get to your job."


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Don’t upgrade your iPhone just because your battery is dying — get it repaired by Apple instead (AAPL)

  • iPhone batteries often don't last as long as the rest of the device.
  • You can get your iPhone's battery repaired for free with AppleCare+ instead of buying a new iPhone.
  • If you don't have AppleCare+, it's still a lot cheaper to get your iPhone battery repaired from Apple.

For many iPhone owners, an older iPhone's battery life may start to give out before the performance of the phone itself slows down. 

Indeed, smartphone batteries are notorious for having shorter lifespans than the devices they power. It can result in a phone that lasts just a few hours between charges compared to the full day of use you got when you first pulled your phone out of the box. 


Meanwhile, your iPhone may still perform as well as you need it to, and you may not feel like you need to upgrade for the sake of performance. 

With that in mind, if you're still happy with your iPhone's performance but it only lasts a few hours before it needs a charge, consider getting your iPhone's battery repaired or replaced for free if you have AppleCare+. Even if you don't have Apple Care+, getting your battery repaired or replaced through Apple will still be a fraction of the price of a new iPhone.

If you purchased AppleCare+ with your iPhone, and it's still under the two-year AppleCare+ protection, you can bring your iPhone to an Apple Store to get its battery repaired or replaced for free. If you're not close to an Apple Store, you can mail your iPhone in to Apple for a battery repair. 

Apple will then test your iPhone's battery to see if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity. If your iPhone is only getting a few hours of battery life, it's likely that its battery has less than 80 percent of its original capacity. If the battery is fine, Apple will test to see if something else is causing your iPhone's battery to drain too quickly. 

Otherwise, if you didn't get AppleCare+ and you're outside of the included one year warranty or AppleCare+'s two-year protection, it'll cost you a mere $80 to get the battery tested and replaced. Compare that $80 against the cost of a new iPhone and you have yourself a much better and cheaper option than buying a new iPhone simply because your current iPhone's battery is dying.

You can read more about Apple's iPhone battery repair and replacement program here.

SEE ALSO: 11 reasons you should buy an iPhone 6S instead of the iPhone 8 or iPhone X

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I won't trade in my iPhone 6s for an iPhone X or iPhone 8 — here's why

10 US cities that make it easier to build wealth thanks to savings in one key area


wealthy man suit

  • Building wealth requires focusing on saving and investing.
  • That means keeping expenses low, especially housing costs.
  • Homeowners in these 10 cities spend 16% or less of their income on mortgage payments, well below the recommended 30%.


America's richest people may have stories of sudden wealth and start-up success, but for most people in the US the journey to financial security is slow and steady.

After all, building wealth isn't just about income. It's about keeping your major expenses low so you can focus on saving and investing, and that may start with choosing the right place to live.

Housing costs account for about 37% of take-home pay for the average American. Many people spend even more.

In some circumstances — if you live in San Francisco or New York, for instance, where affordability is increasingly difficult to come by — spending a lot on rent or a mortgage is unavoidable.

But making a few sacrifices on housing expenses today could lead to significant savings — and a far more comfortable future.

New data from HowMuch.net reveals the cities where the average monthly mortgage payment takes up the smallest share of the median paycheck, enabling residents to build wealth by saving and investing the extra money.

The standard measure of housing affordability says Americans should spend no more than 30% of pre-tax income on housing. In the 10 cities below, the average homeowner spends 16% or less of their income on their mortgage payment.

For each city, we've included the median annual income, median home listing price, monthly mortgage payment assuming a 30-year fixed rate, and the percentage of income that goes toward housing.

SEE ALSO: Here's the best time of year to buy a home — and when to start house hunting to find the best deal

DON'T MISS: 9 places in the US where people are happier, living longer, and least likely to run out of money

10. Columbus, Ohio

Median listing price: $163,840

Monthly mortgage payment: $597

Median household income: $45,659

Income spent on housing: 15.7%


9. Indianapolis, Indiana

Median listing price: $145,000

Monthly mortgage payment: $529

Median household income: $41,987

Income spent on housing: 15.1%

8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Median listing price: $124,800

Monthly mortgage payment: $452

Median household income: $35,958

Income spent on housing: 15%

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Simon Cowell has reportedly been hospitalized after a bad fall at his home


Simon Cowell Getty final

  • Simon Cowell suffered a bad fall at his home on Friday morning.
  • He's reportedly in a hospital and in stable condition.


Simon Cowell has been hospitalized after suffering a bad fall at his London home, according to numerous reports.

The judge on shows like "America's Got Talent" and "X Factor UK" was seen wearing a neck brace when he was put into an ambulance and taken to the hospital on Friday morning, according to People.

“It’s been a scary morning," a source close to Cowell told The Sun. "It was very early and Simon was going down his stairs to get some hot milk because he couldn’t sleep."

Cowell, 58, is in stable condition, according to People. 

Business Insider contacted Cowell's representative for comment but did not receive an immediate response.  

SEE ALSO: The 14 most disturbing documentaries on Netflix — just in time for Halloween

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'They’re bad for chefs, they're bad for restaurants' — Anthony Bourdain goes on an epic rant against Yelp

A scientist leading the largest marijuana study in history says it's '5x stronger' than in 1980 — but there's a catch


marijuana weed pot cannabis smoke smoker

  • An increasing number of Americans live in states where recreational marijuana is legal.
  • CU Boulder psychiatry professor Christian Hopfer is helping lead one of the largest and most long-term studies of marijuana in history.
  • He says marijuana has gotten up to 5 times stronger since the 1980s, but tracking THC potency over time can be tricky.

One in five Americans lives in a state where it's legal to use marijuana without a doctor's prescription. Yet we know surprisingly little about the drug's effects on our health. Rumors abound, while the science is sparse.

One of the most common rumors is that marijuana today is stronger than it was in the 1970s and 80s. The truth: yes and no.

Dispensaries in some states are routinely selling flower that is "at least five times as strong" as it was 40 years ago, Christian Hopfer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Anschutz Medical Campus and one of the lead researchers on a forthcoming $5.5-million study of cannabis, told Business Insider. Hopfer's study will be the largest and most long-term analysis of cannabis to date.

Hopfer's research has taken him to dispensaries around the state of Colorado, where he said he's seen a variety of marijuana sold with a content breakdown of around 25% THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that's responsible for the high.

"It used to be 2-5%, so this stuff is potent," Hopfer said.

That's not just true in Colorado.

marijuana weed pot cannabis joint smoke smoking smokerThe THC content of marijuana across the US has tripled since 1995, according to a large recent study. For the study, researchers at the University of Mississippi reviewed close to 39,000 samples of cannabis that had been seized across the country by the Drug Enforcement Administration. While THC levels hovered around 4%, on average, in 1995, they skyrocketed to roughly 12% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the CBD content in marijuana — the part that's responsible for many of the drug's therapeutic effects— has dropped, the researchers found, shifting the ratio of THC to CBD from 14:1 in 1995 to about 80:1 in 2014.

Still, tracking THC potency over time can be tricky. The older a weed sample gets, the more its THC appears to degrade. How it is stored matters too. These are two barriers that could be interfering somewhat with the metrics on pot's potency.

A 2012 review of 17 studies analyzing marijuana potency, for example, noted that most of the studies they reviewed did "not describe relevant information about the features (i.e. conservation status and age of the sample) of the analyzed ... cannabis samples."

Nevertheless, most researchers agree that weed appears to be getting progressively stronger, although they differ in opinion about precisely how much.

There's another issue at play here. While researchers might be able to conclude that weed is getting stronger, they can't necessarily say whether or not people are increasing their dose — or by how much.

A 2014 study published in the journal Addiction, for example, found that regular weed users naturally adjust their consumption somewhat based on potency, inhaling less smoke when the marijuana is higher in THC. Despite taking smaller inhales, however, those users still took in a higher THC dose. The researchers were not able to draw any definitive conclusions about the potential ties between higher doses and addiction. A more important predictor of addiction, they concluded, was people's individual smoking behavior (i.e. how many puffs they took, how much smoke they inhaled, and how long their puffs lasted).

In this setting, a new approach to addressing cannabis — and its dosage — is desperately needed, Hopfer said.

"I think we’ve dealt with marijuana historically from a criminal justice perspective, but if you switch to an environment where it's legal, you switch to a public health perspective. And to do that right, we need more scientific research."

SEE ALSO: What marijuana really does to your body and brain

DON'T MISS: A study claims marijuana is tied to a threefold risk of dying from high blood pressure — but there's a catch

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NOW WATCH: The biggest problem with serving sizes for marijuana edibles right now

Airline workers share 14 insider facts about flying most passengers don't know


Flight attendant drink service

No one has more insider knowledge about flying than airline workers.

To unearth 14 lesser-known facts about flying, Business Insider surveyed more than 80 airline workers including flight attendants, gate agents, ticket agents, and other airport customer service reps and scoured the web including Reddit and Quora for more.

Whether you want more attentive service or to avoid getting kicked off your flight, read on for the inside scoop:

SEE ALSO: 15 things everyone gets wrong about working for an airline, according to flight attendants and gate agents who do

SEE ALSO: Airline workers share 17 things they wish passengers would stop doing

You can't physically open a door mid-flight — though trying could get you kicked off the plane

Annette Long, a flight attendant with 13 years of experience, tells Business Insider that, though opening a door mid-flight is impossible to do, trying it will still get you into trouble. As we've seen in previous incidents, passengers who try to make a jump for it while the plane is in the air usually wind up restrained mid-flight and in handcuffs once the plane lands. In some cases, pilots will make an emergency landing to get the passenger off the flight.

"I don't make those decisions," Long says. "I convey the information to the cockpit and the chief flight attendant, and they make the decision about whether or not we're going to land and get someone off the plane.

"Most of the pilots say to us, 'If you've got a problem with them, I've got a problem with them,' and they will back us up 100%," Long says.

Airplanes aren't nearly as clean as they might look

As Business Insider previously reported, microbiologists have found tray tables to be the least hygienic surface on an airplane.

As one flight attendant writes on Reddit, people change their babies' diapers on their tray tables all the time. And then, not every tray table gets wiped thoroughly between each flight. 

What's more, "remember, they're using a rag to start row one, and when they end up in row 35, that rag has wiped a lot of tables," Long says.

The flight attendant writing on Reddit also says that many unsanitary incidents occur on the plane that passengers rarely see or consider, like accidents in the lavatory or a passenger's seat. "Just so you know, when you go to the bathroom and you're barefoot or you're in your socks, that's not water on the floor," Long says.

"It's just not the cleanest environment," she says.

You can bring your e-cigs, but the plane won't take off with a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on board

A few exploding items have been banned from airplanes in recent years, though some not in their entirety.

Last March, a Delta Air Lines flight was delayed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after an e-cigarette belonging to a passenger ignited on board the flight.

But while the lithium ion batteries in e-cigarettes have shown a propensity to ignite if they are damaged, battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices are permitted on planes as long as they're not checked or being used.

Your exploding Galaxy Note 7, however, is a different story. These smartphone devices are completely banned by the Department of Transportation from air transportation to, from, or in the US.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

25 of the highest-rated novels you can read in 5 hours or less


reading pool holiday book pixabay StockSnap

The benefits of reading books are countless.

Books have been proven to make us more empathetic, equip us to deal with uncertainty and anxiety, and help to prevent cognitive decline through middle age into our advanced years.

With so many advantages — not to mention the fact that they give our eyes a much-needed rest from back-lit, digital screens — picking up a book is something we should all incorporate into our daily routines.

However, making it through a hefty novel can seem like a daunting task.

Business Insider teamed up with book review website and recommendation platform Goodreads to create a list of highly-rated, popular, and culturally relevant fiction books which consist of 250 pages or less.

The books were selected by Goodreads staff based on their high ratings and positive reviews from Goodreads users. Each entry on the list contains the book's page count, its average rating from Goodreads users, and a synopsis from the publisher.

On average, it takes the average reader around one hour to read 100 pages, meaning that each of these novels can be read in under five hours. That's the same amount of time many people spend commuting to work each week, to put it into perspective.

Scroll down to discover the 25 best books on Goodreads under 250 pages that can be read in five hours or less, ranked by user rating in ascending order.

"The End We Start From" by Megan Hunter — 3.53 stars

"In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety.

"As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z's small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds."

140 pages.Check out "The End We Start From" on Goodreads here.

"The Buddha in the Attic" by Julie Otsuka — 3.6 stars

Julie Otsuka’s follow-up to "When the Emperor Was Divine" tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as "picture brides" nearly a century ago.

"The Buddha in the Attic traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war."

129 pages.Check out "The Buddha in the Attic" on Goodreads here.

"All the Birds, Singing" by Evie Wyld — 3.62 stars

"Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wanted it to be. But every few nights something — or someone — picks off one of the sheep and sets off a new deep pulse of terror.

"With exceptional artistry and empathy, 'All the Birds, Singing' reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption."

24o pages.Check out "All the Birds, Singing" on Goodreads here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the most valuable passports in the world


singapore supertree grove unsplash Annie Spratt

  • Arton Capital ranked world passports by the number of countries one can visit without obtaining a visa.
  • The United States ranked sixth this year after being tied for first in 2015.
  • Some of that decline resulted from an international backlash to the Trump administration's controversial travel bans.

The Trump administration has drawn controversy for its efforts to ban travel from Middle Eastern countries like Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Now, its policies may be coming back to bite American citizens.

Finance firm Arton Capital has placed the United States behind 18 countries in its most recent rankings of passport mobility, which measures the number of countries one can visit with a given nation's passport without obtaining a visa.

The United States is tied for sixth in this year's rankings, which marks a steep drop from 2015 when it held a number-one ranking with the United Kingdom. The decline has accelerated since Trump took office, as countries such as Turkey and the Central African Republic have ended their policies of visa-free travel from the United States.

You can see which countries have moved above the United States below. Countries are ranked according to Arton's  "Visa-Free Score," with a higher score resulting in a higher ranking.

SEE ALSO: Some Americans may need a passport to fly domestically in 2018

T10. Latvia — 149 countries

T10. Lithuania — 149 countries

T10. Poland — 149 countries

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Tony Robbins uses something called 'fish balls' every day to keep up a hobby, guilt-free


When Tony Robbins whacks golf balls into the Pacific off the porch of his Fiji home, he's not just living the peak luxury lifestyle, he's feeding some of the local fish.

Business Insider recently traveled to Robbins' Fiji resort Namale, where the world-famous life coach was hosting the winners of Shopify's Build a Bigger Business competition. He gave us a tour of his private residence and showed us his stock of fish food golf balls.

Barcelona-based entrepreneur Albert Buscató invented the "EcoBioBall" in 2008 and began selling them through his company Albus Golf in 2010. He sells boxes of the balls on his website (100 of them will run you $116), and major clients include cruise lines and resorts like the Four Seasons.

Buscató had the EcoBioBall independently tested to meet the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for biodegradability and non-toxicity. Fish can get at the ball's fish food core after a day and a half, and even if no fish swam by to snack, the ball fully dissolves within 28 days in all water temperatures. Following is a transcript of the video.

Tony Robbins: This is another hangout area that we really love. I opened this up because I have "fish balls." I have these golf balls that are full of fish food, and so we use these as holes here and we come out and knock balls here. These fish food ones — you knock these out and then they dissolve in the ocean and provide the food. So, they're ecologically sound, but also the fish love it. It's kinda cool.

Graham Flanagan: So, that's full of fish food?

Robbins: That's full of fish food, so it's kind of fun.

Billy Beck III: Take a bite of it! [LAUGHTER]

[They're called EcoBioBalls. A Barcelona-based company started making them in 2010. The ball's core is made of 100 percent natural fish food. The balls start to dissolve after 24 hours. Fish begin eating the food after 36 hours. The balls fully dissolve after 28 days. The balls passed independent tests for biodegradability and non-toxicity. A box of 100 balls costs $116. The balls don't fly quite as far as normal golf balls, but that's a small price to pay when you're feeding fish!]

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I've lived in New York City my entire life — here are the best places to actually eat


Chinese food

As a kid growing up in New York City, I never ate Happy Meals.

Why would I when I could get a great bagel or slice of pizza for the same price?

New York has some of the best food in the world. Even neighborhood takeout spots are top-notch eateries that people come from all over to try. So over my nearly three decades of living here — I spent four years living in Ithaca, NY, for college — I've refined my list of go-to places that I swear by.

These are the places that are dependable and also affordable. They're the types of places you can go to on a whim and do not require hard-to-come-by reservations.

Some disclosures: This list is heavily weighted toward places in Brooklyn and Manhattan, because that's where I've lived. I've also left off some of New York's top restaurants like Blue Hill and Carbone because they're special occasion spots and deserve their own separate list. 

Here are my favorite places in New York City to eat. 

SEE ALSO: What it's like to eat dinner at the same restaurant as the Obamas


What it is: Appetizing counter and so much more. Every foodie's dream.

Where it is: Upper West Side, Manhattan

I grew up just blocks away from this culinarian favorite. Zabar's was a mainstay in my childhood diet.

You enter Zabar's in the cheese department, which is an overwhelming place to start. Grab a basket — you'll need it. And be sure to be on the lookout for samples. My favorite things to get at Zabar's are cheese, bagels, lox, cream cheese, herring and cream sauce, and whitefish salad. There's a great prepared foods department, and be sure to checkout the houseware on the second floor. I never walk by Zabar's without picking up a pound or two of fresh coffee beans.

Lhasa Fast Food

What it is: Takeout counter for momos (Himalayan dumplings).

Where it is: Jackson Heights, Queens

This place is a hidden gem. Literally.

It's located in the back of a shopping mall of sorts. To get there, you have to walk through a stall selling cell phone accessories. But don't be discouraged. Once you find Lhasa, only good things await. 

Order the beef and chive dumplings. Beware they are made to order, so it might take 20 minutes or so for them to arrive. 


What it is: Quaint Japanese restaurant on a quiet street in Brownstone Brooklyn. 

Where it is: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn 

I was hesitant to include Hibino in this roundup because I'm selfishly wary of more people discovering its greatness. To be honest though, the place has already been discovered. And for good reason.

Hibino is top-notch Japanese food. Literally everything on the menu — from homemade agedashi tofu, to sushi and dessert — is exquisite. Don't overlook the obanzai menu of $6 Japanese tapas, which changes daily and features unique things like curry potato salad. I'm not even a dessert person and I literally always order dessert here (the soy milk pudding, if you're wondering). 

Finding excellent sushi at reasonable prices isn't easy. Hibino nails it. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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