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Give Up My IT Support When I Retire? Yikes!

Category: Home and Garden

By Patricia Kennedy

March 21, 2017 — I am pretty tech savvy for an old lady. This isn’t an idle boast because even way back in 1984, I began learning all-things-computers by helping my husband setup a network to link our home offices. It turned out that my organizational skills and compulsion to “follow the logic” were great advantages when mastering new software or installing the latest laptop. I remember that itchy-fingers feeling when downloading a new program finding great satisfaction when everything was finally up and running smoothly.

But that was then.

Now is more complicated. Especially with all the inter-connected “devices” that we rely on these days. Don’t you just love that word – devices – a word that promises all things helpful but honestly I frequently find myself flummoxed trying to link or integrate my laptop files with my devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Don’t even get me started about trying to install one of the new systems to adjust the temperature in my home with a few key strokes.

I admit it. I need help.

And, for the past ten years I have had that help through the services of a company which provides personalized IT tech support to small companies such as the one I’ve run for many years.

We’ve had a great relationship. Any issue, question or “how do I do…” has been resolved pretty quickly. They can fix almost anything over the phone lines. Maybe one of the most comforting things is that I know all of their support technicians – at least by voice – and they know me and, um, my devices.

Here’s my problem
I want to retire but I am terrified of losing my tech support. I’m not sure that I can go on without them or some other support services.

I want to explore this issue in depth and our Top Retirements editor has agreed to let me reach out to you — the many knowledgeable experts out in the retired world. So here are my questions:

• When you experience a compute related problem – hardware or software – where do you turn to for help? And don’t just say to “a grandchild” because there are lots of problems that are beyond the skills of even the most sophisticated 13 year old.
• Are there specific services out there that help “retirees?”
• How would you go about finding a good service?
• How much should one expect to pay for this kind of service?

I plan to take your comments and advice, do some research on my own and get back to you with what I learn. So stay tuned for a follow-up article very soon.

Lastly, I could really use some supportive words that I can indeed go on without Charley, Sean, Brendan and Dakota at TekDoc Solutions. Just like Mary Richards, please tell me that “you’re going to make it on your own.”

To get you started here are 4 proven IT tips
Here are some suggestions that almost any IT pro will tell you… and they work too.
1. Turn it off. If your device – smartphone, tablet, computer – isn’t working right, turn it off and on again! It is amazing how many times this solves the problem.
2. Clear your cookies. One of the big reasons your device is slow or serves you the same ads over and over again is because you are dragging around a trail of data of what you did on every website you have visited. That’s what happens when you never clear your cookies. You might have to search for how to do it with your specific browser. For example on a Mac with Firefox you go to “History”/”Clear All History”. In Safari go to “History/”Clear History”. It will be different in Windows and Explorer. You should do this at least monthly.
3. Don’t try to “Unsubscribe” from spammy emails (it is OK from people/organizations you trust). Use the “Report Spam” button in your email program instead. Otherwise the spammers are happy to know they’ve reached a real person.
4. Keep your browser and anti-Virus program up to date. This probably happens automatically as long as you don’t ignore update requests. Keeping old versions exposes you to all kinds of problems.

Thanks Pat. We look forward to suggestions from our Members in the Comments section below.

About the Author
Patricia Kennedy, a branding and marketing consultant, is transitioning to a more relaxed way of living. She lives in Boston but escapes in the winter to Key West, Florida and to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the summer. Pat’s website is

Posted by Admin on March 21st, 2017


  1. When my laptop died several years ago, I bought a Chromebook instead of another laptop with the Windows operating system. Chromebooks are amazing. They just work without all the hassle of constant software updates that plague Windows machines. All of that is done on the Google end and not on your Chromebook. There is no booting up. You just open the lid and it is on. Just like a TV. A Chromebook takes care of about 95 percent of my IT needs. Yes, I do keep an old PC around to do my taxes on with Turbo Tax but that is really all I do with it. I would never go back to a Windows laptop as my primary “device.” Chromebooks have greatly simplified my life as I am the IT support person in my household.

    by LS — March 22, 2017

  2. Thank LS I am going to get a Chromebook.

    by DeyErmand — March 22, 2017

  3. About the only thing I miss about work is the tech support! But I can’t imagine that you are going to do things that are that complicated in retirement. There are plenty of places around that can help you with this, at least where I live. My iPhone 7+ refused to come back to life after a recent upgrade. Took it to the local iDoc guy who solved the problem for $20. I could have driven to the Apple Store in Estero and probably had it fixed for free, but that’s quite a drive and we’re in season, so lots of traffic.

    So I expect you’ll manage without tech support.

    by Linda — March 22, 2017

  4. Re: Chromebook. Can you print from it to your wireless printer? If there is a way, please tell. That is the only drawback my husband sees with his. And if you have Windows and have been lucky enough not to have downloaded Windows 10 — don’t.

    by Carol Dugan — March 22, 2017

  5. I am curious why you are giving up Charley et al. Is it because you want to save money? If you have complex computing needs, you may want to renegotiate a new “contract,” at a cheaper cost, with Charley et al. They may not want to lose you as a friendly customer either. Other possibilities may be college/university IT departments that may be open to helping community members (we do where I work) or for sure if you are a student, libraries with an IT librarian (Boston should have one), the vendors for your phone/computer/device should help if you have a contract, and computer clubs where there are other geeks who like to help each other with computing riddles or problems. My computing needs are simple with my Mac and my simple phone. I also plan to be a grad student for the foreseeable future (lifelong student), so I’ll have IT help via the university.

    by Elaine — March 22, 2017

  6. I began working with computers in the mid 80’s also. Toshiba laptops and Windows. By 2005 I purchased a MacBook and have never looked back. Such an easy and user friendly operating system! I have an iPhone 6S, an iPad, and an Apple Watch (the watch wasn’t such a great idea). Point is, I used to work with programs used to load cargo on the ships I sailed on. At sea there wasn’t much IT help. Learn as you go, but frankly, I don’t think I’ve had any situation come up that couldn’t be solved with a visit or call to Apple. Oh, and I live full time in my 40′ motorhome, traveling all over the USA. I just finished my tax returns with Turbo Tax. Piece of cake. And, never have had to buy an anti-virus program-never been attacked by a virus either. Go Apple and Go Happy!

    by Susan — March 22, 2017

  7. I am still working. I have worked in technology for years. I have a PC (laptop for work) and had switched to Mac back in 2008. For personal use I have never looked back. At work we have so many updates it is crazy and for my spouse he continually has update issues on Microsoft Windows. If you are not computer savy I could say the one thing is if you don’t watch Youtube for any kind of training then at least you can go to an Apple store if it is near you. I have never looked back and will never purchase a PC for my home and personal business. I do have anti-virus on my Mac but really have never had an issue. Mac has a big following and even in our IT department many of our architects have switched to Macs at home. It is all preference I realize.

    by terri — March 23, 2017

  8. I also have an iMac and 2 windows laptops. By far the Mac is the best and super user friendly. Like the others said, you can just call an apple store if you need help. I am not a computer geek, but when I got my first Mac, I just opened the box and very easy for me to set up and get used too. Yay!

    by Loralee — March 23, 2017

  9. I chuckled at reading this board. I still have my Dos 2.1, Windows 3.1, Windows 5.1, Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installation disks or CDs. I used to do really enjoy keeping up with computer technology, and all of the tools that were available. I finally gave up at Windows 7.

    Now I just ask one of my kids or a neighbor’s kid to help if I need something done that isn’t user friendly (someday it will be my grandkids, I guess). I’m still tempted to get the latest bells & whistles when something new comes out, but I try to restrain myself. It was depressing when my kids to patronizingly tell me that I didn’t need the latest & greatest since I wasn’t a hard core gamer. I felt like they were patting me on the head and putting me in front of the tv to watch cartoons LOL.

    by Kate . — March 24, 2017

  10. Sorry about the typos again. I’ve got a sticky key problem and sometimes edits don’t show up right away – guess that’s something I should ask my kids to fix on their next visit. In the meantime, really wish we could edit posts on ths site!

    by Kate . — March 24, 2017

  11. Yes, yes, yes! How foolish i feel when my comment posts and i see a typo. If only i had proofread better earlier. Typo fix, Admin???

    From Admin: Unfortunately we are wedded to WordPress for now for this Blog and we are not aware of a typo fix option. But if you email us we will try to correct them for you.

    by ella — March 24, 2017

  12. Pat would like everyone to know that she is reading and appreciating your input on this topic. Keep them coming!

    by Admin — March 24, 2017

  13. Thankfully since leaving work, I haven’t done anything so complicated as to need IT
    help lol.

    by Staci — March 25, 2017

  14. When I type emails, the words frequently run together even though I hit the space bar in between them. Can anybody tell me where to go on my Toshiba laptop to fix this “touch” problem and how to do it? Many thanks!

    by Sara — March 25, 2017

  15. Sara, bring up Google and type your problem into the browser window. The results displayed will usually give you a good idea of how to fix the problem. By “Googling it”, you can get suggestions or answers for most any question (i.e. What’s the best way to clean a dirty oven? How do you plant a rose bush? What time is it in Hong Kong?). It is a great time saver.

    by — March 26, 2017

  16. Sara, as said by John Gems google is great you can always find numerous suggestions, it may take awhile to sift through what is workable or just crap (as they say don’t believe everything you see on the net) & another thought some info is not easy to understand or not in plain non techie talk you can usually find a “youtube” & again after sifting you will have a ‘walk through’ good luck..

    by Sue M — March 26, 2017

  17. I was the guy who ran all the tech at the C suite level for our Multi Billion organization. I hated to leave all my free support behind. Many of my staff would volunteer to help me at home, but I only took advantage once or twice. Then I realized I needed to find real support for the tough problems. I could handle most simple to moderate issues, but knew when to call for help. As you can imagine, I have a network with many computers connected at home.

    My first real problem was a hardware emergency and I just picked a local fixit shop. Simple until they lost my memory and had to replace for free. Next time I did a bit more research and found another local fixit shop with a better reputation and larger operation. I now turn to them for all technical support.
    Al B

    by Al — March 28, 2017

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