Dear Abby: Covert use of speakerphone makes caller want to clam up

Dear Abby: When I call my brother or sister, I expect my call to be private, just between the two of us. However, halfway through the call, other people in the household join the conversation or I’ll hear pots and pans rattling. I consider this to be very rude.

I realize in this era of technology a speakerphone is a convenience, but I feel the caller should be told upfront that he or she is on speakerphone rather than realize during the call that others have been listening. Am I overly sensitive, or do you think the caller should be told they’re on speaker and who will be listening in? Just a little privacy, please? – Kathy in South Carolina

Dear Kathy: You are not overly sensitive. However, because you know your siblings are in the habit of doing this, you should ask at the beginning of the phone call if you are being put on speaker. If the answer is yes, you can then suggest the person call you back when you can talk privately.

Dear Abby: I retired two years ago at 71. Prior to retirement, I gave money to family members from every paycheck. I didn’t save a dime.

I am now losing my home and in worse shape than they were when I gave them my money. I learned my lesson too late. Perhaps my predicament will help others.

Since retirement, I have had two surgeries with minimal help from anyone I helped. Doctor bills are piling up. If I had just saved as much as I gave away, I’d have enough to save my home. Take care of yourself first. – Money Matters

Dear Money Matters: I am sorry your generosity has landed you in so much trouble. I am printing your letter because it proves the truth of the adage “charity begins at home.” Everyone should begin putting aside money toward retirement as soon as they get their first job, and continue for as long as they are working. Whatever monies are left after paying expenses and saving for retirement are considered discretionary, to be spent as the saver wishes.