Tuesday, October 11, 2016

About that tattoo on your back?

As both of us "celebrated" turning 65 this year, Marc and I are trying to take responsible steps regarding our financial future.
We've been in to talk over our investments with our broker and we're looking into the whole Medicare thing, trying to learn to speak and understand government lingo.
We are mapping out the budget to see if we will be able to live on what we've saved and what will be coming in from various sources.
We sat down one night and opened accounts so we can sign up for Social Security.
Has anybody else found that a challenging exercise?
Talk about driving home the feeling that our government has been tracking us all since birth, this does it.
To set up an account you choose from multiple answers to questions like: What kind of car did you finance in 1989? Who held the loan?
What credit card were you approved for in 2013? 
What is the name of your current mortgage company and do you owe X or Y?
It's nothing like the security questions you answer to maintain privacy on your bank account and those are hard enough: what was the name of your first pet or what was the name of your first-grade teacher?
I find those questions sufficiently difficult. I have to go write them down somewhere if I want to get them right the next time I need them. (Is Mrs. Rumsberg with an "e" or a "u?")
Did I put down my pet's name as "Taffy?" or his whole name: "Taffy Woofy Waffle Hancock?"
The government obviously had records of every financial transaction ever made and can check to see if you get it right.
There's no bluffing your way through this which I suppose is good.
No one else will know where I bought my first car or how much I paid for it.
Nobody else can guess what the mortgage payment was on my first home, not even me.
The problem I see here is that by the time you reach the age to be drawing Social Security, your brain barely works that well anymore.
Things are a bit fuzzy.
How can we aged folks pass the test?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

An Apple a day...

My husband has a few things he really loves: me, his children, grandchildren, his iPad and TV.
So when his iPad quit taking a charge, I felt his pain.
He's only had this one for a little less than a year and he relies on it for just about everything but meals. Want to know what time it is in London? He'll grab the iPad. Want to know the name of the guy rocking out on stage with the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson? The iPad can give him the answer.
In addition, we use it a lot for games when we're waiting for a movie to start or if we're in a long line or have 15 minutes before we have to be anywhere.
It's his friend.
And we'll need it in Europe when we go. Games on the iPad makes a long flight go much faster.
So I was willing to help him out when the guys at the Apple store told him he would need to trade it in for a model with a working charge port.
We'd ridden into Salt Lake to visit the computer store (that I think is unlike any other store on the planet. There are no clothes, toys or chocolates. Yet there are long lines of people handing over a lot of money for virtual needs).
We had talked with the people there and they said the iPad was flawed and — good news — they were more than happy to replace it with a new one.
It's under warranty and it's not his fault that it's broken and the planets were in alignment.
The only problem was they didn't have one.
We'd have to go to the Fashion Place store for the swap.
Well, it was late, we had a concert to get to and Marc had to work the next day so I offered to drive up and get it.
I just had one proviso. He had to be available for the inevitable questions I figured I would be asked to answer.
I didn't want to have to suffer for my good deed.
"Sure thing," he said. "I can do that."
I drove up the freeway, found the Apple store and found the line...a long line of people waiting for their iPhone 7s.
When the attendant realized I just had to make an exchange, she waved me in.
There I found another line for an available clerk who sent me to wait some more at a nearby table.
Once I had a guy on the task and proved who I was with my driver's license, I figured I was good to go.
But no.
He whipped out the iPad and showed it to me.
"Does your husband want a backup?"
"Uh, I dunno."
"Do you know his Apple ID?"
"Do you want to enter a password for him?"
"Uh, just a sec."
I started trying to call Marc.
He didn't pick up.
I tried again, still no answer.
The sales guy was getting a little antsy. There were other people, lots of other people more clued in than I who were waiting for his attention.
There were people who wanted therapy and help with their new, expensive toys, people with money to spend.
I couldn't get Marc on his iPhone so I just told the guy it was fine and I'd just take it as is.
He looked dubious but let me go.
So here I am now, home and feeling dumb.
What do you think?
Should I know any of this stuff?
Is that in the wife's manual?