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Old 10-20-2015, 09:57 AM   #21
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Also, remember that your Father left and did not communicate to them or to you about them. I can tell you that I would live in a run down house by myself before I would ever under any circumstance contact my relatives. You just don't know the whole story.
I agree completely and my point is it's always about more then money and what money represents to each of us is so variable and personal. My 2 sibs and I have wildly different views about money. Although God Bless my sibs, both of them told me, that's sad I would have been happy if he had just spend it or given it to a relative he loved and admired.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #22
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Long term forum members will recall stories of my grandfather. He was (ahem) quite wealthy and lived extremely well during his younger years.

As he got more elderly, he got more and more protective of his money, not that he was at risk of ever running out.

Until we stepped in, he was selling his furniture for cash (thank God Craigslist didn't exist then!). Left to his own devices he would've of been sitting in a single room with a chair and black and white TV. As it was, he lived his last years with the heat turned low and most of the lights off in the evening.

Again, in his case there was absolutely no need for this. Upon his death most his beneficiaries moved into ER!

Maybe as people age, money becomes more and more of a security blanket; the one thing they can count on. Dunno.
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Old 10-20-2015, 12:46 PM   #23
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In most cases you'll pay one way or the other... via a lower sales price or doing the maintenance or updating in preparation for sale... at least if you do them ongoing you get to enjoy them for a while.
DH and I saw a sad example of this when we were looking at houses. A house in a very nice, established area of town was on the market for $275K. Surrounding houses were worth $500-$900K. The real estate listing showed only some architect's drawings for planned renovations. Curious, we drove over and found a house with boarded-up windows and a roof overgrown with moss, with visible holes. It was totally uninhabitable, of course, and our realtor said that was probably the value of the land.

We don't know the backstory but the owner(s) would probably have done much better selling it as soon as they realized they couldn't afford to maintain it anymore.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:13 PM   #24
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Maybe as people age, money becomes more and more of a security blanket; the one thing they can count on. Dunno.
Maybe.

My grandmother's 91 and suffering from dementia. Having lived during WWII, she was already extremely frugal but her dementia just made her money hoarding much worse. It was very hard convincing her to add her children as joint to her account (where we send her money for expenses). We entrusted her savings passbook to my aunt for safekeeping (dad's cousin who lives a block away from grandma). My grandma threw a tantrum so aunt gave it back to her and now nobody knows where grandma hid the passbook - not even grandma.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:33 PM   #25
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I remember back in 1995, my grandmother started really worrying about money. It got to the point that she was afraid to even run the air conditioner, so she'd sit in the house and roast on those hot summer days...and that was a hot summer! I forget what, exactly, her issue was, but Mom ended up having to get her committed and on some new meds.

A few years ago, she started worrying about money again, and thinking she was going bankrupt. By this time, she was in her late 80's. I kept asking her why she thought she was running out of money and she'd just say "I know how much stuff costs". Well, even though we (Me, my Mom, and occasionally my uncle) were handling her finances by that time, she still had a mental figure of how much property taxes, utilities, food, etc were, and she knew how much was in her checking account at one point. BUT, what she forgot about, was that she still had money going INTO the account...Social Security, retirement, etc. Once she started grasping that, she was better. However, we started making it a point not to talk financial matters around her, because she'd pick up on little snippets of the conversation, build a whole catastrophic story in her mind around it, and go with that as her "reality".
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:39 PM   #26
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I am only 67 and live alone in an old house. I don't desire to spend money and hate having repairs done. Last year I allowed someone to do work on the house and yard but I hated every single day of it. He worked months painting, changing light fixtures and doors and doing lots of things I was so glad when he left. Now my roof leaks and getting bids now today someone is coming to put a tarp on then in a month a new roof. I hate it, don't want people here but if they do a good job I will let them roof the garage next. I don't own jewelry and only a couple antiques. I should hire someone to come clean but I don't want them in my house. My will is over 30 years old and since then all but one brother have died. I put beneficiaries on my ROTH and 401K and my brother said I should get a new will and leave everything to his son.
I have too much money for anything I want but I am trying to spend more and find I can't. I remember when an apple cost 8 cents now I will pay 99lb or maybe 1.29 but if they are 2.99lb I just don't want them not that I can't afford them.
I find I have to persuade myself to spend my parents were the same way. Mom couldn't buy lettuce when it was over a dollar but dad said he saw other people buying it and decided if they could he could. I will buy a bunch of gift cards then spend them because it is like stuff is free. I have 250 of Costco cards now so almost anything in Costco is free.
I am starting to gift money to people because I don't need it or want anything. This year I gave a niece 16K, her son 6K and her brother 4K. This helps me think maybe the apples are affordable, when I am gone the heirs will spend it more freely than I do. Giving them now helped niece pay cash for her condo, her son go to college and her brother pay some bills while his wife was just starting to get SSDI.
I could see not fixing up my house when I am too old to care and not caring who got my money when I am gone after watching them not take care of their money or they did and don't need mine.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:40 PM   #27
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I nearly died about a year ago, because of a botched surgery. During that ordeal, I had one of those "message from God" moments where I realized I had been too thrifty/cheap with my money, and I needed to loosen up, to enjoy it while I can and not focus so much on restraining my spending. It felt good to loosen up.

After a while, though, it became clear to me (for the umpteenth time) that money -- earning, saving, spending, investing, whatever -- has very little to do with happiness, satisfaction, or meaning in life.

I wonder what this man's life was like, on the inside. It's easy to assume he was miserable, based on his apparent isolation and living in a ramshackle little house. But who knows. We are judging from the outside, without knowing much. I live in a house worth only a bit more than his. I have a few more friends and family contacts that he does, but not many. I'm living a life that I find very meaningful and satisfying, but you wouldn't know it from the outside.

If his house was leaky and moldy, though, that's not a good sign ... time to upgrade or at least get it fixed....
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:41 PM   #28
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Some follks, especially those who remember the great depression, are just never going to be comfortable spending their money.

My dad, who was born in 1932, still remembers how his dad's business went bust and the whole family had to move back to his grandfather's farm.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #29
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I've seen this a bunch of times with a California twist. Widows living on minimal income in a house worth anywhere from $500K to $1M because instead of saving for retirement when young, they put all of their money into a little house. "But it's my home. I've lived here for 53 years!" Often, they are unaware of the value of the house and usually they are determined to leave the thing to their (well-off) child.
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:57 PM   #30
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I nearly died about a year ago, because of a botched surgery. During that ordeal, I had one of those "message from God" moments where I realized I had been too thrifty/cheap with my money, and I needed to loosen up, to enjoy it while I can and not focus so much on restraining my spending. It felt good to loosen up.

After a while, though, it became clear to me (for the umpteenth time) that money -- earning, saving, spending, investing, whatever -- has very little to do with happiness, satisfaction, or meaning in life.

I wonder what this man's life was like, on the inside. It's easy to assume he was miserable, based on his apparent isolation and living in a ramshackle little house. But who knows. We are judging from the outside, without knowing much. I live in a house worth only a bit more than his. I have a few more friends and family contacts that he does, but not many. I'm living a life that I find very meaningful and satisfying, but you wouldn't know it from the outside.

If his house was leaky and moldy, though, that's not a good sign ... time to upgrade or at least get it fixed....
I agree that people can do as they wish with their money ....and I don't know what his day to day life consisted of...perhaps he wanted nothing more then what he had everyday. I hope so.

The '90 Buick and the disrepair of the house make me think that some other issues were ongoing.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:21 PM   #31
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I agree that people can do as they with their money ....and I don't know what his day to day life consisted of...perhaps he wanted nothing more then what he had everyday. I hope so.

The '90 Buick and the disrepair of the house make me think that some other issues were ongoing.
Probably true, yes. Depression, dementia, excessive worry and hoarding, general self-neglect ... something.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:06 PM   #32
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It's a never ending struggle.


My case is similar my late husband could be very tight with his money, we sacrificed, sacrificed and scimped for some magical future...


Well what happens, at 53 he dies from acute myloid leukemia. Now I'm left with enough money to retire but pissed, mad, angry and depressed.


Was it worth it Not in my opinion, now I know a lot of it is grief but I wish we would have taken that trip to Spain. My husband always wanted a Cadillac, why didn't we buy one?? we had good salaries, could have easily made the payments. why did we listen to some stranger on tv drilling us about how we could save that money and make thousands.


So now I'm trying to find balance, I'm spending my money. taking my kids and 4 of my nieces and nephews to London next summer.


If it means I may run out of money at 95, well that's a chance I'm willing to take
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:19 PM   #33
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A lot of cautionary tales in this thread.

On this topic, my father decided one day that God had screwed up. He decided that what God should've done was link your checking account to the base of the brain so you could spend $5,000 more than you had, but then you would die. That way you could have a little bit of fun on the way out, but not have to worry about running out of money. Obviously, his number would have to be adjusted for inflation as my dad made this observation many years ago.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:49 PM   #34
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It's a never ending struggle.


My case is similar my late husband could be very tight with his money, we sacrificed, sacrificed and scimped for some magical future...


Well what happens, at 53 he dies from acute myloid leukemia. Now I'm left with enough money to retire but pissed, mad, angry and depressed.


Was it worth it Not in my opinion, now I know a lot of it is grief but I wish we would have taken that trip to Spain. My husband always wanted a Cadillac, why didn't we buy one?? we had good salaries, could have easily made the payments. why did we listen to some stranger on tv drilling us about how we could save that money and make thousands.


So now I'm trying to find balance, I'm spending my money. taking my kids and 4 of my nieces and nephews to London next summer.


If it means I may run out of money at 95, well that's a chance I'm willing to take

Amen


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Old 10-20-2015, 11:09 PM   #35
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I am only 67 and live alone in an old house. I don't desire to spend money and hate having repairs done. Last year I allowed someone to do work on the house and yard but I hated every single day of it. He worked months painting, changing light fixtures and doors and doing lots of things I was so glad when he left. Now my roof leaks and getting bids now today someone is coming to put a tarp on then in a month a new roof. I hate it, don't want people here but if they do a good job I will let them roof the garage next. I don't own jewelry and only a couple antiques. I should hire someone to come clean but I don't want them in my house. My will is over 30 years old and since then all but one brother have died. I put beneficiaries on my ROTH and 401K and my brother said I should get a new will and leave everything to his son.
I have too much money for anything I want but I am trying to spend more and find I can't. I remember when an apple cost 8 cents now I will pay 99lb or maybe 1.29 but if they are 2.99lb I just don't want them not that I can't afford them.
I find I have to persuade myself to spend my parents were the same way. Mom couldn't buy lettuce when it was over a dollar but dad said he saw other people buying it and decided if they could he could. I will buy a bunch of gift cards then spend them because it is like stuff is free. I have 250 of Costco cards now so almost anything in Costco is free.
I am starting to gift money to people because I don't need it or want anything. This year I gave a niece 16K, her son 6K and her brother 4K. This helps me think maybe the apples are affordable, when I am gone the heirs will spend it more freely than I do. Giving them now helped niece pay cash for her condo, her son go to college and her brother pay some bills while his wife was just starting to get SSDI.
I could see not fixing up my house when I am too old to care and not caring who got my money when I am gone after watching them not take care of their money or they did and don't need mine.
I understand your struggle. However, once you're gone your executor will likely have to do those necessary repairs before selling your house so you might as well do them now when you can at least enjoy them a bit. It's much like the old Fram oil filter commerical... pay me now, or pay me later.

67 isn't that old.... you get another 10 or 20 years to go so get on with life and enjoy!
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:19 PM   #36
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I have too much money for anything I want but I am trying to spend more and find I can't. I remember when an apple cost 8 cents now I will pay 99lb or maybe 1.29 but if they are 2.99lb I just don't want them not that I can't afford them.
But economics is partly the study of how to efficiently allocate scarce resources. And this is just an example of your own personal demand curve. Everyone has an individual demand curve for everything.

Talk to even the most spendthrift person you know - even THAT person will have a demand curve for apples. You might have your curve stop at 1.29/lb, while others would pay 2.99 lb without thinking much. But even the spendthrift would eventually stop if there were an acute shortage of apples and prices skyrocketed to $7, or $10 or $20/lb.

Same with anything else. You'd not buy a Cadillac for more than $X. The spendthrift neighbor doesn't blink at spending $60k for it. But raise that price up to $120k, and even the spendthrift will chose something else.

Just because you wince at spending lots of money on a variety of things doesn't mean that there is 'something wrong with you' while everyone else is 'normal'. It just means that your personal demand curve for many items has a very steep slope, in that it doesn't take much price increase for you to say "No, that is not worth it to me-at this price, I will merely substitute something else", whereas other people would be willing to pay more for it because they don't really want to maximize their spending of their scarce funds.

But at some point, EVERYONE will eventually reach a price that they will bug out and substitute something else. Just as others have different demand curves that make them pay even less than you would pay.
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Old 10-20-2015, 11:53 PM   #37
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A friend on FB just posted something similar- a NY Times story about a guy who died alone and the search for heirs. He also lived in a place that was full of trash, had isolated himself from the world, and actually had a decent amount of assets. The heirs were mostly dead but some of their descendants really needed the money and to them it was a huge blessing.
I saw that article too, and really enjoyed reading it. I liked how the author researched the history of this man who died alone and at first, seemingly unknown, eventually finding out who he was, and fleshing out the details of his life. I'm taking the liberty of posting a link to it here. It is called "The Lonely Death of George Bell" -

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/ny...york-city.html
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:03 AM   #38
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I saw that article too, and really enjoyed reading it. I liked how the author researched the history of this man who died alone and at first, seemingly unknown, eventually finding out who he was, and fleshing out the details of his life. I'm taking the liberty of posting a link to it here. It is called "The Lonely Death of George Bell" -

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/ny...york-city.html
Fascinating story about how the state investigators and the writer pieced together the story of this man's life. Thanks for sharing it.

I suspect it's just one of many such deaths a year in developed countries, where it is common to see people living alone and having no relatives or friends to look after them. In this case, the man wanted no visitors and nobody had set foot inside his apartment for a long time.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:41 AM   #39
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This is a very interesting thread. Quite rare here for obvious reasons. We like to talk about spendthrifts who don't save for retirement like we have. But the opposite is also true if perhaps less common.

I see this kind of behaviour in my inlaws who are around 90 years old. They are just plain cheap. Their income is in the $400k range but only spend in the $60k range. Old cars, day old bread, never buy clothes, house is falling apart, etc. Their heirs ( my DW included) stand to benefit greatly. I sure hope this doesn't happen to me but I'm not sure you can prevent it?
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:50 AM   #40
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The different way people look at the same thing is really interesting to me. For example, in my own case I have great sympathy for my cousin and feel he had serious money issues.

Now, you mentioned spendthrifts, or perhaps people that are always in debt and buying things they know they can't afford or ever pay for, whether it's new shoes or bags or perhaps a new car every year. Yet, I personally don't have sympathy for these spendy types and think," They just need to get their crap together." But really, isn't it just two sides of the same coin? Why do I have sympathy for the hoarders and yet almost look down on the over spenders? This development with my cousin had made me question my own attitude about money.
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