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Life360 and Ford Partner to Reduce Texting and Driving

drive mode in life360 app 2At Life360, keeping families safe and connected is our top priority, which is why we are so proud today, to announce a partnership with Ford that will help keep families safe behind the wheel. Together, our goal is to reduce the amount of texting while driving between family members with the introduction of a feature called ‘Drive Mode.’ This is a first of its kind implementation that alerts family members when someone is driving – letting them know it’s not safe to text.

The concept is simple: ‘Drive Mode’ identifies that a family member is driving when their Android phone automatically pairs, via Bluetooth, with Ford SYNC in the vehicle. There is no need to plug your phone into the USB or launch any app. As soon as that happens, the “Drive Mode” symbol will appear on the user’s avatar on the Life360 map. This way, any family member looking at their Life360 app will see that a loved one is driving. In addition, the driver can send a message with the simple push of button as soon as the car is turned on, letting everyone in their circle know that they are driving.

drive mode in dash 2

Texting and driving continues to be a significant problem, killing 11 teens each day according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It was responsible for almost one quarter of all crashes in the US last year according to the National Safety Council. With Drive Mode, Ford and Life360 bring awareness to families and help reduce the dangerous combination of texting and driving.

We hope this simple application can have powerful impact on the communication of family members and we’re proud that our technology can play a part in taking on such an important issue.

icons in dash

If you’re attending the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas on Jan. 6-9, please stop by the Life360 or Ford booths to check out a demo of the app. Drive Mode will be available first for Android phones in the second half of 2015.

10 Ways to Survive the Holidays with Life360

It’s that time of year again! Time for sweaters, mittens, Starbucks red cups, and holiday tunes pumping through the speakers of every retail establishment you set foot in. Shopping, eating, parties, presents and family will start to encroach upon your already busy schedule. Not to worry, we’ve got your covered.

Here are 10 ways using Life360 can help you survive the holidays:

1. Divide and Conquer the Mall! Dominate Black Friday deals by splitting up your lists and hit all stores in ½ the time.

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source / thegifchick

2. Use history to see which places the rest of the family has been for a sneak peek into where they’ve been shopping for your presents.

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3. Set the teens loose, to buy gifts on their own. They’re the ones that want to be at the mall anyway. Have them check-in when they get there.

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4. Relatives Coming? Make a temporary circle for relatives coming to visit and view them on the map as they travel toward your house

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5. Mark some fun places on the Life360 map and let relatives take the kids out and give you some peace and quiet.

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6. Set up place alerts for the mall, so you know when they’ve left and are on their way back home.

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7. Add the grocery store to your extended family Circle and send overbearing relatives out to get cranberry sauce.

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8. Traveling somewhere? Try creating a circle for those on holiday with you, so you can get lost someplace wonderful without losing each other.

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9. Add your destination as a Place, so those who aren’t going with you know you’ve arrived there safe.

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10. Share the love to all your Circles with a group message that says Happy Holidays!

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source / aimemente

Share #MyLife360Story and you could win a $5000 vacation!

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Share #MyLife360Story and win a family vacation!

We are so excited about this, you guys! It’s that time of year again, when we give two things: thanks and presents!

First, we are thankful for you, are users, and we’d thought it was time to show you just how much we appreciate you. Second, we love your stories! Whether it’s how we give you peace of mind and make your life a little easier, or how we have been there for you in an emergency, your stories inspire us everyday to keep doing what we’re doing.

Whether it’s emails and Facebook posts, Tweets or Instagram photos, we can’t get enough, so we figured now is a great time to hear more, and to say thanks for being awesome.

And because we also love giving presents, we are saying thank you by giving one lucky family a VACATION! What?!?!?

Yup. A $5000 vacation could be yours!

Here’s what we need from you: Make a video telling us your Life360 story. Maybe it’s a specific instance when Life360 saved the day, or maybe it’s an example of the everyday peace of mind we help provide. Whatever it is, pull out your smartphone, get your family together and tell us your story!

Post it on YouTube, give us the link, and you’re entered to win.

All of the videos will be judged by a panel of judges, made up of Life360 team members. Videos will be judged on creativity, entertainment value, and incorporation of your Life360 story. Judging “bonus points” will be awarded for videos with the most views, thumbs up, and sharing this contest with your networks.

Note to all of you amateur filmmakers out there, please keep these clips to less than 5 minutes.

Once your video is made, fill out this form as your official entry. You can earn additional judging bonus points by using the widget below to invite your friends and family to make their own videos and enter too!

Post your video by midnight (PST) on 12/24/14 to be eligible. Judging will take place the second week in January, and the winner will be notified by 1/31/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 1. Promotion Description: The ‘$5000 Family Vacation Package’ (“Sweepstakes”) begins on 11/15/2014 at 12:00 AM (Eastern Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 12/24/2014 at 12:00 AM (Eastern Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Life360 (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. 2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. 3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected by a team of judges, made up of Life360 employees. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 14 days after selection. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 7 days of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor. 4. Prizes: 1 winner will receive [(1) $5000 Family Vacation Package], in the form of 1 airline gift card for $2000, 1 hotel gift card for $2000, and an additional gift card for $1000 for other expenses. The winner may select which airline and which hotel for the gift cards. Only one prize will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items. 5. Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within USA. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize. 6. Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, certain portions of their personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner’s list. All personal information submitted as part of the Sweepstakes may be shared by and between the Promotion Entities, and each of the Promotion Entities will use such information in accordance with their respective independent online privacy policies. The privacy policy of Life360 can be found at https://www.life360.com/privacy_policy/ 7. Limitation of Liability: Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misdirected or lost mail, or any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay of operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating downloading materials in the Sweepstakes. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, then Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. In such event, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, perform the random drawing from among all eligible Entries received prior to or after such cancellation, suspension, or modification. 8. Winner’s List: To obtain a copy of any legally required winners list or a copy of the Official Rules, send the applicable request and a self-addresses, stamped, #10 envelope to Life360 cc: $5000 Family Vacation Package at 539 Bryant St. #402 San Francisco, CA 94107. Request must be received no later than 14 days + 6 MONTHS for the name of the winner and, by the end of the promotion, for a copy of the rules. 9. Sponsor: The Sweepstakes is sponsored by Life360, 539 Bryant St. #402 San Francisco, CA 94107, community@life360.com.

6 Stages of Accepting a Life360 Invite

Anyone who’s ever been the unfortunate recipient of incessant app invitations knows that there’s a whole process, that mostly consists of blatant ignoring, when that bloop pops up on your home screen or the email notification chimes cheerily, welcoming you to guaranteed inbox dread.

But a Life360 app invite manages to stir up a whole mess of emotions that aren’t all rooted in utter annoyance.

Here’s a quick glimpse into the inner workings of the mind of someone who gets a Life360 invite…

Denial & Isolation

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This can’t be happening, right? Clearly I can never leave my house again because “they” will always be watching, nay stalking, my every move.

Anger

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I’m super cheesed. See ya later, social life. It’s gone. Bye, bye. Never to be seen again. So much for having any kind of fun in my life ever again.

Understanding

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Well if it means everyone’s going to chill out with ALL OF THE CALLS & TEXTS maybe, just maybe, I can give this thing a try…

Transition

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WHYYYYYYYYY?! Why did it take so long for me to use this heavenly timesaver?! ::weeps privately from the snack cake aisle at the grocery store::

Acceptance

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Finally feeling good about all of this. Fully accepting that this is the easiest way ever to stay connected with the people I care about and who care about me without being totes obnoxious.

Reliance

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I am completely and utterly lost without it. This is way better than watching cat GIFs on Tumblr.

Halloween Contest #Scare360 Winner!

Congratulations to our randomly chosen winner, Matt G, who posted these amazing costumes on Instagram!

2014 Annual Halloween Party @swimikimi #halloween #kenbarbie #zombie #kenbarbiezombie

A photo posted by Matt George (@tripple60) on

You guys went all out this Halloween, and we had over 500 entries across all platforms, which is amazing! (You’ll want to stay tuned for our next contest, coming up in a couple of weeks… you thought this was cool? JUST WAIT!)

We were so impressed by so many of the entries, we wanted to include some honorable mentions as well. These ones only come with bragging rights, but we wanted to call them out for their awesomeness. 🙂

From Instagram, @kellimillerbeauty: Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.48.47 AM@dbm_jan:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.50.57 AM

From @sleepybean2

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And on Twitter, some of our favorites came from @AbbeyReinecke: zombie flapper

@royaldixie Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.56.07 AM

@Kayla_Dean000 Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.57.02 AM

And from Facebook, we loved this one from Catherine M: Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.59.43 AM

This from Karrie V: Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.00.21 AM

and this one from Taryn T. is too cute, and we’re mostly jealous that your cat will let you put a costume on! Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.01.32 AM

Thanks again to everyone who entered, we hope you had a fantastic Halloween! If you want to stay in the know for future contests like this one, be sure to Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to our blog (available at the top of the page)!

Five Last Minute Halloween Costumes

Costume IdeasYikes, how did Halloween get to be four days away? If you haven’t procured a costume yet, no worries. Life 360 just doesn’t have you covered on the location planning front, we’ve got you covered when it comes to costumes too. These five ideas take no more than a quick trip to your closet or a stop by the store.

1. (Fill in the blank) Fairy : If the Rainbow Magic Fairy series has proved anything, besides the fact that it doesn’t take much to write a successful children’s series, is that a fairy can be any kind of fairy. So grab a pair of wings (if you can’t borrow a set from a kiddo, Dollar Tree has them in every color) and some glitter. Now add your favorite thing: books, musical instrument, bottle of wine. Tada you are their new patron fairy!

2. Dress up like your Favorite Character: How much fun was book day at school? You know when you got to dress up like your favorite character. A couple of years ago my daughter was Pete the Cat: blue eyeliner whiskers, cat ears, and a jacket with paper buttons attached and DONE.

3. Opposites: So many ways to spin this one: one of my favorites, shirt on backwards, sunglasses at night, and shoes on the wrong feet. Hello opposite man! Or do a couple costume and dress like each other.

4. Undercover Superhero: If your kiddo has a superhero shirt, dress them in it, add some pants and a button up shirt. Then unbutton the shirt. Hello secret identity! Bonus points for a cape peeking out of the back of the shirt. Pro tip, any solid colored item can be a cape. Don’t be afraid to try this for yourself. We know you have a Batgirl shirt hiding in your drawer.

5. Starry Night: Black clothes, stars cut our of yellow construction paper, safety pins… tada!!

Need some more ideas? Here’s a Pinterest board full of them!

Follow Kate Canterbury’s board Last Minute Costume Ideas on Pinterest.

Don’t forget to share your Halloween costume photos and enter our contest to possibly win $100!

The magic of real online friendships

online friendsIt was the winter of 2010. My husband were on our first and only cruise (so far) of our lives. It was a pretty freaking awesome cruise. It’s called Cayamo and it’s focused on Americana musicians who perform while you sail through the tropics for a week. I barely gorged on food during that trip because we were so enamored by the musical experience.

On the last night at the final performance of the trip, my husband and I met a couple sitting behind us. We talked for maybe 30 minutes and it was like we had stumbled into our new best friends. We had a similar sense of humor. They had the same intense love for the same music we loved intensely. It was awesome. The show started, we said goodbye and the next day we went our merry ways when the ship reached the dock.

But the couple we met decided they would track us down. We had shared some information about our careers that was searchable on the web. They initially reached out to us through email. Eventually we connected through Facebook. We have enjoyed cyber conversations together for the last four years through social media.

I had a chance to meet up with the couple on my own while I was visiting Atlanta during a conference last year. Obviously, we went to see a show. But we didn’t get to hang out very long. What was amazing was how the friendship launched over 30 minutes was still so great. We really enjoyed our time together.

Fast forward to this Fall. I started asking around about what my husband and I should do for our big birthday year. I turned 40 and he turned 50. It seemed like a kind of celebration that deserved travel and music. Our online cruise friends recommended New Orleans. We recruited my husband’s brother and his wife. Our online cruise friends invited us to stay with them at their New Orleans condo. And you know what, we had an amazing time. We enjoyed amazing food. We listened to great music. We were able to continue to grow a friendship that was founded through social media.

I’ve learned a few things from some pretty wonderful friendships I’ve built from social media relationships:

  1. Taking a relationship that started more online than in person is very possible to foster and grow. When you conduct yourself online exactly the way you conduct yourself in person, the connections you make online are as real as the ones in person.
  2. Find opportunities to meet in person. I’m so glad I found a way to see my friends in person last year. My husband didn’t get a chance to be there, but I know that one night visit helped prove the friendship we had formed is for real. That one in-person visit made this month’s New Orleans trip more possible.
  3. Not all friendships are “friends at first sight.” But if you ever stumble into one, take advantage of tools like email, social networks and even snail mail to keep the connection. It’s totally work it.

I’m clearly riding a high from our awesome short vacation with our online cruise friends. I look forward to finding a way to enjoy music together again sometime soon. I know we won’t wait another four and a half years before all of us can get together again.

Preparing a first-time driver to hit the road

preparing a first-time driverMy daughter is in the process of getting her driver’s license. She’s my third child, so I’ve been through this before. My older two kids are boys, but there’s not really anything different about going through the driver training process with a girl. Except when I send her to the store she will know the right kind of chocolate to get me. (Trick question–all chocolate is the right kind of chocolate.)

  1. Here are some of the ways we are preparing our daughter to own the road. 1. Basic auto maintenance My parents taught me how to change a tire and check a car’s fluids before I was ever allowed to drive by myself. Even with today’s computer-run vehicles, there are some basics every driver needs to know. The owner’s manual for your family car is a great place to start. 2. Your family’s rules for car usage Is driving a right or a privilege in your house? Determine before the first time the keys are handed over what the rights and responsibilities for car usage are. This is an easier conversation to have before there are problems. Clear communication will prevent misunderstanding and disappointment later. Can you believe some people don’t know they shouldn’t return a car with the gas tank empty? 3. Disaster preparedness Don’t count on driver’s ed to teach your kid what to do in case of a weather emergency or an accident. What happens when it’s time for them to drive home and the weather is worsening? What should they do when the car breaks down on the Interstate or a back road? If you don’t have the right answers, a little internet research will help you with the basics. Make sure your inexperienced driver has the information she needs. 4. Talk about distracted driving Sure, they know it’s wrong to drive impaired, but be clear about texting, talking on the phone, and even when they take eyes off the road to change the radio station. One way I’ve done this is by modeling good behavior. When I am driving, my phone is either zipped in my purse or entrusted to one of them as my “Phone Captain”. Phone Captain checks any necessary phone activity and answers calls that come in while I pay attention to driving. 5. Set up Life360 Since they already have smart phones, my children use the Life360 app to check in at a friend’s house or on a babysitting job. A one-touch check in lets me know when they arrive or leave. And with our premium membership, I know they’ll have the Live Advisor service if they ever need emergency assistance. It provides them and me with peace of mind. Mostly me, but still.

In the seven years since my oldest got his license, a lot has changed with technology. He didn’t even have a flip phone until after he started driving. Now amazing tech is in every book bag. Use it to help inform and protect your new driver.

Share your Halloween costume photos and win! #Scare360

#scare360 photo contestWe, just like lots of people, love seeing your creative, funny, or scary Halloween costumes, so why not share with us for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card?

On Instagram, follow us @Life360app, and tag your costume photos with our handle and #Scare360.

On Facebook, you can share your photos on our wall and tag them #Scare360.

On Twitter, follow us @Life360 and again, tag us and the photo with #Scare360.

We’ll randomly choose a winner from all eligible entries, on Nov. 3, 2014.

Fine print: Photo must be set as public to be considered, and by entering the contest, you give us permission to re-share your photo if you are the winner.

A closer look at Life360’s Live Advisor service

Live Advisor Life360Millions of people rely on the free Life360 app due to keep track of their families and increase their lines of communication.

About three years ago, Life360 introduced their 24/7 Live Advisor program, as a part of its Premium plan. Recognizing the role Life360 plays in many families lives, they wanted to go to the next level and really support families in their times of need.

Live Advisor is the ultimate lifeline for everyone in your Circle. With just one press on the Live Advisor button, you are automatically connected to a Live Advisor.

Immediately, the Live Advisor can help you with:

  • PERSONAL EMERGENCIES: Auto accidents, Auto breakdowns/roadside needs, Medical assistance, Missing family members
  • SEVERE WEATHER AND NATURAL DISASTERS: Tornados, Hurricanes, Floods, Thunderstorms, Landslides, Earthquakes, Tsunamis
  • OTHER EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: Major power outages, Hazardous material breaches, Terrorist Events

Yes, even terrorist events, though hopefully, this situation is less likely to occur. Have you been in an emergency situation before where you’re just not sure who to call first? Or perhaps you call your husband or wife right away and they don’t answer? And as Murphy’s Law would have it, your cellphone is about to lose its battery power?

I wanted to learn more about the Live Advisor program so I talked with Jenn Yettke, Customer Support Manager at Life360. She told me that they receive 100 calls a day through their Live Advisor support center, though a number of them are app support calls on using the LIfe360 app.

Jenn told me a number of actual stories that Live Advisors assisted customers with. Here are a few…

Lost Phone One customer lost his phone on the side of the highway, a Live Advisor was able to use the satellite view on the application to guide the customer and locate the missing phone.

Needed Tow Truck Assistance One customer was stuck in the middle of the dessert and he was unable to find a location to send a tow truck. The customer used the Live Advisor feature and with the assistance of the mapping system, Life360 was able to locate him and send out a tow truck to get him assistance.

The Live Advisor call center teamRunaway Daughter A customer’s minor daughter had run away and was being located to a certain location before her phone lost connection. We helped identify the nearest location to her last known address and the customer was then able to figure out where she was from there.

Wow, what great stories. In my conversation with Jenn I realized more innately how tremendous a resource the Life Advisor button is…and it’s right at our fingertips.

How Life360 Could Help You Imagine how Live Advisor could help your family….

    1. Say you’re running errands and are late to pick up your daughter from high school. Your phone is about to die. Knowing your daughter may not have her phone turned on yet, you call Life360 and they can advise your daughter that you’re on your way and let her know how far away you are.
    2. Your son gets in a car crash. He’s OK, but the car isn’t and the person he crashed into isn’t so happy. Your son can call Live Advisor to notify the people in his family Circle what has happened and the Live Advisor can contact members of his family Circle to come to his aid as he talks to the angry driver.
    3. Your daughter has night classes at college and is always a little nervous walking around at night. She could call the Live Advisor to “walk” with her until she reaches her car safely.
    4. Your elderly parent loves to walk but over the last several months you’ve noticed she is not as mentally clear as she once was. As long as she has her phone with her, she can press the Life Advisor button to get assistance on making her way back home.
    5. You’ve been watching a fire in the hills near your home. Now it’s time to evacuate. You can call Live Advisor to notify your family or friends within your Circle to give them an update so you can focus on getting out safely.
    6. Your husband is driving home from work and runs out of gas. He can call Live Advisor to send a tow truck to assist him.

Live Advisor is just one of the benefits of upgrading to the Premium version. Other benefits include:

  • Unlimited location updates for non-smartphones
  • Unlimited Places
  • $100 in stolen phone protection
  • Expanded History data – great for keeping track of your teens

You can upgrade to Premium for $5/mo or $50/year (2 months free). Live Advisor can give you and your children extra peace of mind and instant aid in the time of need. It’s your lifeline…or your back-up plan. Either way, you’re covered.