Precious heirlooms or just stuff?

precious heirlooms
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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

Considering downsizing or a reverse mortgage for retirement income?

Planning for retirement income can be complicated by choices like downsizing or reverse mortgages.  The Center for Retirement Research has published a useful booklet, Using Your House for Income in Retirement, to assist you with this important financial decision.Housing Booklet image

“Using Your House reviews the two most common ways to use your house to boost your income in retirement – downsizing and a reverse mortgage – with clear examples, a discussion of the pros and cons of each approach, and links to tools on the web where you can get estimates of what downsizing or a reverse mortgage can do for you.”

PDF of booklet

© 2014, by Trustees of Boston College, Center for Retirement Research. All rights reserved.

Is downsizing right for me?

The Surprising Costs of Downsizing Your Home

downsizing

by Jane Bennett Clark

May, 2016

“When I look at my retirement stash, I have to admit it’s kind of small. When I look at my house, I realize it’s kind of big. And when I consider the two together, I think that maybe I should downsize and use the equity in my house to buy a condo or add to my retirement savings and rent.

Downsizing isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of the few strategies — along with working longer, delaying Social Security or spending less later in retirement — available to near-retirees who find themselves short on retirement savings and don’t have time to catch up, says Steven Sass, of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. ‘The house is a major source of people’s savings. If you don’t want to work longer or give up eating out in retirement, downsizing should be part of the plan.'”

Read more at:  http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T010-C022-S002-downsizing-costs-add-up.html .

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