Precious heirlooms or just stuff?

precious heirlooms
etsy.com

Three sets of flatware (we called it silverware when I was growing up). Each was service for eight in a wooden box. My daughter inherited these beautiful sets from her paternal grandmother and great-grandmother, but she doesn’t know what to do with them.  One set is silver the other two are sterling silver; one of those is a like new set.  She asked me what she should do with all of these heirlooms.  Should she keep them in the trunk she also inherited to pass on to her children or sell them?

The following article from Tom Verde might provide some answers to those of us wanting to pass on family heirlooms to our children…

Aging Parents With Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It

August 18, 2017, The New York Times

“Mothers and daughters talk about all kinds of things. But there is one conversation Susan Beauregard, 49, of Hampton, Conn., is reluctant to have with her 89-year-old mother, Anita Shear: What to do — eventually — with Mrs. Shear’s beloved set of Lenox china?

Ms. Beauregard said she never uses her own fine china, which she received as a wedding gift long ago. ‘I feel obligated to take my mom’s Lenox, but it’s just going to sit in the cupboard next to my stuff,’ she said.

The only heirlooms she wants from her mother, who lives about an hour away, in the home where Ms. Beauregard was raised, are a few pictures and her mother’s wedding band and engagement ring, which she plans to pass along to her son.

So, in a quandary familiar to many adults who must soon dispose of the beloved stuff their parents would love them to inherit, Ms. Beauregard has to break it to her mother that she does not intend to keep the Hitchcock dining room set or the buffet full of matching Lenox dinnerware, saucers and gravy boats.”

Read more

“Adventure is out there”

I watched the wonderful Disney Pixar movie “UP” for the first time Saturday evening with my three grandchildren. They picked it out.  It is a touching love story about dreams and adventures.  Part way through my almost four-year-old grandson Dylan looked up at me and sweetly said, “I hope you never die Nannie.”  I hugged him and reassured him by saying, “I don’t plan to anytime soon.”

If you haven’t seen this animated movie, here is a preview of the love story that begins the adventure.  Losing a spouse is sad, but life and adventure goes on.  It is an inspirational movie.  (Note:  The book title in English reads: My Adventure Book.)

If you have seen the movie, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.

LLR’s First Anniversary

Retirement is very much about building a new life, mostly from the ground up and usually without much help.  That’s what makes it such a challenge.

Today, is the first anniversary of the launching of the Living Life Retired (LLR) website.  It is also my 58th birthday.  I was reluctantly invited into retirement two years ago when I found myself in an uncomfortable work situation with few options.  I took early retirement as a “way out” and a new challenge began.  first anniversary

Retirement is definitely an adjustment.  The authors of The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before and After You Retire describe retirement as having four phases: honeymoon, disenchantment, reorientation and stability.  After two years, I believe I have recently entered the stability stage.

“Through the process of reorientation, retirees eventually come to terms and feel comfortable with the idea of being retired.  At this point, the retiree has developed an alternative lifestyle that does not include work as a primary component.  In addition, he or she will have abandoned the work role as a primary means of self-definition.  New roles and patterns of living are likely to have developed, with routines and goals established to provide meaning and direction to their lives.”

Over this past year as the founder and author of LLR, I have learned more than just WordPress in an attempt to provide inspiration and information to the solo retirement community.  I have learned about myself and I what it means to be happy in retirement.  Spending time making memories with my grandchildren, corresponding with former students on Facebook, helping others in my neighborhood, writing, flowers,

first anniversary<This magnet on my refrigerator says it all.  The simple message is how I am trying to live my life in retirement.

What makes me happy on this special anniversary and birthday? Spending time with my three grandchildren while making memories, writing, photography, corresponding with former students on Facebook, planting flowers, helping people in my community, and hiking.  I thank God for these opportunities and blessings and I look forward to the challenges for growth ahead.

Thank you for being a part of it all!

 

“Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”

Joanna and Chip Gaines begin their hit show Fixer Upper on HGTV each week with that question.  I love their show and others which depict people taking on a fixer upper property and making it into something wonderful.  You might say I’m addicted!

taking on a fixer upper
Photo by slc

So, to answer the question, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”  My answer is yes, I do!  This week I successfully negotiated a contract on a fixer upper in the mountains about 40 minutes from my home.

The original cabin with a stone fireplace was built in 1938.  It is a one room structure built on a stone foundation.  In 1989, former owners crudely built an attached two-story addition to the cabin.  This addition was not permitted and later deteriorated beyond livability.  The cabin has electricity but no running water or septic.  It has a primitive outhouse up the hill for the owner’s convenience.

So why am I buying this property?

First, I can afford it and it is a good investment.  The property was listed “as is” for $98,900.  I offered $85,000 and the sellers accepted.  Other fixer uppers we have looked at have been listed around $200,000 with major work needed. Mountain properties in the area typically go for $120,000 and up for smaller lots and cabins.  Once I fix this property up as now planned, we could probably list it for over $200,000.  The financial risk of taking on a fixer upper at this price is fairly minimal.

Second, it could become a source of income.  I am hopeful demolition, rebuilding and restoration will be completed by about August 1st next year.  At that time, I would like to offer it as a Vacation Rental By Owner, VRBO.  The property is near the Estes Park area and I would market it to people who are looking for a quiet place in the woods for their short-term stay.

taking on a fixer upper
photo by slc

Next, the thought of being the general contractor on this project is exciting.  I have already learned a lot from visiting with the planners at the county building department, a structural engineer and visiting websites on codes, permits and even sealed vaults for septic.   Designing the new structure will probably be my favorite part of the process.  I have already drawn a rough sketch of the proposed layout of the new addition.  Fun stuff!

Lastly, I have always (since about seventh grade) wanted a home in the woods.  Since moving to Colorado over 20 years ago I have wanted a  cabin in the mountains.  Since I have a passion for taking on a fixer upper and I have always wanted a cabin in the woods, this one is a pretty good fit.

Read more

Group offers emotional support

emotional support
dailymail.co.uk

Women start ministries to help widows

By Kandice Bell, Newnam Times-Herald

August 6, 2017

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States, and two local women are making strides to help widows deal with their grief.

Susie Walker lost her husband Rev. William Gerald ‘Jerry’ Walker in June 2016. Walker was a pastor at First Baptist Church in downtown Newnan for over 30 years.

Walker said her widow group, W.O.W, which stands for ‘Women of Worth,’ began with nine ladies having coffee at her house in the fall of 2016 to help her with her grief, but the group has quickly grown to 30 or more widows.

‘When you lose your mate, all of a sudden everything you did as a couple is hard to do by yourself,’ Walker said. ‘Anything such as going to a movie or going out to eat.’

Walker said the group serves as emotional support for other widows. Some who were recently widowed and others who have been for years.”

Read more about emotional support for widows

Feed your brain with the MIND diet

MIND dietMediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults

July 25, 2017

“Eating foods included in two healthy diets—the Mediterranean or the MIND diet—is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, nuts, olive oil and fish. Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are infrequently eaten on the Mediterranean diet.

The MIND diet is a version of the Mediterranean diet that includes 15 types of foods. Ten are considered ‘brain-healthy:’ green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine. Five are considered unhealthy: red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried/fast foods.”

Read more from medicalxpress.com

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet go to eatingwell.com

 

Retirement income – do you have enough?

7 Places to Find Income Once You Retire

Try these sources of income in retirement to help cover expenses from health care to spoiling your grandchildren.

By Scott Hanson, CFP, for Kiplinger

July 2017

“Where are you going to find income once you retire? Even if you’ve got a trunk load of cash saved, you can’t just live off the principal. Because with interest rates stuck in low gear, just to keep up with inflation your money’s going to have to earn income.

And then there’s all those unexpected health care expenses, along with your grandchildren’s college educations.

What should you do?

retirement income
Getty Images

Here are seven places to find income once you stop working, with a tip added to each to help nudge your thinking toward the future.

  1. Retirement Savings Account
  2. Social Security
  3. A Diversified Investment Portfolio
  4. Reverse Mortgage
  5. Pension
  6. Work
  7. Inheritance

Read retirement income tips and other details

 

%d bloggers like this: