Thursday, April 26, 2018


    I complained in last month’s blog about not receiving my Michigan tax refund though it had been several weeks since I’d filed.  Well, progress of sorts to report there.  No, I still don’t have my refund.  But . . . now I know why.

    Seems that when I completed my Michigan tax return—by hand since I don’t want to pay the extra money for Turbo tax or similar program and since I don’t trust the internet in any case—I missed filling in a box.  An important box.  As in “How much of this credit do you want refunded to you.”  Instead of filling in the amount, I left it blank.

     Now I did include my direct deposit information on my tax form which should have been a CLUE to the tax people that I expected the credit in the form of a direct deposit refund.  But the latest on-line explanation I received said that it would take four weeks from the time I originally contacted them about this before I could get “a response.”   Wonderful.
     It’s tough being a senior.  We’re kicked around in so many ways.   Since I’m turning 65 this year I signed up for Medicare and Social Security.  My Medicare starts May 1 but my first social security payment doesn’t come until the end of June.  So . . . since my Medicare payments are supposed to be deducted from my Social Security, what happens in May when I don’t get my SS?

      Fortunately, there was a Medicare seminar being offered locally at no cost.  Now if I didn’t suffer from senioritis, I would have seen that freebie as a red flag.  I thought, incorrectly as it turned out, that it was sponsored by a quasi-government entity tasked with the responsibility of helping those of us 60 and north (south?) to navigate the legal technicalities of  Medicare/Social Security.

     But it turned out that it was being offered by the same folks who inundate my phone line daily with pitches for various Medicare co-insurance products.  The lady at this seminar was pitching her website as a way of finding the best Medicare co-insurance product.  I asked her how was I supposed to pay for my Medicare in May and her response?  “I don’t know; I think they’ll send you a bill.”  Wonderful.

      If the stresses of being sixty-something overcomplicate life some, one way of simplifying things is that you can listen to your grandchildren’s everyday wisdom.  Maybe they’ll tell you something that will end up being a revelation.  Just this week I took my grandsons to the park and Grant, the older at seven, confessed to me, “I like little kids because they don’t tell on you.”

      OK, I’m not sure that’s such a good thing all the time.  But if I feel like rising up in revolution against the state of Michigan for sitting on my tax refund or at the federal government for holding out on my social security check, my one-year-old grandson Owen will be the first to know.