Has anyone surprised you after their death, e.g. receiving an organ from a donor, a sizeable inheritance, or a visit from a friendly ghost?
On January 19, 1979, a big part of me died when my 26-year old brother Danny died due to complications arising after heart surgery. Back in 1979, imaging techniques were not like they are now. The doctors did not understand the morphology of Danny’s heart, and his ticker quit ticking because the pacemaker electrode was placed outside of his heart instead of its intended destination within a heart chamber.Looking back on this story, I instinctively knew that Danny’s death was an inevitability, although to me he was invincible. On the cold January night about a week or two before he died, I remember seeing him put on his jacket and head out the door on his way to the hospital. I was a 15-year old kid, laying on the carpet in front of the TV, watching some show at the time. My 6 foot 2 inch brother seemed extra large that night as he towered over me in his blue jacket as he turned towards me and said he would see me later.The details of his medical condition could fill a text book. He was born with a condition known as dextrocardia situs inversus totalis. This means that his heart was on the right side of his body and other organs were reversed, too.When he was born, he was supposed to die quickly. I guess God had a different plan for him and allowed him to stay with us for over 26 years. Although I spent many days of my life in Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital during his illnesses, I never got tired of laying down with Danny when he got sick. I would place my head on his chest and listen to his heart beat a-rhythmically at over 220 beats per minute. At times it sounded like he had a percussion band inside his chest.With each episode of tachycardia he experienced, additional damage was being done to his heart muscles. The previous January (1978), Danny spent nearly a month in the hospital trying to recover from one of those episodes. The ventilator they used on him caused him to remain hoarse until he died a year later.Now getting back to his heart operation, I was sure Danny was going to survive. The doctors had installed a temporary pacemaker through his groin, and that electrode hit its target. With the aid of this pacemaker, Danny seemed stronger than ever, even though he had to be bedridden during this time.After a team of doctors were assembled and the permanent internal pacemaker was produced, the big day of the surgery arrived on Jan 19, 1979. After his surgery was over, I was relieved. I was able to visit him in his hospital room after the surgery was over and he had reawakened. We talked for a couple of minutes before I told him that I was going to be back to the hospital in a little while to see him. He said, “OK, I’ll see you later.” Those were the last words he ever spoke to me.I had to walk several miles home, through several feet of snow to pick-up radio control airplane equipment that I had ordered. Sometime during that cold and lonely walk, where no cars were driving down the roads due to the snow pack, Danny died. I didn’t know it at the time but I would soon find out when I returned to the hospital.I realized that Danny had died when I finally understood why my family, the nurses and the doctors were all crying in unison. When the truth hit my brain, it went into that high-speed recording mode and my primitive brain took over. I hit the floor, convulsing while I hyperventilated uncontrollably. While the nurses got a bag to place over my face, someone helped pick me up and put me in a chair as the nurses told me to hold my head low and breathe into the bag.After I emerged from the state of hyper-ventilation I was in, I managed to see him in his hospital bed. What I remember most about the moment that I saw him was that he died with a smile on his face. He died in peace and his pain was finally gone.After Danny died, I switched beds and started sleeping in his bed. Three nights later, Danny visited me in our bedroom in the middle of the night. His audible voice came into my bedroom and awoke me. As I sat up in the dark room, we had a conversation as my eyes strained to see his body. Although I’ll save most of the story for later, he told me that he had permission to talk to me because of the grief that I was suffering. He told me to believe that he was in a better place, a beautiful place, and to go on and live a happy life. He said that we would talk again if I never told anyone about this encounter.This event and the other situations I experienced at that time, had a very profound impact on me. My vision of life was completely re-written. I went from being a kid that played multiple sports to bring satisfaction to my Mom and Brother, to a kid that realized the impossibly thin edge that exists between life and death. I saw life passing in seconds, like a sun ray glimmering on a wave in a lake. To this day, I grieve over the loss of my brother and I look forward to the day we get to reunite.P.S.I didn’t tell this story to anyone for many months. Eventually, my immaturity as a 15 year-old coupled with the unbelievable nature of the after-death contact from Danny was too much for me to bear. I ended up sharing this story with my good friend Steve.Since that confession, Danny has never contacted me again. I broke the rules and have paid the price, although I was blessed to have my personal religion solidified for my lifetime.I know that many readers of this story will not believe it, but that is OK with me. I probably wouldn’t believe it either if someone told it to me. However, this encounter was the most profound event of my life and I know that it happened. Those minutes I shared with my deceased brother are with me every day that I live and have given me peace and solitude as I pass through space and time in this wonderful life.
How do I find my social security number online for free?
Your Social Security number is the nine-digit number that both federal and state governments use to track everything from income to health care. Private financial businesses can also use this number to report and monitor your spending habits and determine whether or not you are eligible for special perks such as car loans and low mortgage interest rates. This is can be checked through a credit report.People with good financial records will find it easy to qualify for financial benefits. A poor financial history could lead to rejection for loans or legal action. Be sure to have your Social Security card to check your credit and understand your current financial state at all times.There is, of course, more to your Social Security number than merely using it to qualify for a car or home loan. The state and federal government use the nine digits assigned to you when determining your eligibility for certain benefits such as retirement and disability. When you retire, this number allows you to claim monthly benefits.Finding Your Social Security NumberThe most common place to find your Social Security is on your Social Security card. This card is made when you are born, and is a proof of citizenship and identity for yourself. There is no way to see your Social Security number except by looking at your card, or viewing your online account. If you have your Social Security number online in another way, understand that you are susceptible to losing your identity.Request A Replacement CardIf you don’t know your Social Security number, and you lost your card, you probably need to apply for a replacement Social Security card. This process is pretty easy, but it will require you to go into a local field office to go through the process with an agent. At that point, you will need to prove you are a U.S. citizen, and prove your identity with government issued documents. Good options for documents to bring are a birth certificate, state driver’s license, or hospital records of your birth in the U.S. Be sure to bring original documents as the office will not accept photocopies.Protecting Your InformationWhile some financial documents contain your Social Security number, legal papers typically refrain from listing it as part of the document. This is because your Social Security number is incredibly sensitive, and could lead hackers to your personal identity.With high security risks behind Social Security, most businesses refrain from listing a client's full information, but rather parts of your Social Security number. They may, however, keep your numerical identity on file if you set up a payment plan for their services. They will then report this information to the credit bureau under the SSN. This is how most institutions will file and use your Social Security information.Checking Your Social Security Number OnlineTechnology has allowed the SSA to create a system where you can check your Social Security information online. Understand that setting up an account will require you to have your Social Security card, and documents confirming your identity.Once you have an online account, you will be able to check your Social Security number at any time by looking at your account information. There are many other services online that can help you manage your finances.When you log into your account, you will be prompted to enter a PIN sent to either your phone or email. This is a security measure to help protect your information, but in the end might keep you out of your account if you forget.Should You Remember Your Social Security Number?You should absolutely set out to memorize your Social Security number. Identity theft costs billions in American consumer dollars every year. It is definitely not a good idea to carry your social security card around or to give your number to everyone who requests it. Remember that you only get one numerical identity issued by the government. Guard it to the best of your abilities.FAQIs Your Social Security Number On Your Passport?No, your passport will not contain you Social Security number in any form.What Documents Have Your Social Security Number On It?There are no legal documents that will contain your Social Security number except your Social Security card, or copies of it. If you employer has a copy of your Social Security card for safe keeping, they will sometimes let you see it and take down the number, or get another copy of that copy. This can be useful if you don’t remember your Social Security number.
How can a person who struggles with social anxiety get out of the comfort zone and talk to people?
ORIGINAL QUESTION: How can a person who struggles with social anxiety get out of the comfort zone and talk to people?I have good news! You’re the perfect “type” to be able to talk to people. Here’s the secret: Ask leading questions. Also, use leading phrases.That’s interesting! Tell me more!How did you learn to be a street performer/chef/brain surgeon…?Can you tell me how to get to the park/shopping mall/Carnegie Hall…?What’s your favorite color?Do you know how to moonwalk/fix a V8 motor/trim a tree…?Second part of “The Secret”: Become a good listener, which is an active listener. Bullet one, above, is a good example. It’s an “interjection”. Other things you can interject are: “You don’t say!” “No kidding?” “I never knew that!” Whatever you use, keep it brief. The idea of the interjection is to augment the flow of conversation, not interrupt it.The main idea is, everybody “out there” is talking and no one is listening. Be a good (active) listener and you’ll have plenty of people around to talk to.
If Social Security is going to run out of money and personal wages continue to remain stagnant, how do we save enough to outlive and outpace the rate of inflation?
Under Trump, real wages are going up after being stagnant for many years.SS is not running out of money, but outgo is soon going to be higher than income to the system. This can be fixed in several ways, but Congress does not have the balls to do this. Democrats refuse to admit there is a problem and loudly denounce republicans who want to repair the system.This is a solution that I and others have proposed, but we are not politicians, so common sense will not be listened to. One of the easiest ways to fix this would be to lift the cap on FICA payments from $128K to $1M ( that wouls bring in up to $109,000 per taxpayer in that pay range.). That would bring in money that would help the system. Raising the age for full retirement to 69 or 70 over a 10–15 year period would bolster the system also. Currently the combined FICA tax for employee and employer is a little under 13%. Increase that to 15% over a 5–10 year period and the system would be greatly improved. All three of these changes would put the system in good shape for the rest of the century with little real pain to anyone.
Has there ever been a death sentence of a person who then turned out to be innocent?
As of now, the list of those exonerated and freed from death row includes 164 people. See Innocence and the Death Penalty for their names. But we never know how many other people were executed for crimes they didn’t commit.
How do I find someone’s social security number?
Actually you can find someone’s SSN, but it will require the expense of hiring a Private Detective. They generally have their “back channels.”Of course it’s unethical. When I was working for Social Security there were several high profile busts of staff selling people’s information to various “brokers.” They were forced to do “perp walks” though their offices, hand-cuffed, head down, escorted by U.S. Marshalls. Not an inspiring sight.But there’s always another rodent ready to accept the cheese. Rats: a never-ending problem in the Social Security Administration.
How is Social Security running out of money if every American who works pays into it biweekly?
“How is Social Security running out of money if every American who works pays into it biweekly?”Actually, it isn’t. The Social Security fund has more money in it than at any time in the past.Currently, the fund is scheduled to run out of money in 2034, 16 years from now, if no changes are made to policies. This is because “baby boomers” are just now starting to collect based on our lifetime contributions. The “baby boom” was the post-World War II generation where people felt relatively safe and comfortable, and had more children.Since then, the birthrate has declined in the U.S. (and much of the world), and people have longer lifespans. That means that less is being contributed each year, and more is disbursed. There is still plenty of money in the system, but the trend is clear that it will eventually be spent.When Social Security was introduced in 1935, the average life expectancy was 60 for men and 64 for women Life expectancy in the USA, 1900-98. Only exceptionally long-lived people qualified for benefits for more than a few years, if at all.By 1998, men lived to 74 and women to almost 80 on average. That means they could expect to receive SS benefits for 9 or 15 years respectively. Today those ages are 80 and 84 respectively - 15 and 19 years of drawing on the system. The original plan was not designed with the expectation of so many individuals receiving so much for so long.Can the system be fixed? Sure, but someone will have to pay for it. Currently there is a cap on income subject to social security. If the cap is removed, well-paid individuals will contribute much more to the fund. Alternatively, there could be a “wealth exemption” under which wealthy retired people will not be eligible to receive social security payments.People will scream at either of these changes - “You’re penalizing me because I’m (or I was) successful!” “I paid money into the system for 40 years, and now you’re telling me I’m not entitled to receive any benefits from it!” Since we’ve been promised that our taxes were invested for our retirement, we’ll have reason to scream!I’ve only recently realized how regressive the social security system is. Everyone pays a fixed percentage of income into it. They receive benefits based on how much they put in. That means social security pays out a lot more to successful professionals, managers, and executives - who probably have other savings and need it much less - than to rank-and-file workers. As an enforced savings system, that’s appropriate, but as a social insurance system, it doesn’t work well.The financial advice articles from the AARP and others all advise people to wait until maximum retirement age - about 70 - before starting social security benefits. That’s great advice to people who have hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, which is to say those who least need the payments in the first place. It’s also only good advice for people likely to live past 80, who tend to be more affluent.For life expectancy, money mattersIncidentally, 30 years ago, there were scare stories about social security imminently running out of money, and that none of us in our 30’s or younger should expect to receive any. Those stories were exaggerated then, and still are. I’ve also read about the government “stealing” from social security funds to feed the general fund. That’s also illegal and has never happened. It’s best to do a little research before crying wolf.