Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is about the apparent loss of privacy for the average American. -- Heloise
"Dear Heloise: I hate these road cams that you see everywhere. I've never received a traffic ticket, but I'm tired of the invasion of my privacy. It's bad enough that companies sell our information to other marketers; now we have Big Brother watching us as well.
"I can understand cameras in a place of business, but technology has made it possible for anyone to spy on us. Pictures of our homes are on the internet, and for a small fee anyone can go to an investigator's site to find out all the details about your life. Sadly, those details aren't always correct. It makes me wonder how many people have lost job prospects/financial help/sweethearts because of the details, whether true or not." -- Nora in Salem, Ore.
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
Dear Readers: Here are some uses for old wire hangers:
Straighten out and use as a trellis for potted plants.
Take one camping and use to dry towels by hanging it on a tree branch.
Straighten and use to hang a squirrel feeder or bird feeder.
Return them to the dry cleaner. They'll appreciate it!
PAINTING THE HOUSE
Dear Heloise: We plan on selling our current home and moving to a warmer climate. We've also decided to paint the exterior of our home to increase its market value, but we're debating what colors to use. What colors help sell a house? -- Kay T., Rochester, Mich.
Kay, real estate experts agree that colors such as taupe, gray and beige seem to add the most to a home's resale value. Also, the front door should be a contrasting color. -- Heloise
WHAT YOU NEVER SHOULD PUT IN A WILL
Dear Heloise: As an attorney for many years, I have to counsel my clients on what they cannot or should not put in their wills. Here are some common issues:
1. Funeral arrangements: Don't put them in a will. Tell a close relative or friend what you want done. The will mostly likely will be read after you're buried.
2. Jointly held property: "The right of survivorship" means the other person owns the property in full.
3. Life insurance and retirement funds: Since these already have beneficiaries named, you do not have to do so in a will.
4. Conditions attached to a gift: Be careful. A court will not enforce something like "To John, on the condition he divorce his wife."
-- A.J., Anaheim, Calif.
Dear Heloise: I'm an avid thrift store shopper. Please remind readers to remove pictures from picture frames before donating the frames. -- Sara G., Grove City, Ohio