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A valid certified copy of your birth certificate is becoming an ever more important form of personal identification.  In our 52 week program we recommend gathering certified copies of your birth certificate, among other important documents.  We just don’t want you running into problems when you’re President of the United States and people question your country of origin.   No, really!  In our world today, this document is needed to get a passport, enroll in school or the military, and sometimes you’ll even need it to sign up your kids to play little league sports. 

To help you out in obtaining this important document, we put together this little how-to. 

The first thing you need to do is go to cdc.gov.  You need to look up the vital statistics office of the state of birth.  It’s best to have both the address and the phone number of that office.

From this point, the process varies from state to state.  Each state will have specific instructions/forms to complete.  We can tell you, though, that you will need as many vital statistics as possible (birthdate, parents’ names, gender, birthplace, etc.)  You’ll usually have to pay a fee for replacement.  This fee will be somewhere between $5-$40.  As a side note, some states require a driver’s license or some other form of photo ID. 

As a final note, if you do need a certified copy for a specific reason and you are going to have to request one, do it early!  Sometimes it can take 4-6 weeks to get your copy.  It would be a bummer to miss your cruise because you couldn’t get your passport because of an invalid copy of your birth certificate! 


 
One of the things you may run into as you gather your personal information is the absence of your social security card.  You may have a photocopy, but it is not uncommon to have lost the original or changed your name and not replaced your old card with an accurate and up to date card .  Well, this is how you get a replacement.

The first step is to obtain and complete a form SS-5.  You can do this one of 3 ways.  Click here for the form from our website, or go to SS-5 on the Social Security office.  If you don’t have a printer and need to obtain a hard copy, go to Social Security Office Locator and enter your zip code.  The website will then bring up the Social Security office closest to your location.  Go to the office and they’ll be able to give you a hard copy.

The next step is to, of course, complete the application.  Remember to complete the entire form.  If you do not, the Social Security Office cannot process your request.

The questions are self-explanatory.  Make sure your name filled out how you want it to appear on your card.  Unless you are changing your name, you should enter it the same way it appears on your birth certificate. 

The final step is to return the completed form to an agent at your local SSA office.  If filled out correctly, your new Social Security card will come in the mail within a week or two. 

A couple quick tips to avoid headache… Make sure and sign your application.  You wouldn’t believe how often this is forgotten J  Also double check the list of appropriate forms of identification needed to verify you are really you.  Usually a current and valid driver’s license or passport will work.  If you’re helping take care of this for a minor, you’ll still need to bring proper identification for yourself as well as the minor.  Only original or certified copies of photo ID will be accepted.

 
I was reading the other day and came across an article about a woman who thought she had a computer virus.  She was sure her personal information had been stolen.  Her email wouldn’t show any new messages, or old ones, for that matter.  Her Facebook wasn’t sending any friend requests or event invitations.  Not even her MySpace page was showing any activity.  After multiple long conversations with customer service reps, a Google consultant finally informed her “There’s nothing wrong with your internet service or your computer, You’re just a loser.”  (http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i105215)  True story!  This gal just hadn’t developed enough of a relationship with anyone to have anyone seek out any contact with her. 

This story made me think.  Life is busy and we can get so caught up in ourselves and just keeping up that many of us run the same risk of… becoming losers.  We spend so much time protecting ourselves and our information, competing for the new promotion, and checking our Facebook’s that our society seems to be drifting off; losing contact with reality and with each other. 

In our Sunday school lesson the teacher mentioned this same concept.  The teacher is 32 years old and his father was born in the 60’s.  They talked about how it was back when you had to go visit your neighbor to check on them.  How you actually talked to someone, face to face, with real words, not LOL’s, IDK’s, and LMFAO’s.  IDK but I bet if you visited your neighbor, just to LOL for a minute in person, they’d probably think WTF and say OMG just because you stopped by. 

I guess this is my call to action for everyone this week to not be a loser.  Being a loser isn’t about not being successful, rich, or famous.  It’s about not caring about others and showing it… it’s about not being someone that people want to be around… it’s about not doing anything to make a difference in somebody else’s life beyond your own.

So don’t be a loser!  Find a way to make a difference for someone else.  Take an old friend out to lunch just to catch up, bring your secretary or boss flowers or diet Coke or something, maybe just say hello in person using your big boy or big girl words rather than texting or IM’ing them.  I believe we all have the power within us to change the world, even if it’s just for a moment with a neighbor or colleague.  Go change it!

 
There is a great need to keep some documents that are very important close at hand.  We recommend that you store a certified copy of all important documents off site in a safe deposit box or something of the sort.  However, for those documents you want on site, or if you choose to store all of your important documents on site, a home safe is a great solution. 

Here are 6 tips on buying and storing documents at home in a safe.
1-     Before you buy a safe, think about where you are going to store it.  It is generally best to store a safe in the basement so that the safe doesn’t fall through the floor in the event of a fire or natural disaster.  That could be dangerous and it could also damage the safe and prevent it from doing its duty.

2-     It is wise to store your important items in a Ziploc bag, or something else watertight.  It would be a major disappointment to have your important documents make it through the fire and get ruined by the water from the firemen’s’ hoses.

3-     Make sure your safe has been tested and will withstand a fire.  Make sure that your safe has a UL fire rating of 350.  Fun fact-Paper burns at about 400 degrees.  If you plan on storing computer stuff-disks, flash/thumb drives, etc, you’ll wan a safe rated at 125.  

4-     Think long term.  You’ll be bummed if you buy a safe that is too small to hold everything you would like to store.  You don’t want to have to buy a new safe in a few years because you skimped on size the first time around.  A lot of folks like storing their jewelry, firearms and ammunition, family heirlooms and cash and coin collections as well.  Safes are a great place for these items.

5-     Remember to give someone you trust an extra key or the combination to the lock so that if something were to happen to you, they can access the items in the safe.

6-     Consider pricing carefully.  With safes it is generally true that you get what you pay for.  You don’t want to pinch pennies to protect vital information and expensive valuables. 
 
By: Ed Kinsey

I was reading the other day and came across an article about a woman who thought she had a computer virus.  She was sure her personal information had been stolen.  Her email wouldn’t show any new messages, or old ones, for that matter.  Her Facebook wasn’t sending any friend requests or event invitations.  Not even her MySpace page was showing any activity.  After multiple long conversations with customer service reps, a Google consultant finally informed her “There’s nothing wrong with your internet service or your computer, You’re just a loser.”  (http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i105215)  True story!  This gal just hadn’t developed enough of a relationship with anyone to have anyone seek out any contact with her. 

This story made me think.  Life is busy and we can get so caught up in ourselves and just keeping up that many of us run the same risk of… becoming losers.  We spend so much time protecting ourselves and our information, competing for the new promotion, and checking our Facebook’s that our society seems to be drifting off; losing contact with reality and with each other. 

In our Sunday school lesson the teacher mentioned this same concept.  The teacher is 32 years old and his father was born in the 60’s.  They talked about how it was back when you had to go visit your neighbor to check on them.  How you actually talked to someone, face to face, with real words, not LOL’s, IDK’s, and LMFAO’s.  IDK but I bet if you visited your neighbor, just to LOL for a minute in person, they’d probably think WTF and say OMG just because you stopped by. 

I guess this is my call to action for everyone this week to not be a loser.  Being a loser isn’t about not being successful, rich, or famous.  It’s about not caring about others and showing it… it’s about not being someone that people want to be around… it’s about not doing anything to make a difference in somebody else’s life beyond your own.

So don’t be a loser!  Find a way to make a difference for someone else.  Take an old friend out to lunch just to catch up, bring your secretary or boss flowers or diet Coke or something, maybe just say hello in person using your big boy or big girl words rather than texting or IM’ing them.  I believe we all have the power within us to change the world, even if it’s just for a moment with a neighbor or colleague.  Go change it!

 
Please comment below if you have something you would like to share about Week 1!  We want to hear from you!
 
"Since I was already getting copies of documents... I also made copies of other documents I thought were important and added them to my binder.  (Blessings, School records, and Church Records)  That way I know where everything is!"  Deanna Kinsey
 
"My mom’s best friend lost her husband a number of years ago and she was confused when it came to even the most simple of daily financial decisions.  She had never paid a utility bill and she didn’t even know what was in her bank account or how to access it.  Her husband had made all of the financial decisions and had basically taken care of her and all of their finances.  Even though he thought he was doing her a favor – he hadn’t given her the tools to move forward and “survive” without him.  Working on this information now is really a great idea; and a wonderful way to feel prepared in the event of not only a death, but also if there were some catastrophic event.  Having everything in one safe and accessible place gives some much needed peace of mind."  Cathy Hoesch