Sunday, July 10, 2011

Age or Stress or Both?

Although I sometimes take issue with her answers, there's no doubting that Morrison at "All Doors Considered" often asks the right questions. In this post, she talks about juggling bank accounts and making mistakes. What she wants to know is if the mistakes are related to age or to financial stress.

First of all, let me raise my hand when it comes to making mistakes when using more than one bank account.

Two months ago, in order to score a free $125, I opened a Chase Bank checking account. To make sure that there are no monthly fees, I had to have a direct deposit of at least $500 per month. That didn't appear to be a problem because I have my primary mortgage with Chase, so my plan was to deposit enough money in the account once per month to cover the mortgage payment. Unfortunately, my employer insists that the same amount come out of each of my two paychecks to go into whatever bank accounts I direct. This is the trade-off for being allowed to direct deposits into two different accounts.

Bottom line? I now have to decide which bills come out of which account. It's not rocket science, but for some reason, my age-addled brain has been having problems figuring this out.

So it's my age, right?

Or could it be stress, because the REAL bottom line is that there isn't quite enough in either account to fully cover all of my bills plus my WAM (Walking Around Money, which includes my food budget and gas for the car).

Still, if I had to bet, I'd bet it's mostly about my age, and not my stress level.

I so often find myself groping for a name or a word, even though I have always prided myself on my memory. I know this is a function of being 62, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it.

I dislike crossword puzzles, but I make myself do the New York Times Crossword daily because someone told me it was a way to prevent memory loss. Yet more and more, I find that I cannot complete the puzzle in one setting. I have to put it aside and come back to it at least an hour later, at which point I can somehow put together the words that failed me the first time.

If it weren't that the alternatives are worse, I'd really hate getting older!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link.

But the story doesn't end where I had it end. It got worse.

After opening up the new, joint checking account, both DH and I got a new debit card in the mail, activated it and were on our way. Till 2 days later, I alone, got another debit card which stated my 'old??' new card was expired. Duh? And that I was to use this new card. I activated it again. And was on my merry way. I went to the gas station, got gas, used the card, everything was AOK. Went to do my monthly shopping, had the cashier finish packing up a months worth of groceries, swiped my card and was told I was not an authorized user. Say what? We tried 2 more times and I was declined all three times. Guess what happens when a debit card is declined three times? The account is seized and put on hold. Double duh?
I used another account, successfully paid and immediately rushed home to call bank. I was told that a 3rd card had been sent to me, with a different expiration date and I was to use this 3rd card. OK. Am I officially nuts at this point or nearing 95 years old? Since I didn't receive the 3rd card yet, they reactivated the 2nd card, temporarily till the 3rd card came. Not only did my 3rd card come, but they sent another card to my husband.
Oh, I'm so confused.
I called the bank yet again, wasted another 45 minutes of my life and I think I got everything straightened out. Now, I am convinced I did NOT make that payment error that cost me $44 in fees. I made my 2nd plea to have the bank refund my money and still haven't got a call back from the bank supervisor as promised.
On Monday, I will personally see the head banker, state my case for my refund and if questioned, I am going to plead insanity caused by the stress that bank placed on this older citizen due to age discrimination.

Maybe they do this on purpose to us because they know we're older? Just another question to ponder.

Sharon said...

I'm doomed. I cannot do a crossword puzzle if my life depended on it. Good grief. My mind is already going....

I think it's a combination of age and too much information.

Anonymous said...

I went to a talk where the researchers did a study on the effect of video games on thinking for older folks. They found strong positive effects. So if you don't like crossword puzzles...

Grace. said...

Ya know, at least with crosswords, I'm not constantly being beat by eight year olds! I think I'll stick with them!

MasterPo said...

MasterPo has several savings accounts but only 1 checking account for just that reason.

Anonymous said...

I think it's also bureaucracy which is also adding to the confusion. My worry is that when I get older, I won't know when my mental faculties diminish. I see many older relatives who were once very savvy start messing up finances and making mistakes but they can't admit that it's due to age.