73 percent of employees contributed to their 401(k) plans in 2002, down from 79% in 1995. This is the first drop in participation rates since 1991, according to a survey of 524 plan sponsors.
Data: Buck Consultants Although Seattle is home to Starbucks (SBUX), its citizens may need stronger coffee. The reason? Seattle drivers rank as the drowsiest in the nation, according to "Nerves of Steel," a just-released survey of 2,400 motorists conducted by TheSteelAlliance, a steel industry group (thenewsteel.com/nos). Other findings on drivers:
-- SAFEST: Charlotte, N.C.
-- UNSAFEST: Chicago
-- RUDEST: New York
-- RUDEST ACTS: Switching lanes without signaling Until recently, it was easier for strangers to get access to your medical records than your video rental history. But under new federal rules, health-care providers and insurers must detail to whom they might disclose your medical information, let you review and correct your records, and honor your request for confidential communications, among other things. The provisions do not supersede more stringent state laws, as in California.
But lest you think you're now fully protected, the new law has gaping holes. For starters, it applies only to providers who transmit health information electronically using nationally recognized diagnosis and treatment codes. A dentist who just keeps paper records and a cash-only doctor who doesn't file insurance claims are not legally bound to protect your privacy. Nor are many alternative-medicine practitioners. The law also has gaps that allow drug companies to pay your doctor or pharmacist to send you marketing material. And it permits police officers or researchers to see your records without your consent. Sure, disposable cameras are handy. But they lack a self-timer, so unless you find a helpful bystander, you're always excluded from the group photos. Picture Yourself is a 4-inch tripod with its own timer that straps onto most single-use cameras. Wind it up, press the button, and you've got 12 seconds to get into the picture. It's $8.95 at joyinnovations.com. If you were moving, how much would you leave behind? In an online survey at BoxBundles.com, which sells moving supplies, half the respondents said 20% to 30% of their stuff is junk. So, whether you're moving or staying put, here are tips to help you declutter.
Use the "two-year rule."
Toss it if you haven't used or looked at it for two years.
If it's broke, don't fix it.
Every garage or basement has something that's broken. If you throw it out, you won't miss it.
Check the expiration date.
Dump old medicines and foods.