Just in Case it Matters to You
- OLD UNUSED EMAIL ACCOUNTS PUT YOUR SECURITY & PRIVACY AT RISK – particularly old school or work addresses – since a hacker can impersonate you, search for personal info, or try the same password on your current accounts. Deletion first involves googling old usernames & addresses, checking Facebook & other apps for connected accounts, and searching saved browser logins. Then, for Yahoo, AOL & Hotmail, the process is easy – just navigating to the Delete or Close or Account Termination page; for Gmail, it’s more complicated but start with Account Settings page, data & personalization, then download/delete and follow prompts. It’s worth the effort. [LIFEHACKER.COM – 6/7/19]
- UBER HAS DECIDED THAT “RESPECT & RESPONSIBILITY IS A TWO-WAY STREET,” and is now booting passengers who receive too many ‘bad ratings’ from using their platform. New ‘Community Guidelines’ involve respectful treatment of drivers and following the law. Bad Behavior includes “disrespect for drivers & vehicles, spewing racist rants, asking drivers to speed, and leaving trash in the car… Some actions, like violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, or illegal activity, can result in immediate deactivation. Other actions, like door slamming, messy eating, vomiting, beer drinking or ride cancellation, which result in ‘below average rating’ may also lead to loss of the UBER account.” [CNET.COM – 5/29/19]
- NOTE FOR THOSE NEARING SOCIAL SECURITY AGE. The rules about impact of continuing to work after starting Social Security change with each Congress. As of 2019, ‘Full Retirement Age (FRA) is now 66 if born after 1954, and 67 if born after 1959. If you choose to collect social security payments before reaching FRA, then limits and tax impacts apply: (1) Earning more than $1,470 monthly or $17,640 annually forfeits 1/3 of the excess which gets withheld from your monthly SS payment; (2) Those limits change in the year becoming age 66, to earning above $3,910 monthly or $46,920 annually, with ¼ of excess withheld; (3) Once reaching FRA however, payments are recalculated to provide credit for the ‘withheld’ portion, as well as continued earnings; (4) Up to 85% of SS benefits become taxable when Adjusted Gross Income plus non-taxable income (certain interest, dividends and IRA/401K collections) exceed thresholds of $34K single or $44K joint. [U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT – 6/5/19]
- SOME THOUGHTS ON SUPPORT FOR GRIEVING VICTIMS: Grief comes in many forms, including death, divorce, shattered dreams, job loss, incapacity to help close others in trouble, horrendous violence in the news, whatever, creating trauma such that “victims can’t think the same way; their brain gets flooded with cortisol (a stress hormone) while upper-level, rational, analytical thinking gets pushed to the side, at least temporarily… so most people simply don’t know what to say or do or how to help, which becomes awkward and uncomfortable… Reality is that anything different from what everyone else is doing (like saying ‘I’m sorry’) is likely to make a positive difference in supporting them to heal, while grief dissipates until rationality comes back.” One way is to simply ask questions caringly, listen attentively, and let them tell their story. Another is to avoid ‘giving them space’ but rather keep reaching out to evidence your continuing support. [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – 6/10/19]
- WITH GROSS NATIONAL DEBT NOW EXCEEDING $22 TRILLION, and mandatory federal spending on Interest & Entitlements now consuming over 70% of tax revenue, Congress is considering another massive spending/borrowing Bill which is on a path to likelihood of fiscal catastrophe. Budget Office forecasts suggest that interest payments on debt will soon eclipse the entire defense budget by another 20%, and soon thereafter approach a billion dollars alone. Meanwhile Entitlement programs (social security, Medicare, Medicaid) are “accelerating on autopilot, and on course to consume the entirety of government revenue in just 20 years.” The currently proposed socialist spending agenda would materially accelerate that catastrophe point without a major increase in taxes, which looks like it’s on the way. [LBN EXAMINER – 6/12/19]
- THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT. It’s important to remember that you always have the right to remain silent, since anything you say will ultimately be misquoted and likely used against you. Moreover, nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising your voice; and when conversation becomes loud enough, it can become somewhat like a septic tank – where the big chunks always rise to the top.