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Tess Vigeland: From your questions to your comments. Here to help, senior producer and mail lady Deb Clark. Hi Deb.
Deborah Clark: Hi Tess. Before we start, I need to get one thing from you.
Clark: Let me have your zip code, I need to --
Vigeland: Nope. No way, no how!
Clark: But, but...
Vigeland: No! And I have the legal right to say that now. No!
Clark: Yes, last week we covered the news that California's Supreme Court says cashiers are not allowed to ask for your zip code when you buy something. Anyway, quite a few people wrote in about this; some to say "Argh, it's annoying that stores do this."
Vigeland: Was that pirates?
Clark: No regular people. But the real reason I mention it is because a couple of people wrote in and said they want to give that information.
Clark: Yes, like listener Michael Wilcox. He said that a lot of stores ask this info so they can figure out where to build their next store. "I'll happily tell them," he said "In the hopes they'll come my way, a zip code is a vote."
Vigeland: Vote early, vote often.
Clark: Now on to our story also from last week about reverse mortgages -- the good, the bad and the ugly.
Vigeland: Start with the good, please.
Clark: OK! Heather Vaughn of Haddonfield, N.J., wrote in. She's been trying to get one of these for her dad
and they had in fact just met with a HUD counselor, one of the requirements for the program.
Heather Vaughn: For my dad, the HECM really is a last resort. He lives frugally on social security alone and cash flow is low. He was advised by his counselor and by his daughters to use as little of his lump sum as possible when totally necessary. And leave the balance alone.
Vigeland: I think that's probably wise advice. So what about the bad, the ugly?
Clark: Scott Hoover in Raleigh, N.C., with one bad story. He told us his parents have had a reverse mortgage for about 10 years. Now they have to sell their house; they're taking a huge loss, like $100,000 or so and have to make up the difference because of the terms of the reverse mortgage.
Vigeland: So cautionary tale there.
Clark: On to happier things. Folks wrote in about our secret shopping segment.
Vigeland: Where you hide purchases from your spouse or partner. We actually got people to talk to us about this.
Clark: Yeah, I did notice a big box in your office from Zappos this morning -- what's up with that?
Vigeland: That was for Devin, not for me!
Clark: My favorite story came from Sarah DeOpsomer in Bozeman, Mt., check this out:
Sarah DeOpsomer: I was on a trip and he emailed me a photo of this nice-looking black and white pinto that he said had wandered into our corral.
Vigeland: I'm assuming that's not a car pinto?
Clark: Yeah actually she's talking about a secret purchase of a horse.
Vigeland: How do you keep a thousand pounds of race horse beauty secret?
Clark: Well, apparently in Big Sky country horses do wander in and out of each other's corrals from time to time. But eventually she figured it out.
DeOpsomer: He knew once I met the horse, I would accept him. He has been a part of our family for over three years now and I still don't know how much my husband paid for him.
Vigeland: OK that one takes the cake, that's my favorite.
Clark: Finally, last week we had a story about the trials and sometimes triumphs of dating while you're out of work. Some folks accused us of buying into a superficial mindset of no money equals no value equals no love life.
Vigeland: C'mon folks: We just report, you decide.
Clark: Don Lam from Torrance, Calif., was unemployed for a bit after grad school. He said women's body language would literally change when he told them he wasn't working.
Don Lam: I don't think they want to spend the effort to get to know someone who doesn't have a job. It's unfortunate, but that's just reality.
Vigeland: He just hasn't met the right gal. All right Deb, here's another reality: We are out of time.
Clark: Check. Thanks Tess.
Vigeland: Please do let us know your thoughts. Post on our Facebook page.