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September 25, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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September 25, 2013

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE VIEWPOINT Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Page 4 Avoid falling victim to telernarketing scams In recent years, telemarketing scams have become an easy way to prey on older adults, costing victims thousands of dollars and, in some cases, their identity. Below are some tips that can help you avoid becoming victim to common telemarketing scams. * Medicare will not call you to ask for a Medicare number, bank account information or request that you purchase a new Medicare card. * Often scammers will call impersonating a distressed family member or state they are calling on a family member&apos;s behalf during an emergency. Ask the caller to leave a contact number, then call a family member to verify ifa loved one is in trouble. * Remember that you cannot win a lottery or sweepstakes without knowingly entering a contest. If you receive a call informing you that you have won money or a prize, just hang up. * A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodi- aler < Autodialer> to deliver a pre-record- ed message. If you receive a robo- call offering free services, money or prizes hang up. If you feel you have been the victim of a telemarketing scam or would like to report a scam that you have experienced, call the Senior LinkAge Line. The Senior LinkAge Line is a free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol for Minnesota. Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with all Medicare and health insurance issues and also provide in-depth long-term care options counseling. Call 1-800- 333-2433 for assistance or go to <http://> to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line specialist. BBB pointers for consumers looking to buy a new car With sales of new cars at their highest level in six years, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is offering some tips to help consumers navi- gate this major purchase. Buying a new car can be daunting. Making such a large financial commitment- with so many choices available and so many factors to consider - can leave people feeling overwhelmed. If you're in the market for a new vehicle, here are some things you'll want to take into consideration first: Determine your budget. This sounds straightforward, but there's more to budgeting a new car pur- chase than just the monthly pay- ment itself: How much gas will the car use? Remember that your results may vary from EPA mileage estimates. The website is a good resource for 'real-world' mile- age data reported by car owners. How much will insurance cost on the vehicle? Contact your auto insurance agent for quotes on vari- ous models you may be consider- ing. How much will maintenance and repairs cost? Online reliabil- ity reports can give you a sense of which models are more expensive to repair. When considering monthly pay- ments, use online payment calcula- tors to see how different rates, down payments and loan terms can impact your payment. Don't become so focused on the monthly payment that you lose sight of the purchase price, or total cost over the term of the loan. Extending the term of a loan from 60 months to 72 months in the name of a lower monthly payment can mean paying thousands extra over the life of the loan. Explore financing options. Visit your local credit union or bank to see what interest rate they can offer on a loan, and then consider getting pre-approved. Having this information (or offer) in hand will allow you to decide whether dealer fmancing is a better option, and gives the dealer a 'target' to match or beat. Perform your research before you visit a dealership. Websites such as provide free infor- mation on what you can expect to pay for a particular model in your region, and can help you determine the value of your trade-in. Visit bbb. org to obtain reports on individual dealerships and see how they have responded to any complaints. Comparison shop online. You can get a price quote on a vehicle from most dealerships in a matter of hours, and then compare competing quotes. A great time-saver[ Take it for a spin. Some consum- ers feel pressured by face-to-face AI Bart... "Stories from the BaH Cave" Worry wars I drove into the garage, dreaming of a world where chickens could cross the road without having their motives questioned. I'd just arrived home from a long trip Just inside the house, there was a litter box where none had been before. It seemed odd, because we didn't have a cat. I thought maybe some of my wife's relatives were visiting and the litter box was for handling the overflow. I made my way to the basement and threw my dirty clothes near the hamper. It's a guy thing. There was another litter box in the basement. I looked for in-laws. I checked their natural habitat--in front of the TV and near an open to sleep on is a clear conscience. But even with a clear conscience, we worry. One day, I parked my car next to a car that was nothing but dents, rust, and duct tape. If I'd put a "Sorry for the damage" sign on its windshield, the owner wouldn't have bothered looking for it. I don't like parking next to vehicles in that condition, but there was no other space available. I worried that the driver wouldn't be concerned about putting a door ding in a car parked next to him. Most kids have parents who do their worrying for them. Adults do their own worrying. We worry that Anthony Weiner will text us. We worry that band we detest might be getting back together. sales, but you need to test drive a refrigerator. vehicle before buying it. Tell the I once walked the bank of a fast- We worry about road workers dealer that you are there for a test flowing river I worried as to h0; because they, work on tlirbad. .... ..... We woi'ih'at'a Kadashii i " " m ' " " " - " drive only, and will ake a deel-: 1 crutd cros it. Spotting a frll0w ..... sion on a purchase later. Don't be standing on the opposite bank, I might be forced to get a job. yelled to him, "How do I get to the other side?" The guy looked up the river. He looked down the river. Then he yelled back, "You're already on the other side." I hadn't needed to worry. My mother said that worry was like rocking in a chair. It gave you something to do, but it didn't get you anywhere. We worry most about things that deserve it the least. Worry gives large muscles to the weakest of things. That's true, but it's impossible not to worry. Some people claim they don't worry, but then some people claim to be able to forecast the weather. Work is always easier than worry. At the county fair, a vendor tried to sell me a pillow. The best thing We worry that wind turbines are producing wind. We worry that the things in the rearview mirror may be closer than they appear. We worry that all the employees might not have washed their hands. We worry that our taxes will go up. That's a waste of time. They will. We worry about what we might see if we get new eyeglasses. We worry about our feelings toward the song "Feelings." We worry that the lack of hood ornaments is why the world is the way it is. We worry that if the best things in life are free, why isn't napping considered one of the best things in life? We worry that a walk-in closet might walk in on us. We worry about what the busy signal is doing to keep itself busy. We worry that in 1969, we went to Woolstock, Iowa instead of Woodstock. We worry that today might be the tomorrow that yesterday warned us about. We worry that speed has taken the place of planning. A man and woman were married for many years. Whenever there was a confrontation, yelling could be heard by all the neighbors. The old man would shout, "When I die, I will dig my way out of the grave and come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!" Neighbors feared him. The man liked being feared. To everyone's relief, he died of a heart attack. His wife had a clrsed casket at the funerail 'After the burial, her neighbors, concerned for her safety, asked, "Aren't you afraid that he may be able to dig his way out of the grave and haunt you for the rest of your life?" The wife said, "Let him dig. I had him buried upside down. And I know he won't ask for directions." Good planning made for one less thing for the woman to worry about. I needn't have worried about the two litter boxes. We needed them. We had two new cats. A1 Batt 2013 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 rushed. Look for rebates. Many rebates are available to all consumers, but some carry eligibility requirements that should be disclosed in advertising - loyalty bonuses, active duty mili- tary, trade-in bonuses, etc. Make sure you understand these qualifica- tions to avoid disappointment later. Understand leasing options. If you decide to lease a vehicle, make sure you're clear on the terms of the lease, and the pros and cons versus purchasing. Leasing can mean driv- ing a nicer car at a lower monthly payment than might be possible with a purchase, but if you drive more than about 12,000 miles a year or are concerned about "excess wear and tear" charges, leasing may not be the best option. What's the bottom line? When looking at the price of a vehicle, remember that you will also pay fees for documentation (capped at $75 in Minnesota), title and regis- tration, along with applicable sales tax. The Better Business Bureau regularly receives complaints from consumers with "buyer's remorse." Buying a car is a big decision. Be sure to do your research; visit the dealership for a test drive, and take time to think things over carefully before making a purchase. For more information, contact the BBB at 1-800-646-6222 or visit Buy, Sell, or Rent in the Classified ads Sentinel Tribune Ph. 274-6136 1-800-410-1859 Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westhrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. 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