Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Timing is Everythng

This summer we've been trying to catch up on some important things that we've been putting off. Ward's illness reminded us that you never know what is going to happen. Anyway, when he was feeling better from his surgery, we started to move ahead.

Wally and Theo were a lot younger the last time we did our will.
The first thing was to get professional advice to see if our finances are okay for a decent retirement. We thought they were, but you never know. We had a free, three hour consultation with a recommended financial planner who concluded we were okay and didn't need his help. However, we came away with a list of things to do to get things in order. I needed to rollover some of my IRA's, we needed to update our important paper notebook, get a bigger fire safe, etc. Actually I can't remember what all he said. On our today's to do list is to find the paper with the notes from that meeting.

In the meantime, we've been meaning to review and update our estate plan. It had been 13 years and laws have changed as well as the status of our children. We no longer have minors. So I made an appointment with the lawyer we dealt with before. We met and we had another list of things to think about and do.

So in the middle of these two things, Ward said that we should call our real estate agent and start looking a little just to see what's out there for when we want to downsize. Even though that was part of our long term plans, I think it was more of a distraction from the tedious work that was waiting at home than it was serious house hunting at this point. But be careful what you ask for. Because if you've been reading here, you know that we found THE house in under a week when we thought we might be casually looking for a long time.

So now, we are working on financial transactions and plans, reading trusts and living will papers, and trying to buy a house with the dozens of things that are required to do that.

Any one of these things takes time and concentration. However, all three of them have just about maxed out our paper handling abilities. Timing is everything and apparently, we're not very good at timing. Or we'd be a little less crazy right now. But despite the craziness, it's a whole lot nicer to be talking to banks and lawyers instead of doctors like we were a few months ago.

Until next time...


  1. I'm sure it's a huge headache to have to do all of this at the same time as buying a new home and selling your current home, but you're very smart to get all of this taken care of, especially in light of your husband's recent illness.

    I've been after Greg to get all that stuff done ever since we got married 15 years ago and he's refused. It makes me angry but I can't really do much without him. Maybe having the power of attorney for his parents' affairs and helping them as his dad will undoubtedly pass away from cancer will give him the kick in the butt he needs to at least tell me what he wants to do as far as last wishes, medical emergencies, etc.

    Good luck with everything! Go pet some more cats if you feel overwhelmed at times :)

    1. As we have been caring for elderly parents, all of these issues have come into a very clear focus. You may be right, that it will do the same for Greg. You can do your own will, POA, and living will without him. You will have to have your separate papers anyway. Maybe he will join if you get the ball rolling.

      In the meantime, we should both go find a cat. :)

  2. Ha! So the number one thing on your to-do list for the day was to find the to-do list! I love it!

    It's funny how things like a health scare can jump start you into dealing with a bunch of things that seemed far off in the distant future just a short time before. When my mother died suddenly and without a will, it sent the entire family into an estate planning frenzy.

    But perhaps it's easier to deal with this sort of thing once you get a jump start of sorts. For me, at least, inertia is a huge chunk of the problem. So I suppose as long as you're dealing with paperwork and legal stuff, you might as well get it all out of the way. At least that's one way to look at it.

    Hang in there! :-)

    1. Good point about getting all of the paper work out of the way at once. I'll try to remember it.

      It's funny how the mind works. The main thing I was thinking about last night when I was restless wasn't what we needed to do today (insurance, septic inspection, loan papers, and estate questions) it was how we are going to take care of all of the dropped apples from the one tree and the loaded apple and pears trees at the new house. Right now the backyard smells very fruity as the dropped apples are all fermenting. Anyway, while I like apples, I'm not that big of a fan of applesauce. My mind was planning picking parties and wondering where we would dispose of all the waste. There are too many for a compost pile at this point. They'd all fit in the one we have here because it's huge. But moving to a smaller yard that won't work.

      However, enough fruit planning. I've got to go get ready to spend the day with a friend in court. She is going through a nasty divorce and this is her first hearing where she will be extensively questions by the other side.

      Can you tell I just got up and you're getting a little bit of my busy mind?

  3. I am reading this series of posts with such a different point of view than I would have had 2 years ago. I see so many similarities between your phase of life and mine.I have learned he very hard way how difficult things can get when life changes order. Mom and Dad had all their finances in order, had established trusts with my sister and I as co-trustees. We thought caring for Mom was going to be a simple task. What we didn't know were all the thousands of tiny details, like the online passwords for the credit card accounts or who, what, where, when were all the house maintenance details. It has caused me to create a pretty detailed master list with a ton of details about everything. It has also made me very aware of "stuff". I have kept some things which no longer serve any purpose other than sentiment so I am taking pictures and letting go. Mom's house is filled with 60 plus years of accumulated things that need to be pared down and passed on. No dice! It is something I don't want my sons to have to face here so I am in the process of a major Goodwill dump.

    When Mom is no longer living in her house I think we will sell ours and downsize. Our house is much too big for us as it is, but I live 3 minutes from her so we aren't leaving right now.

    1. My mother's house is also filled with 60 years of stuff and it's overwhelming when we think about cleaning it out. Even though she's now in a nursing home, we can't do anything with the house until she dies for legal reasons. In the meantime, every time we go we try to do some maintenance or clean up. But since no kids live nearby (6-7 hours away), it is slow going. We'll figure it out one way or another.

      We've been pretty good in some areas of keeping our things under control in our own house. However, in others there's a lot to get rid of. Nothing like moving to motivate you to get rid of stuff.

  4. Wow. I'm overwhelmed just reading this. I hate paperwork and bookkeeping details. I think I'll pet my cat. ;)

    1. I dislike paperwork, especially dealing with finances. But it's a necessary part of life. I think it's time to go find a cat, also.


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