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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-18-2007, 05:41 PM   #41
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

"Decide and conquer" or some such aphorism. Or as I used to say at work, you've made the decision, now you have to make it right. Their speed is amazing.

I was surprised at the 325k. I thought you said their investments were slowly but surely running low. I must have misinterperted something. Anyway, good for them if that's what they really want to do.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-18-2007, 09:17 PM   #42
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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Originally Posted by Eagle43
"Decide and conquer" or some such aphorism. Or as I used to say at work, you've made the decision, now you have to make it right. Their speed is amazing.
I don't know if it's a "just do it" attitude or if they're worried that prices will spike or if this was just too good a property to pass up. I'm happy that they were able to get it done without dragging realtors all over the county!

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Originally Posted by Eagle43
I was surprised at the 325k. I thought you said their investments were slowly but surely running low. I must have misinterperted something. Anyway, good for them if that's what they really want to do.
They're 90%+ Treasuries & CDs (with about 10% in "play money" index funds) and they got whipsawed pretty good by the 2000-2004 interest rate dip. It wasn't so much that they were running out of money as they were trying to avoid dipping into principal (even though FIRECalc would decree that they have more than enough). It's hard to roll over a 7% CD at 1.5% and live off the interest. When FIL discovered that the electric bill jumped 10% one month he almost blew a gasket. Then we realized it had gone from $40 to $44...

They sold their last Annapolis property (large single-family home on a half-acre lot) for $249K so after five years of CDs they're buying back a downsized condo for $75K plus an extra $235/month HOA fee. The irony was that they spent the last five years divesting themselves of a Crofton rental townhouse, getting Hawaii driver's licenses, and switching their residency/voter registration to Hawaii. Now they have to reverse it all. And wait'll they go from low Hawaii retiree & property taxes to the People's Democratic Republic of Maryland again!

Spouse is still smiling. My BIL the CPA is going to have to deal with it all. But at least no one is shoveling snow, raking leaves, or mowing the grass anymore. And I think that, unlike us, they've kept their winter clothing.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-18-2007, 09:23 PM   #43
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Wow, missed this thread originally. That's some big news!

I wonder if they'll regret it, I got island fever when I lived there, but now I pine away for those days. As Nords knows, DW and I are in total agreement that Hawaii is heaven on Earth, and while we plan on seeing many places once, we plan on vacationing in Hawaii as much as possible. Our retirement dream is to downsize here in San Diego to a condo and with the leftovers buy a small condo in Hawaii, and do a 60/40 split. We have friends who did that for about a decade, then sold the San Diego house and moved to Hawaii permanently.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-18-2007, 10:24 PM   #44
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

What a relief they bought in an over 55s communities. It's so much easier when they do it by choice rather than make their kids push them to make the move.

Must admit if we were to leave SD the only other place in the US we would consider is Hawaii. We are semi-tempted to buy a place in Hawaii and split our time between Oz and Hawaii. Then the reality of maintaining a second residence kicks in along with the realisation how many more days it would take to get up and go to w*rk to pay for it.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-19-2007, 09:18 AM   #45
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Wow that was quick. I am impresed with their motivation and follow through. (And with the MLS internet search!)
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 01-30-2007, 04:28 AM   #46
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Rock Fever is hardest for those who are fairly new to Hawaii.
I have lived here 20 years.
i got it for a while,but it does dissipate. But nothing makes me understand what we have in Hawaii than when i call back home to N.Y. and my bros are freezing their butts off, cant leave the house several months of the year, and pay thousands to visit me here for only 2 weeks per year. Plus, it is hard to understand how in Hawaii, you are not judged by what stuff you have, but who you are inside. Seems like in N.y. and other metro areas, " keeping up with the Jones's" is important!! NOT MY STYLE

yes, we pay for it a bit more in the pocket , but I am blessed!!

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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 08:40 AM   #47
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?


Nords-

Congrats/condolences on this big life change. I know your wife is happy and I have followed some of your many sagas that you have related online including the start of this one (was out of town when the "big" news came, tho). I just wonder if you won't miss them anyway once they are gone? Or is it one of those where you start to miss them, smack yourself in the head and then say, "What am I nuts!?! Remember when they (fill in the episode)." I guess you guys will just have to wait and see. BTW, what does your DD think of all this? Why do the PILs have to move in with you prior to the move? Did I miss something?

It shall be interesting to see how your BIL & SIL make out with them. I imagine you and your DW are anticipating watching it all with some degree of glee?

Jane (Having fun watching others deal with family .........)

P.S. Thanks, Wstu32 for bumping this thread - I had missed the update while out of town. 8)
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:16 AM   #48
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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Originally Posted by audreyh1
Personally, I don't "get" the need to live close to kids or grandkids. Maybe it's because I don't have either!
These kind of situations are unique and personal to each individual. Living nearby kids and grandkids is absolutely the best situation for some folks and their families, and not such a good idea for others. And, making the situation even more variable, what's best at one point in time can be different at another point in time.

It's best to just accept that different people are who they are, have different life circumstances and that people being different is what makes life interesting!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:27 AM   #49
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane_Doe
Congrats/condolences on this big life change. I know your wife is happy and I have followed some of your many sagas that you have related online including the start of this one (was out of town when the "big" news came, tho). I just wonder if you won't miss them anyway once they are gone? Or is it one of those where you start to miss them, smack yourself in the head and then say, "What am I nuts!?! Remember when they (fill in the episode)." I guess you guys will just have to wait and see. BTW, what does your DD think of all this? Why do the PILs have to move in with you prior to the move? Did I miss something?
It shall be interesting to see how your BIL & SIL make out with them. I imagine you and your DW are anticipating watching it all with some degree of glee?
Right now I'm firmly in the "won't miss 'em" camp and just about ready to e-mail Dr. Phil. My apologies for yet another long occupational-therapy post but hopefully my lessons learned will help some of you avoid repeating our mistakes-- or maybe you guys have suggestions.

After our two decades of military experience, spouse and I have some credibility with "emotional distancing" and we know a thing or two about packing & moving. Her parents are going way overboard in all categories and moving day is still over three weeks away, but heaven forbid that they talk about it with us "kids". I don't know what's fueling their behavior but my FIL, in particular, is heading for cardiac jeopardy. We also appear to have been assigned the role of 24/7 crisis response.

For his last decade of retirement this man, now almost 74 years old, has never arisen before 10 AM. Yet in the last two weeks I've had two "come over right now" calls at 8 AM asking for tools or obsessing over the packing list. They're also giving us many of their possessions as "too heavy to be worth moving back to the Mainland" yet demanding that we get them out of their house now now now. So we attempt to respond promptly to each "crisis" within one day-- but we've turned off the phone ringers until March. MIL claims nothing's wrong.

This week it was the "termite alarm". Their solid wood 1964 TV cabinet was unceremoniously dumped on the curb when a small pile of sawdust was discovered inside. We were told to get an exterminator down there ASAP (Hawaii has a big problem with Formosan underground termites) but the infestation is actually powder-post beetles. FIL won't keep poisons like "Raid" in the house so we brought down a can and showed him what to do. He verbally dithered for about 15 minutes (managing to repeatedly question our credibility in the process), eventually decided not to risk the whole packout with a piece of "contaminated furniture", and junked it. Then we discovered more sawdust piles in the cabinets of their five-foot-tall stained-glass display windows-- so he had to get over his poison & contamination fears and finally drenched the wood in that chemical-- and then complained about the smell. They're still obsessing about powder-post beetles infesting their new condo despite my explanation that their furniture will see a couple of weeks of freezing weather before it gets there. However we're just inexperienced kids so now they're consulting furniture & moving experts. And of course my spouse is fuming on the sidelines about "Not leaving any of their stained-glass crap in MY house!" MIL says nothing is wrong, they're doing fine.

After asking us a bunch of questions about Craigslist, they're selling some 50-year-old Danish Modern wedding furniture on it. We know this not because they told us or asked for help but because my spouse, a Craigslist maven, found their ad. It's terrible copy without any real info or photos and way too expensive but they didn't ask for our help and we couldn't offer because weren't supposed to "know" that they'd done it. They finally brought it up while kvetching about what a waste of time Craigslist is, no one offers what their stuff is worth, they're only getting calls from whackos, and so forth. Now they're "running out of time" and a bunch of their furniture will end up on our front lanai, where my spouse will sell it. (On Craigslist.) But when I ask my MIL how we can help she says everything's fine.

Money is becoming a family-breaking issue. You already know how I feel about their 100% fixed-income portfolio giving them a miserly attitude toward spending, but their latest behavior makes me wonder about their mental health. In the late '90s, when the market was flying high, they gifted their daughter with some cash and advised us that we could spend it on their long-term care when the time came. We were first told to invest it safely but later repeatedly admonished "No, no, it's your money, do whatever you want." Uncertainty over interpreting those subtle family signals has kept that money fenced off in CDs for nearly a decade instead of being treated as "hers". (Of course I've had to do the fiduciary bookkeeping, pay taxes on the interest, and so on.) We haven't dared touch it or incorporate it into any of our financial plans.

Good thing-- because the first piece of business after the "moving to the Mainland" announcement was "... and we want you to give us 'our' money back to buy the condo and pay the moving expenses". (Thank goodness spouse hadn't bought b33ver cheese futures on margin with "her" money, eh?) Spouse broke the CDs, paid the early-redemption fees, and wrote them a check. She says that if it makes them go away and never "give" her any money again then it's worth it.

Last week MIL mentioned in passing that they'd be getting a mortgage on the condo. Spouse and I had one of those long marital asset-allocation discussions and decided to offer to loan her parents the mortgage and save them a point or two on interest rates & closing costs-- however they cared to do it, we'd treat it as a loan and even write it off if necessary. We e-mailed them and the reply was "Thank you, the arrangements have already been made." The closing is still three weeks away so this appears to be more of a Miss Manners polite excuse, which is fine with us. The subject will never be discussed in this family again, and this time we really mean it. After all, everything's fine.

Yet although they've declined our offer to help save thousands in mortgage money, my FIL wants me to pay him the $6.59/bag it cost him to buy three bags of water-conditioner salt that he's leaving behind. (Sure, Dad-- run me a tab and let me know what I owe you.) He's so intense about things these days that you can practically see his hair smolder. He hasn't smiled or joked or relaxed since the announcement-- just barked out orders or complaints and rushed from one self-imposed crisis to the next. My MIL says everything's fine.

I've learned to be very wary of parental gifts and to never never ever again offer to loan money to family. But our consciences are clear.

Before they decided to move back to the Mainland, PIL had agreed to take care of our teen during our own upcoming Mom & Dad Mainland trip. They've done this a couple times before and it's been no problem, but now we're getting the distinct impression that they're sorry they'd agreed to move into our house to take care of their granddaughter. But the stakes are high-- we don't want to let them out of it because this is our last grownups trip before our 9th-grader leaves the nest and we could use a little marital-harmony bliss right now. An extra benefit is that we'll be on travel during the actual packout instead of being dragooned into watching the movers. And although they haven't let us know yet, we think that they're flying out the same day that we're returning. But spouse is making this trip for Navy Reserve business, so I'm mentally ready to eat a non-refundable plane ticket if PILs dig in their heels and insist that they can't fulfill their grandparent obligations.

You would think that with 30-45 days until your possessions arrive at your new home, you'd take a nice long trip. Australia. Japan. Tahiti. A cruise to California. Heck, even a Gettysburg Elderhostel. Go now before you age in place! But no, they're flying to move in with my BIL and his wife for the 4-6 weeks until moving day and fret over the pristine new (but empty) condo that they're paying a mortgage on yet can't live in without furniture. (Maybe they'll drag everyone out shopping for their first new furniture in five decades.) So now all my in-laws are equally unhappy. My spouse is experiencing heavy guilty schadenfreude in between happy dances.

Our kid has known for years that Grandma & Grandpa don't have to follow some household rules that the kid would never get away with ignoring. Lately she's been picking up on other generational inconsistencies (especially the casual racism and the failure to enjoy Hawaii's culture) so their move is probably a good idea. Our kid is also old enough to hop on a plane to visit them anytime, and we'll pay for the trip. But my MIL insists that everything's fine.

I used to feel maudlin that my own mother died before we developed an adult relationship, and that my dad only swaps a couple e-mails a year. Lately, however, I've been feeling like the lucky one.

This whole drama can't be a case of Rock Fever, can it? Maybe someday we'll learn why PIL are really so hot to get out of here and under so much self-imposed stress. But considering the current degree of family communications, it's not likely. Everything's fine. "OK, fine!"
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 10:48 AM   #50
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Right now I'm firmly in the "won't miss 'em" camp and just about ready to e-mail Dr. Phil.
Oy vey .

Can't help but think clinically here, with their behavior so over the edge. You've done your duties, gone beyond the call many times (offered to take back their condo mortgage!), tolerated their seemingly rude and unappreciative behavior.

Boundary time, before it starts to really do some damage? One housecall per week for nonemergency insect abatement, no financial deals other than real rescues, etc.?

Their behavior sounds like they are terrified of something. I've seen it in that age group and it's not always obvious.

You're a great SIL and DW is a great DD. This will be over soon.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 11:07 AM   #51
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Phew! I congratulate you on the good read on the money. Imagine if it was less liquid. Did they even acknowledge they had given it to you? Did they pretend like it was some sort of loan?


They got to watch your daughter turn into a young woman, they have memories for the rest of their lives, it's good they are moving now, while things can still be positive.

IMHO, all parents are weird. My parents always guilt us for not visiting often enough. Somehow they can't make the drive to our house, though.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 11:27 AM   #52
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Everyone seems to need an "I love you and will miss you" hug.

You are a good SIL.

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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 11:33 AM   #53
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
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IMHO, all parents are weird. .
You were looking in the mirror as you said that
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 11:48 AM   #54
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Nords, I fail to understand why you seem to think the behavior of you in laws is such a big deal. After all,...
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:12 PM   #55
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

If I may hazard a guess based on whats been said so far, we have two strong men that are very determined to steer their own boats.

One is getting old enough to realize that he's facing a deadline: its a matter of time before he's forced to allow the other to take care of him and his family and his only other option is to make that an implausible situation by moving away and into a facility that can perform the care, paid by him, on his own terms, at his direction. And if he doesnt act fast he's going to get too old to make the big move away to independence.

One other thing I've learned from observing (and being) one of these independent men of action is that once they've decided to do something, they'll accelerate the pace to "get it done", induce stress in themselves and all of those around them, and at a rapid tempo try to do everything themselves to avoid being beholden to another...even if the thing they're doing themselves would be best done by a more knowledgeable person. Until they hit an unexpected snag (like a bunch of beetles or simple overcompression at an otherwise uncoincidental juncture of events) and pop and ask for help in an odd and unexpected manner, then bitterly complain about the help once they've decompressed.

The nickel-diming and financial funny business is simply more actions to assure that the balance sheet is at the very least even and nobody "owes" anyone.

In the meanwhile, all participants engage in a variety of behaviors expressing the benefits and sorrows of separation, all mixed together in a confusing manner.

In the meanwhile, non actively engaged participants used to living with the "condition" for many decades will simply observe that everything is normal and fine.

So doesnt it all make perfect sense? The king realizes he's about to be deposed and wishes to escape to exile with his dignity intact.

Hmmm?
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:17 PM   #56
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

And by the way, surface spraying of finished/veneered/sealed woods is ineffective in killing and preventing continued powder post beetle infestations. The pieces need to be dried to below 20% moisture content and thoroughly fumigated in a chamber by a professional.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:20 PM   #57
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Your MIL is saying "Everything is fine." because she wants it to be so.

I surmise FIL is feels he is declining and needs to go back to his comfort zone. The process is so subtle it is hard for those close to see, but if you visit them in 6 - 9 months it will be obvious. Send your BIL a nice gift after they leave (perhaps his favorite evening beverage - he will need it), and never second guess the future elder care decisions.

Cute Fuzzy Bunny described much of what I was thinking.
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 12:28 PM   #58
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

Spouse and I had one of those long marital asset-allocation discussions and decided to offer to loan her parents the mortgage and save them a point or two on interest rates & closing costs-- however they cared to do it, we'd treat it as a loan and even write it off if necessary.
On this one issue Nords, your PILs were very wise. In an already strained relationship, why add the huge interdependency of a family member to family member loan? Your intentions were golden, but, IMHO, you dodged a bullet on this one.

Hang tough. Don't sweat the little stuff. This too shall pass.

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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 01:17 PM   #59
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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You were looking in the mirror as you said that
Yes! I find myself gleefully looking forward to embarrassing my kids!
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?
Old 02-04-2007, 03:15 PM   #60
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Re: Movin' back to the Mainland?

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Yes! I find myself gleefully looking forward to embarrassing my kids!


That's the right attitude Laurence! I've been getting a lot of tips from Nord's inlaw posts on how to drive my kids nuts! The hardest part is making sure you don't go too far.

Right now, the kids are very tolerant of the "old man." I babysit sick grandkids so mom and dad don't miss excessive time from their engineering jobs, drive the oldest with cerebral palsey to Easter Seals twice a week and spend a number of hours (gladly) working with him on his therapies at home, do most of their home maintenance, fund the grandkids' college savings plans, buy them a new car every couple of years, do their taxes, manage my personal finances ensuring they'll more than likely receive a hefty inheritance and a bunch of other little stuff. No one is happier than them that I retired early.

In return, I'm allowed to be an absent minded old fool and they haven't chained me to the wall in the basement (yet!). It's great fun! ER life is good.
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