ssa.gov – US Social Security website
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John
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This blog post is for US residents only.

ssa.gov is a US government social security website. It shows how much you made in the past and shows how much social security benefit you will receive when you retire.

Depends on how long you live and how much you made in the past, you might receive well over $100k. It is very important that you have the access to your own social security data. Knowledge is power. This website provides me with a vital piece of information pertaining to my retirement.

I strongly recommend everyone to register at ssa.gov. I hope this will give you a fresh outlook on your retirement and financing.

In the past, it was absolutely impossible for me to register at ssa.gov. They would ask security questions that were impossible to answer. So, I gave up on registration.

Then, they recently updated their website with the new registration process. Finally, I could register on the website. Now I have a better feel for my retirement. I can check and make sure there are no errors in my records. Also, I will know if somebody uses my social security number to get a job – or even worse (I cannot think of any specific scenarios – but I am sure there are nightmare stories).

I think I will retire at 70 years old. But if I can, I would like to retire sooner and work part-time doing office work. I enjoy office work. Everything about office work is sexy and exciting. I enjoy dressing up for work. I enjoy waking up early when I feel sleepy and miserable. I feel alive doing all that, and it’s so much fun. Life is fun. I hope you feel that way, too.

I am still here, just busy
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John
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Hi, I am well and doing good. I’ve been busy last 10 days. One thing after another… with some boring stuff.

My computer was dying, so I had to rebuild one fast. I’ve been building computers since the 90s. I built my current computer 9 years ago. I usually run my computer 24 hours a day, and this machine didn’t let me down. It was with me every day from a government-subsidized apartment to a three-bedroom house. It broke down a few times, but I found quick fixes to keep it running. You can see a wire holding a fan (picture).

Computer I built in 2012

Officially killing my computer was bittersweet. There was a weird connection between me and my computer. As I opened the computer, I could feel the joy and happiness of the time I was building this machine. I was poor, but I was happier. Everything was more exciting and more fun 9 years ago. I had to watch every penny, but DANG, it was so much fun.

Building a computer is a straightforward process. High school kids build computers for fun. But there is a possibility of something going wrong. I was lucky this time. My new computer was up and running in 4 hours. I like this computer. It’s very good and fast. I look forward to getting older with this computer.

I kept the case, so the computer looks the same from the outside.

Now I need to catch up on some Costco blogs. I will regroup and get back to you soon. Please take care.

New computer ready to go inside the case – Feb 2021
Old HP Printer
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John
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A printer is a vital tool to conduct business or take care of personal matters. Even if you are just a casual computer user, there will be a time you need a printer. When that time comes, a working printer will save your day.

I have an HP laser printer (Laserjet P1005) sitting behind a computer monitor.

  • I bought the printer in 2008 and started to use it in 2010. It’s been reliable for over 10 years so far. I like this printer.
  • The printer was $50 (free shipping) brand new at Newegg. It was super cheap.
  • It only prints in black. To me, a color printer means extra hassle. Also, I spent an unjustifiable amount of money on color cartridges in the past. There was no “refill” back then. I will never own a color printer.
  • For this printer, I spend $30 on toner, and they last 2-3 years. I keep 2 backup toners, just in case.
  • Related blogs:
Happy New Year – 2021
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John
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Happy new year.

What I enjoyed the most in 2020 was driving my convertible to the beach.

I never meditate or do yoga. But I guess what I do is meditate. I sit on the beach for 20-30 minutes, and I drive back home, overwhelmed with positive energy.

I always find something to enjoy, with or without money. That’s how I found the joy of Costco shopping. 10-12 years ago, I used to go to Costco just to look around and get a hot dog. I enjoyed that time so much.

In 2021, I wish to continue enjoying my slow and boring life. Nothing else matters. Everything will fall into its place.

Please be safe. God bless those who are suffering. We all send positive energy to each other.

Below is my last Sunset on the beach in 2020, on December 26, 2020. I will keep in touch soon. Happy new year.

I quit Hulu Live TV
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John
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*I am too tired to think about Cable TV for now. But, I will do my research and update you in a month or two. My goal is to enjoy TV in moderation and save money.

I understand why some people must have cable TV. For example, if I had a son who enjoys NBA (basketball), even if he has little interest, I will get sports channels for him. I will enjoy watching my son following his favorite players. That alone will be worth paying big bucks.

If I had a father who likes to watch news channels, it will be money well spent.

For now, I live alone and I have my financial priorities.

Hulu is increasing No Ads + Live TV bundle price from $60.99 to $70.99 starting 12/18/2020.

So, I dropped my TV subscription within 5 minutes of receiving that notification email. I will take this as God’s way of making me more productive (play guitar, enjoy the hobby, work around the house, personal fitness…). Let’s see if I will ever miss live TV.

I will now pay $11.99/mo for basic Hulu. I may check out Philo ($20/m)

It’s disgusting… I don’t think it’s normal for us to pay $80 a month for TV. That’s $850 a year. If you add DVR and the ability to skip commercials, it quickly becomes Thousand Dollars a year. I can no longer justify that much money for TV.

The only thing I will miss on live TV is 4th of July Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. It’s the greatest TV moment in history. George Shea’s introduction needs to be watched live, not recorded.

I like the movie, but
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John
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Hi. I just wanted to write a quick blog to say hi and let you know I am doing OK. I think I will skip this month’s Costco shopping. I will go next month to pick up a turkey. Below is my chit-chat. I will keep in touch. Be safe.

Ladies in Lavender (2004)

I don’t have Amazon Prime. I refuse to pay for Prime membership. I am currently on 30-day trial membership, so I checked out their movie library. I enjoyed Ladies in Lavender (2004). I like this kind of movie. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are two of my favorite actors. You can’t go wrong with any movie with them.

The movie was based on a 1908 short story by William J. Locke. The online book is available from gutenberg.org for free. I guess the copyright had expired.

EBook – Ladies in Lavender – 1908 William J. Locke

Anyway, in the movie, the sisters appeared to be old – in their 70s. I mean, they looked like they were at death’s door. I could smell Bengay with my eyes. But, in the book, two sisters were 45 and 48. So, instead of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Nicole Kidman should have taken the part. The sisters were supposed to be juicy… you know… they were supposed to be MILFs.

I like the movie, but… just saying.

Costco Shopping – September 18, 2020
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John
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25th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $147.87 today / $1,821.66 this year

I took a sick day from work so I could go to Costco first thing Friday morning when it’s not busy. Sick day was justifiable because I got 2 vaccines today, shingles and flu.

Costco Vaccination Process

Before going to Costco, I visited Costco’s immunization page and downloaded immunization consent form. They wanted 2 copies. I didn’t make an appointment, but I went to Costco pharmacy at 9:15 AM (unofficial opening hour). There was nobody in the line. The process was smooth.

  • A gentleman greeted me at the “Patience Counseling” window. I gave him my immunization consent form.
    • I filled out a short questionnaire to declare I was not sick.
    • He checked my insurance card and settled the payment. ($29.53 total).
    • He checked the temperature off my forehead.
    • I was told to wait 15 minutes and go to the pickup window
  • At the pickup window, I paid $29.53 with my HSA debit card.
    • Afterthought – I was stupid to use HSA card. HSA account earns high interest, just like 401k. I should grow my HSA account until I retire. I will pay all my medical expenses with cash if I can.
  • Several minutes later, my name was called.

Costco Adult Immunization Program

Christmas in Costco

I enjoy looking for the first sign of Christmas in Costco.

As I do every year, I took pictures of Christmas decorations and sent them to several friends. As always, they texted me back with “Already?” “Too soon” and “Yikes” – They knew I was loving it.

European cookies are back for the season. These cookies are part of my life. I have never run out of these cookies for over 10 years. Every year I buy a few cans of these cookies and freeze them. I enjoy them every weekend with coffee.

I saw a cool Halloween decoration and an interesting kitchen item (pictures below).

I spent over 2 hours inside Costco warehouse. Members only savings saved $15.80.

One Rotisserie chicken, a hand sanitizer, and Whisps chips are for my friend who can use a cheer up gift.

Strawberries were just OK (not bad). It was about 7 out of 10 on taste scale.

I came home, took a shower, put away food, vacuum-packed rotisserie chickens, and made chicken stock with the bones. I finally had time to rest around 3 pm. I was exhausted (don’t get old). It’s a lot of work to live alone and do everything alone.

I guess my next Costco shopping is when I get a Thanksgiving turkey. This year’s turkey will be epic. -E-P-I-C-

We survived 6 months of pandemic. Perhaps we repeat this a few more times. God bless everyone. Please take care.