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Friday, October 26, 2012

What’s in your wallet?


In the words of Oscar Wilde "We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities." In my working days, I used to be known as the gadget man. My coworkers couldn’t  wait until I bought the newest gadget and then they would make an offer to buy the gadget that  I had replaced. That was before EBay, but I would have never needed their services anyway, because I always had willing buyers.

I guess that I started with a daily planner/calculator, moved up to the Tandy 100, then the personal computer, from there to the Palm Pilot and finally to the iPhone and iPad. I have this uncontrollable desire to have information at my fingertips at all times. I'm not that fond of the words “I have no idea." I don't carry my Medicare or Social Security cards in my wallet, but I do have a picture of those cards on my phone. My whole medical, personal, and financial information is on my iPhone. My skeptic brother-in-law asked me the obvious question" what if you lose your phone?" I then replied" I still have the originals at home, and I have an app on my wife's iPhone and on my iPad called” Find Me'" which will give the addresses of the current position of the lost device; if I believe someone has stolen it, I have an option to delete the phone's data. I don't have to worry about re inputting all that info into a new phone because it's all backed up on iTunes.

I'm not constantly on my iPhone or my iPad, even though one or, both are always with me. For example, I know my doctor has a lot of patients, so I make good use of my 15 minutes by accurately answering his questions from the information I've cataloged on my iPhone. It may be my monthly glucose readings averages, blood-pressure readings, and copies of my last blood tests  which are stored on my iPhone. I even let him know when it's time for my yearly eye checkup and flu shot. I guess I could've written all that down, but then it would be hard for me to justify having an iPhone...:-)

The smart phone has replaced the land line, phone books, standard books,  the stand alone camera, voice recorder,GPS,planners,address books, pen and paper, photo albums, and in some cases fax machines, computers, and television. The owner of Newsweek thinks that 70 million people will own tables by the end of next year, so they will no longer publish their printed magazine. I've been reading the magazine on my iPad for a long time because of the convenience. I've been told that newsstands are hard to find in the larger cities,  because they are going the way of the old phone booths.

I carry my 16" Targus case (my wife jokingly calls it my purse) just about everywhere I go because I never know when I'm going to going to need a utility knife, small flashlight, recorder pen and pad, or my iPad or iPhone. Although I was never in the Cub or Boys scouts, I've always liked their motto" Be prepared."


born2Bme said...

This is where you and I are totally different. I want to stay in the past. I'm perfectly happy with my land line, desktop computer, and keyboard and workpad, with printer, and I use the calculator on the desktop.

Mike said...

lol..You are not living in the past having those items, you are very much up to speed and I bet are efficient at keeping up.

I admire old written records, I was fascinated how Al Capone keep up with the thousands of illegal funds he acquired;so much detail ,it landed him in jail for tax evasion...:-)

When my mother passed away I had to let the long lost family members and friends know and on top of that, I had to get her financial affairs in order. She had told me where her big book (as she called it) was a year or two earlier. Inside that big book I found addresses, pictures, promissory note, life insurance contracts, her check book/register and the all the numbers I needed. As I was going through the papers, a big smile came across my face because I never knew how organized she was.

I am not mocking those who keep written records or don’t use the latest technology. I'm just saying that it makes it easier and more enjoyable for me.

I remember hearing all the horror stories of people losing important documents after Katrina...The IRS lost boxes and boxes of paper files and CPAs lost a lot of their client’s files. It was then when I decided to scan my important records, pictures, and record all my family's pertinent data and back up that info to a portable hard drive. If a Cat. 4 hurricane approaches,I will pack the laptop,that portable hard drive and get out of town knowing that the storm can only destroy a structure but not my important records.

born2Bme said...

I hope you are keeping the last 5 years of "everything".
When my dad died, I was forced to go look up the new Medicaid rules for my mom, just so we did everything all nice and legal with her holdings. I found out that if she ever needs to apply for Long Term Care and Medicaid, we will need the past 5 years of all of her finacnial records. thankfully, my dad had kept all the old bank statements, etc. I jsut had fun trying to get them all in order and into a notebook, so I could more easily find what I needed in a hurry.
For anyone who doesn't realize the rules, they are in for a big surprise.

born2Bme said...

forgot to say. I now keep all of those records in a firesafe "safe" in the closet.
I cannot risk losing those.

Mike said...

Sounds like you are in good shape born.

I noticed your post on an a previous blog,so i will answer it on here.

This is about your dealings on Facebook you had with the right winger.

Those thoughts about food stamps and the poor has been around for a long time and unfortunately it's passed along to their offspring. The politicians pick up on this and continue to feed the low information voters the red meat, so they will believe the snake oil they are selling i.e. Mitt Romney's tax plan that doesn't add up.

This year Mitt Romney has tried to reverse the talking points by calling any government incentive " trickle down" government economics....They make government the villain and stress indivualism...they always leave out the government contracts they desire.

They right calls our progressive income tax system “redistribution" not realizing that word works both ways.

Joe Scarborough said that we could take all the wealth from the rich and still not bring down the debt. He completely misses the point because there's nothing we can to do to bring down the debt in the time frame he wants. Making the rich pay 4% more on their taxable income that exceeds $250,000 is not devastating to them and it allows fewer cuts on needed domestic cuts.

They only argue about welfare because it's low hanging fruit for them; they ignore the financial crash and the bloated defense spending.

Mike said...

There are a lot of comments about our district judge race at the VA forum..That's strange,I never knew that position mattered that much....So far the comments in the negative are falling on the Republican in the race..That's even funnier.

Legion said...

Paper records are nice, but like you said born, they aren't in order.

When my dad died I guess it was easy for my mom, after all she inherited everything and was already on Medicare.

When mom died it took some sorting, the latest bank statement out of a pile of 4 years worth, same with the Edward Jones statements.Also finding the house and ranch titles and the transfers from dad to mom.

The one thing that had almost zero paper work was the USAA account, my brother, the executor, had to go to San Antonio to find those records.

And we are still waiting on the courts to finalize moms estate.

Legion said...

The R District Judge candidate is one of a number of R candidates that won't be getting my vote this time around.

Mike said...

My family was lucky because I enjoyed reconstructing all the documents and doing the final bank reconciliation but my mom had all the information I needed...Medicare wasn't hard because their statements provided a lot of detail and she had been on it for several years.

I was surprised that the house deed was in immaculate condition because it was over 50 years old...the will had been changed a lot of times (lol) but we are fortunate of having a lawyer in the family who checked it out.
Estates do take a lot of time to finalize.

I scanned my discharge papers, all the birth certificates into PDF format for easy search for me or my family.

born2Bme, I go look at the fire safes at Sam's Club at least twice a year. I've done this for several years now but somehow I leave the store without buying one...That's an excellent idea and I promise, one of these days I'm going to purchase one.

Mike said...

I've been mulling this thought about the expectation of privacy...I know Facebook is not venue for absolute privacy but you would think that your comments would not appear on a public forum without your personal knowledge or permission...As I understand, people's comments are appearing on the VA forum just because they answered someone on Facebook comment about a VA article.

I'm not talking lawsuit just good manners..."Let the poster beware" is not good enough but that's just me...seems like a warning should come saying “are you sure?"