Tuesday, I went to the Social Security Administration, I never changed my name on my SS card after I got married, and the SSA never sent me my daughter’s SS card. I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I was only marginally successful at the social security office. They would not change my name on my SS card without my marriage license (which I can’t find), and they wouldn’t give me K’s social security card without some Identification for her – and get this, the birth certificate doesn’t count. I have to have her pediatrician write a letter that states she was born at Swedish hospital. Apparently a letter from the doctor counts, but a certified birth certificate from the county in which she was born does not. I reeeeally hate bureaucrats.
Going to the SS office is like going to the DMV but about 10x worse. It was totally creepy there, with a formerly homeless guy (after making paper airplanes out of the brochures and throwing them around the room for a while, and creepily walking around the room standing too close to people, sitting down, standing up, etc., he announced he had recently gotten his first housing since 1994), a guy who didn’t seem to have all his marbles and was wearing a hat that was from the “military book club,” another guy who seemed to have all his belongings with him, many immigrants from Asia & Africa (two of whom were very nice, smiling and waving at K to entertain her), and me, the lone gal-with-a-baby. I will see if I can do the rest of the processing by mail.
The good news is that they did print out a “Social Security Number Verification” for me, so now I at least know her SSN. With that information I was able to open up a 529 plan for her. BIL and SIL3 gave us a monetary gift upon K’s birth, and a nice long letter with instructions on opening a 529 account. Because doing that kind of research overwhelms me, and because BIL is pretty smart about money, we just did what he said to do: We opened an account with College Savings Iowa.
We are currently doing an automatic contribution of $50/month. That should buy a book or two. My dad has said that he wants to be “The Education Grandpa,” and will also put more money into the account for her. Hopefully this tiny account will grow and grow, and be a nice chunk of change by the time she’s ready for it.
“Where do you think she’ll go to college?” my dad asked me last week. “Probably WSU,” I said. “A Cougar?! You mean we’re going to have a Cougar in this family??” I said, “Dad, we already do have a Cougar in this family, and we’re really glad that we have him.” He laughed and said, “Oh I know. But her grandpa is a Husky. If she wants to be a business tycoon, she should be a Husky.” Then he added, “Or she could go to Harvard.”
I said, “Well, we’ll have to see what she’s interested in, and which school has a good program for whatever that is. She’ll go wherever her brain will take her.” I want her to go to the Edward R. Murrow school of journalism and become a journalist. ;)