Holy Procrastination, Batman…

It’s no secret to regular readers that I am in some ways a rather … I believe the term used to be “dysfunctional” … individual. There are certain things I’ll do almost anything to avoid. Even to the extent of moving as far into the desert as I find practical and building a cabin there with scrounged materials. Those things were problems for me when I lived in the city. They haven’t become any less problematic after seventeen years of hermitude.

The list is extensive, and filling out government forms is high on it. My older brother, one of those people willing enough to put up with me as to hold my hand on certain matters, recently informed me that the time had come to go online and fill out the social security application. People, this is something I’ve been actively dreading for years. I’ve said it before: I sometimes preen around like I’m this great freedom outlaw, but I’m really just a gimp who can’t keep his papers in order.

There’s this familiar procrastination loop I get into with dreaded necessary chores, where I go “mañana” indefinitely until I’ve forgotten about it entirely. With BB looking over my shoulder I was pretty much motivated not to let myself enter that loop, but I do admit closing the tab and going for a walk every time I hit a little snag – and there were bound to be numerous snags. Finally yesterday I applied the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and determined to bull through to the end if at all possible.

And I seem to have succeeded! It wasn’t trouble-free, at one point Tobie got unfairly yelled at for bringing me his toy precisely at a particularly vexing moment, but I did manage to punt the procrastination ball to the government’s end of the field. And now I can feel all virtuous until the arrival of the inevitable problem.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Holy Procrastination, Batman…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well a few weeks ago I started the process to get the ball rolling too. I’m going to wait on pulling my pension until later. But it is all set up otherwise. I think it was more of a psychological hurdle that anything else. It the point where you can no longer deny the rounding of the final corner of life. It seems just yesterday I was out climbing mountains and white water rafting down wild rivers. Entropy.
    Take care
    Polimath

  2. Chris McDermott says:

    The important forms to fill out are for the Medicare system. If you don’t fill them out in the correct time frame you get charged an extra fee for the rest of your life. Being late filling out the Social Security forms just mean you won’t get paid for the missed time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back, missed and worried about you. That’s what geezers do.
    What Chris said about timing.
    I don’t remember if you’re a veteran, but no Medicare payments come out of my SS or VA disability because the VA is my medical insurance.
    Tree Mike

  4. ka9vsz says:

    Tree Mike:

    I believe my monthly Medicare payment is deducted from my SS; none of my disabilities are service related. And, I have to cough up $50 for each VA visit however minor the reason. Five appointments coming up in March so I won’t have to worry about having too much money in the bank.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is no greater fun (not) then wading into the bureaucratic maze of government. FYI, Joel, it’s no better up here north of the border, so you have my sympathies.

  6. Chris says:

    and don’t forget to fill out form W4-V to have any federal taxes withheld – does not happen automatically, choices are 7, 10, 12, or 22% … why they don’t offer that online is beyond me… you have to fill out the form and either mail it, fax it, put it in dropbox at SSA office, or hand to an SSA employee who then enters it in the system in your presence… I thought this happened automatically and wasn’t even brought up when I applied… I let my thoughtsbe known on SSA.gov/feedback… you can do damn near everything on line why the hell can’t you do that ?

  7. malatrope says:

    I seem to remember that the SS part was nearly automatic, but it was the Medicare part that needed a fleshed-out expeditionary force to contend with the maze. Thankfully, that’s all behind me.

    The next thing I’m dreading is the Required Minimum Distribution from the retirement savings account my employer contributed to while I was employed. Is this “VIP” account an “IRA” account? What about the inherited stock market account from my deceased father-in-law? I barely keep track of these things I threw money at long, long ago and thenceforth forgot about…but if I don’t do something when I turn 72 in a few months I will incur the wrath of the mighty IRS and that is just something I don’t want to deal with.

    Government swims in an ocean of forms. Just because many of them are online doesn’t make them any less complicated, or any more explicable. Don’t get me started on the income tax…if TurboTax doesn’t cover it, I don’t do it.

  8. Ben says:

    Before Joel hyperventilates, most people who live only on their S S will not owe taxes. If you are over 65 and have an adjusted gross income under $15,700, you don’t even have to bother filing a tax return.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yup, what Ben said about your tax burden being below the 15.5 number.  I have no withholding and haven’t filed in several years.  The accountant I use each year has asked me the last two years why I even make an appointment, and my response each time is that I want it verified I don’t owe TPTB anything.

To the stake with the heretic!