Digital age usurping our control

Ever stop to think about how much control of our lives we have given up with the advent of the digital age?

I just checked my credit card bill and saw I had been billed $111 by Ready Hosting. Not recalling that I bought anything from them lately, I called to investigate. (It only took three tries to get through and half an hour for them to figure out what I had been charged for).

Turned out I was charged automatically for hosting a Web site I no longer had. I didn?t think it was possible because I had a different credit card number when I got billed in the past. They told me the credit card companies, in the fine print, can update your card number at their discretion. Scary stuff. They agreed to remove the charge but wouldn?t have if I hadn?t called them on it.

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With a bit of age under my belt, I believe I am somewhat qualified to offer some advice to the younger generation. Here are a few things I have learned since kindergarten?.

Save early and often. Don?t wait until you?re 50 to get started. But if you are 50, then start now.

The government is here to take care of you?don?t believe it. It isn?t affordable, it can?t be done. You are seeing the proof. A word of caution if you?re planning on Social Security to be your retirement: It?s going broke.

Exercise before you have to. Keep your core muscles strong. It?s what helps you keep balance and fit enough to actually exercise when you need to.

It?s OK to see a chiropractor. In fact, it?s a good idea to have a good relationship with a family practitioner and a chiropractor for whatever?s bothering you.

Eat healthy before you have to.

Find a mentor early in life.

Watch and associate with people who are successful.

Don?t try to get rich. Instead, do what makes you happy.

Quit smoking if possible. It?s hard, I know, but a great way to give yourself a big raise.

Always eat breakfast. It?s the most important meal of the day. And don?t work before breakfast. If you must work before breakfast, then eat breakfast first.

Don?t be afraid to try things, but get some advice before you leap. Then don?t listen because you are going to do what you want to do anyway.

Laugh as much as possible. It will make you feel better.

Don?t burn any bridges; you may have to come back across some of them later.

Pay off your credit card statement every month, even if you think you can?t. The credit card company won?t like it, but who cares?

The cheapest item on the shelf is most often not the best value. There was a sign in the Hillsboro Gambles store that read, ?The taste of poor quality lingers long after the thrill of a bargain is gone.?

Get started right away on the things that make sense. And if not now, then when?

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Did I follow this advice? Not all of it, but now I wish I had.

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Why did the spider cross the road? To get to his Web site.

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I?ve reached in my pocket countless time in the past few days for my trusty pocketknife only to realize it was confiscated last week when we flew to Tucson. I forgot to leave it home, and it was found when my bag was screened at the Wichita airport.

Oh well, I needed a new one because most of the blades were broken.

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