Friday, March 9, 2012

Project 52 | Week 10 | Planning


As a parent you want your children to have everything and not to worry about college tuition, your retirement, or should something happen to you.  Coach and I have life insurance policies but having Lloyd has kicked us into high gear in planning not just for our future and retirement, but his college and future children's futures as well.  We have trusts to set up; investments to move, shuffle, and change; new investment managers to handle our finances; guardianship's to discuss; and college to pay for.  Even if you don't have much money, you do not realize how much of a burden it can be on your children if you do not plan for the eventual: whether that be death or retirement.  We want to never have to ask our kids for money, yet we want to be able to sell our big house and buy a house on a small lake some day to retire on. We want to live on the water. I want to drink cocktails on the deck as my grandchildren cannonball into the water. Coach wants to drink beer on the riding lawnmower like his grandfather used to do.  Silly, but we want to be able to do these things at a reasonable retirement age. 

We've been dealing with my mother's estate for over a year now and the end is finally in sight.  The truly sad part about this whole thing is that she spent so much time and money having documents, trusts, and plans made so we wouldn't have any burden put on us in the event of her death.  Unfortunately, First Command Financial Services (and the wackadoodle herself Carolyn Gedelman) succeeded in making this whole process absolutely awful, time consuming, and difficult.  Thankfully, their accounts were settled last week and we received our checks in the mail. Almost exactly one year after we began the battle with them to get our investments and life insurance settlements.  This company "prides" itself on working with military families and it makes me seriously concerned for the families who utilize them and then need their accounts settled in the event of a death, but like us cannot get their money because they are absolutely incompetent at every level.  I usually try not to bash companies, but First Command as a whole has proven to be inept, deceitful, and (without a better word) rude through every step of this process. What if that family needed that money for food, housing, or medical bills? They cannot fight for a year with these idiots! It makes me sick.  We ended up even cashing out all our investments with them and paying penalizing taxes just to not deal with them ever again, that's how much it was worth it to us to not have them in our lives ever again. Disgusting.  And this was all done through our tax sheltering trusts.  

I do not want this to happen to my children.  So for simplicity's sake I have specific instructions, easy account access, and everything in one simple place.  I will talk to my kids about it and make sure they understand what will happen in the event of our death. It will not be a mystery.  They will be educated about our planning so that they aren't caught wide-eyed with all this information in addition to their grief.  My mother saved her whole life so we could go to whatever college we wanted without thinking about the cost, I want my children to have this luxury.  I also want to enjoy my retirement and old age. I don't think this is unreasonable.

And damn I'm going to enjoy that lakehouse with my sexy husband.... 
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