Dying with $1 in Pocket

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Skiffy
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Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Skiffy »

FIL recently passed with a one dollar bill in his pocket. Due to some nagging on my part, a power of attorney and will were in place. His social security stopped before his last bills could be paid--he had a shell game going for what bills he paid and when, not one penny saved. All those treasures he spent most of his last few year's of income on got hauled to the dump.

I am begging all of you readers to simplify, organize, and throw away the clutter before you get too old and sick to deal with your "stuff". And save more money than you think you will need, social security is not enough to live on. Also why you're of sound mind think of different options for living out your later years (especially with ill health).
WendyW
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by WendyW »

Skiffy wrote:FIL recently passed with a one dollar bill in his pocket. His social security stopped before his last bills could be paid--he had a shell game going for what bills he paid and when, not one penny saved.
Your father-in-law won the game. I aspire to spend my last dollar and then die too, but it's very hard to time that exactly.
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danwhite77
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by danwhite77 »

A good message, but I think you're preaching to the choir here.
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Leesbro63
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Leesbro63 »

Yup. There are MANY in my circle of family and friends who are cheering and clapping for him. He did indeed win the game. Maybe he's right and we are all wrong.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by mathwhiz »

What exactly is wrong with dying with $1 in your pocket? Heirs are not owed an inheritance. You are entitled to nothing. If he lived a good life and was happy in his last years with his trinkets, good for him.
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momar
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by momar »

WendyW wrote:
Skiffy wrote:FIL recently passed with a one dollar bill in his pocket. His social security stopped before his last bills could be paid--he had a shell game going for what bills he paid and when, not one penny saved.
Your father-in-law won the game. I aspire to spend my last dollar and then die too, but it's very hard to time that exactly.
No, it is very easy to exactly time that. Most of us don't want to.
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market timer
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by market timer »

momar wrote:
WendyW wrote:Your father-in-law won the game. I aspire to spend my last dollar and then die too, but it's very hard to time that exactly.
No, it is very easy to exactly time that. Most of us don't want to.
I might do this by annuitizing everything.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by VictoriaF »

market timer wrote:
momar wrote:
WendyW wrote:Your father-in-law won the game. I aspire to spend my last dollar and then die too, but it's very hard to time that exactly.
No, it is very easy to exactly time that. Most of us don't want to.
I might do this by annuitizing everything.
I wonder what's more difficult, annuitizing or pulling the plug.

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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by nordlead »

mathwhiz wrote:What exactly is wrong with dying with $1 in your pocket? Heirs are not owed an inheritance. You are entitled to nothing. If he lived a good life and was happy in his last years with his trinkets, good for him.
you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.

Then again, I guess they could just literally leave the mess for someone else to clean up and leave the body in the morgue until the city disposes of him at the taxpayers expense.

I guess you can call it winning when you dump your expenses/problems on someone else.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by WendyW »

nordlead wrote:you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.
Winning! [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
maroon
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by maroon »

Years ago my parents advised me not to count on any inheritance (other than household items and such). I'm not sure if they were joking or serious at the time, but my bet is on serious.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by TSR »

OP, forgive the snarky responses above. Your language ("dying with $1 in pocket") triggered a POSITIVE notion in the heads of many --- that of saving exactly enough to get through your life and not a penny more. Your language is incorrect in that your FIL actually died "owing" money --- he was unable to save enough such that the rest of his family wasn't picking up the tab for him, hauling away his possessions, paying for funeral expenses, etc. Nobody here wants that, and your warning is spot on. Nothing in your post suggests that you were hoping for some big check to come your way, but rather that you would have liked to have avoided paying for another person's carelessness. I hope that surprise bills don't keep showing up.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by The Wizard »

My primary residence is worth a few hundred $K.
I may relocate to a different residence, but still with the approximate same value.
Since I'm totally disinclined to fool with a reverse mortgage, it's unlikely I'll be able to dig a deep enough hole to die penniless...
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BigFoot48
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by BigFoot48 »

I don't think its "winning" when you leave your heirs with bills to pay and/or creditors with balances to eat, and junk to throw out. A net zero might be winning.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by VictoriaF »

BigFoot48 wrote:I don't think its "winning" when you leave your heirs with bills to pay and junk to throw out. A net zero might be winning.
The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

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WendyW
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by WendyW »

Leesbro63 wrote:Yup. There are MANY in my circle of family and friends who are cheering and clapping for him. He did indeed win the game. Maybe he's right and we are all wrong.
For me, the worst-case scenario is living modestly until age 65, and then dying suddenly and leaving my siblings/nieces/nephews a couple million bucks.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Barefootgirl »

Serious question - what happens to those who have no heirs? do outstanding amounts get written off as bad debt by the credit grantor? does the county send its employees in to haul stuff to the county dump and then sell off the property or revert it back to the landlord?

I was recently at a class reunion party where the discussion turned to finance - some admit they have nothing saved for retirement - and these people are around 52 years old.

Some admit to spending all the money they had saved for retirement on their children's college bills.

In short, they have nothing. I remained mum during the conversation, but as i left, I couldn't help but wonder what lies down the road for these folks.

Presumably, they will continue working as long as they are physically able, collect Social Security when they are able and eek by until the end? what other way lies ahead for those who have no retirement provisions? at some point, it seems they will have to throw themselves fully on the mercy of society, this is not a political statement, but a reality.?

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ResearchMed
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*HOARDING* situation? Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by ResearchMed »

Skiffy wrote:FIL recently passed with a one dollar bill in his pocket. Due to some nagging on my part, a power of attorney and will were in place. His social security stopped before his last bills could be paid--he had a shell game going for what bills he paid and when, not one penny saved. All those treasures he spent most of his last few year's of income on got hauled to the dump.

I am begging all of you readers to simplify, organize, and throw away the clutter before you get too old and sick to deal with your "stuff". And save more money than you think you will need, social security is not enough to live on. Also why you're of sound mind think of different options for living out your later years (especially with ill health).
This rang a bell. Two bells.

Second bell is that we hope to do "better". We'd rather have that last check bounce the day we die (we'd get to spend a nifty few hundred dollars more during that final month of life - Yeah! :twisted: )

FIRST bell: With mention of "all those treasures".... this is more a comment to some others of here, as it's too late wrt the OP:

IF you have an elderly relative (elderly can mean over 55 or 65, not "ancient") who does or might have a *hoarding* problem, there are resources to help, so that the relative can also better enjoy those final years or months or decades.

We had a relative whose condo was VERY cluttered. (I didn't see it, or I would probably have started the process sooner, or at least tried to, as it was DH's relative.)
All kinds of warning lights were going off (getting fired with no mention to anyone). And then 2 dozen boxes of "personal items" left in the office - TWO DOZEN?? - delivered to the home. When we heard that there was no room in the condo, and mgmt. threatened to have it removed as a safety factor in the hallways, we knew it wasn't just "clutter".

Yup, there were unopened boxes and packages that money was being spent on. EVERYWHERE. Piled on EVERY surface, including the stove, mostly almost to the ceiling! :shock:

Then there was a water leak (NOT from this condo, but no one knew that at first). Relative won't answer door. Fire Department called. DISASTER. Place condemned.

THEN, with some prodding from us, Elder Affairs office of Health Department, and a bunch of other services kicked in.

The surprisingly HAPPY outcome is that after "hoarding specialists" were called in, most stuff was just "removed", and relative took advantage of the nice clean mostly/relatively empty space, and relative is MUCH happier without all that junk, new or otherwise.

AND... there is a monthly inspection by Elders at Risk (or something like that), such that if it builds up again... the hint being that relative shouldn't be living alone (i.e., non "supervised"), and that got the relative's attention!

WE HAD NO IDEA, because neither of us had been invited in for years.

We are helping with occasional groceries (social security just kicked in), and THAT will soon become dependent upon our (or DH) reviewing "where the existing money is going". If a bit of extra grocery money is needed, we'll help. But NOT if relative's own money is again being spent on "too many trinkets", etc., and another call will be made to the Elders at Risk group.
(DH uses the "I'll help bring up the groceries" as a place to look around, but not - yet - in the bedrooms. No hint relative is again sleeping in a chair because even the sofa is piled high.

BTW, I used that opportunity watch TLC (I think) series on hoarding, and I had *NO* idea what "real" hoarding can be like. And that was how bad this was.
Upsetting that we had NO IDEA...

Something to keep in mind, although trying to help dealing with it can cause more than a bit of resistance and hostility. Then it became "thanks".

RM
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by The Wizard »

WendyW wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:Yup. There are MANY in my circle of family and friends who are cheering and clapping for him. He did indeed win the game. Maybe he's right and we are all wrong.
For me, the worst-case scenario is living modestly until age 65, and then dying suddenly and leaving my siblings/nieces/nephews a couple million bucks.
This is why annitizing a significant percentage of your accumulation early in retirement is a good idea for many. You have more income to live less modestly on.
But there's no helping you if you pass on 6 months before your planned retirement and your heirs receive everything...
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steve roy
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by steve roy »

Your father-in-law followed the advice of Errol Flynn:

"Any man who dies with more than $5000 is a FAILURE."
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by winglessangel31 »

I'm slightly disappointed with the sense of "give nothing back" I'm getting from some of these comments. Of course you don't owe your descendants or the rest of the world anything, but wouldn't it be nice to leave some wiggle room for yourself, and when it's no longer needed, bless someone who might need it? Giving to family/funds upon death are one way to win the game, too... and I believe you'd be seen as a winner through more pairs of eyes than just your own and people who believe as you do. I am a grateful beneficiary of the F. W. Olin Foundation. :beer
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

steve roy wrote:Your father-in-law followed the advice of Errol Flynn:

"Any man who dies with more than $5000 is a FAILURE."
Errol Flynn died in 1959 - in 1959, $5,000 was a splendid amount to have in one's pocket, bank account or estate value.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

winglessangel31 wrote:I'm slightly disappointed with the sense of "give nothing back" I'm getting from some of these comments. Of course you don't owe your descendants or the rest of the world anything, but wouldn't it be nice to leave some wiggle room for yourself, and when it's no longer needed, bless someone who might need it? Giving to family/funds upon death are one way to win the game, too... and I believe you'd be seen as a winner through more pairs of eyes than just your own and people who believe as you do. I am a grateful beneficiary of the F. W. Olin Foundation. :beer
Didn't the father provide for his offspring to adulthood? Isn't that giving? More over I'd say it's a blessing that the father stuck around to take care of his offspring. Not sure what the F.W. Olin Foundation's mandate is.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by WendyW »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Errol Flynn died in 1959 - in 1959, $5,000 was a splendid amount to have in one's pocket, bank account or estate value.
$5000 in 1959 is equivalent to $40,000 today.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

It sounds like the father in law left the world almost exactly as he entered it - with nothing. That said, I'm sure the OP's f-i-l made plenty of positive contributions along the way. One's person trash was another person's treasure. The OP may have tossed out the man's belongings, but if it brought him enjoyment during his time here that is all that counts. Sometimes, I think this forum is too rooted in the almighty dollar. Thanksgiving is coming - how many plan on visiting stores instead of understanding the true meaning of the day? Everyday is Thanksgiving but folks are too wrapped up in things to really get it.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

WendyW wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Errol Flynn died in 1959 - in 1959, $5,000 was a splendid amount to have in one's pocket, bank account or estate value.
$5000 in 1959 is equivalent to $40,000 today.
Perhaps, but I'd venture to say $5K would go alot further than $40K today can. Where's Taylor Larimore or Sheepdog, I bet they can attest to what I'm saying.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by rixer »

If I wasn't married, I'd careless if there was a dollar left when I passed or not. There is always the mortgage free home and other items the kids will have. Other than that, I plan on spending the money I worked so hard for and saved. I didn't save and go without for so many years just to give it to the kids to blow through. In fact, if the last check bounced, it would be great timing..
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Firam »

BigFoot48 wrote:I don't think its "winning" when you leave your heirs with bills to pay and/or creditors with balances to eat, and junk to throw out. A net zero might be winning.
The family isn’t responsible with the last electric bill or anything like that, it just come out of their inheritance, if they is any. So you aren’t sticking anyone with anything. The only possible costs are the funeral and that it optional. That is unless they were part of a religion that has strict burial rights, in which case, they were really really irresponsible (and risk taking) dyeing without some money. But overall you could just walk away if you want to.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by BigFoot48 »

Firam wrote:The family isn’t responsible with the last electric bill or anything like that, it just come out of their inheritance, if they is any. So you aren’t sticking anyone with anything. The only possible costs are the funeral and that it optional. That is unless they were part of a religion that has strict burial rights, in which case, they were really really irresponsible (and risk taking) dyeing without some money. But overall you could just walk away if you want to.
I agree it's the estate's obligations alone, but disagree that you aren't sticking anyone with anything, as if you have unpaid debt you're sticking those companies/individuals/government that are owed something with something, and I for one, consider that irresponsible if assets would have otherwise been available to cover the debt.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by frugaltype »

TSR wrote:OP, forgive the snarky responses above. Your language ("dying with $1 in pocket") triggered a POSITIVE notion in the heads of many --- that of saving exactly enough to get through your life and not a penny more. Your language is incorrect in that your FIL actually died "owing" money --- he was unable to save enough such that the rest of his family wasn't picking up the tab for him, hauling away his possessions, paying for funeral expenses, etc. Nobody here wants that, and your warning is spot on. Nothing in your post suggests that you were hoping for some big check to come your way, but rather that you would have liked to have avoided paying for another person's carelessness. I hope that surprise bills don't keep showing up.
+1 As an executor/trustee, I can say it is a lot of work, often expensive work to close up an estate and trust. Even with zero money, and it sounds like the OP's FIL did not die even, but owing money, someone has to clear out the junk, dispose of the non-junk, any residence, car.

People get paid money to do that. Relatives may do it for nothing or not. But the FIL left a financial and time burden for those left behind.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by frugaltype »

Firam wrote:
BigFoot48 wrote:I don't think its "winning" when you leave your heirs with bills to pay and/or creditors with balances to eat, and junk to throw out. A net zero might be winning.
The family isn’t responsible with the last electric bill or anything like that, it just come out of their inheritance, if they is any. So you aren’t sticking anyone with anything. The only possible costs are the funeral and that it optional. That is unless they were part of a religion that has strict burial rights, in which case, they were really really irresponsible (and risk taking) dyeing without some money. But overall you could just walk away if you want to.
What are you suggesting they do with his body, toss it in the backyard? Leave it to the equivalent of Potter's Field?
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by kelage »

Sounds to me like the FIL was trying to live with only a dollar in his pocket. Doesn't seem like winning anything to me. :greedy
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Leesbro63 »

winglessangel31 wrote:I'm slightly disappointed with the sense of "give nothing back" I'm getting from some of these comments. Of course you don't owe your descendants or the rest of the world anything, but wouldn't it be nice to leave some wiggle room for yourself, and when it's no longer needed, bless someone who might need it? Giving to family/funds upon death are one way to win the game, too... and I believe you'd be seen as a winner through more pairs of eyes than just your own and people who believe as you do. I am a grateful beneficiary of the F. W. Olin Foundation. :beer
Of course you are right. But there are so many who don't think this way and are clapping that the deceased in this story whizzed away everything he could.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by roymeo »

Skiffy wrote:FIL recently passed with a one dollar bill in his pocket. Due to some nagging on my part, a power of attorney and will were in place. His social security stopped before his last bills could be paid--he had a shell game going for what bills he paid and when, not one penny saved. All those treasures he spent most of his last few year's of income on got hauled to the dump.

I am begging all of you readers to simplify, organize, and throw away the clutter before you get too old and sick to deal with your "stuff". And save more money than you think you will need, social security is not enough to live on. Also why you're of sound mind think of different options for living out your later years (especially with ill health).
Reposting OP for context.

FIL was nagged to at least have PoA and Will.

Paying bills was a shell game.

Spent his final years buying junk no one else valued (which I suppose is his right, but obviously the survivors see no value in this, only pathology).

Then we're begged to not become mild hoarders (or worse) and to plan ahead.


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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by Firam »

BigFoot48 wrote:I agree it's the estate's obligations alone, but disagree that you aren't sticking anyone with anything, as if you have unpaid debt you're sticking those companies/individuals/government that are owed something with something, and I for one, consider that irresponsible if assets would have otherwise been available to cover the debt.
You are right, the people that are owned a debt are SOL, but the family is free to go.
frugaltype wrote: What are you suggesting they do with his body, toss it in the backyard? Leave it to the equivalent of Potter's Field?
That is an extreme example because funerals are for the living and so the survivors would want to have one. You can’t just dump people in the back yard, but you don’t have to pay for a funeral either, you can just walk away from where they died. I’m not saying that it is dignified, just that it is an option.
Last edited by Firam on Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by ResearchMed »

Most posters here seem to be assuming that OP's FIL was fully in control of "things".
With literally one dollar, but "All those treasures he spent most of his last few year's of income" ?

There may have been some sort of cognitive decline.

This is NOT to fault OP's family for "not noticing".

As our own first hand experience demonstrates, it is not always apparent, though sometimes it is.
People who are just starting down that sad road are still in enough control of things that they may well have developed some pretty good ways of hiding the real situation, and that's only if they recognize there is a "minor" problem in the first place. Otherwise, their behavior might still seem not that much out of the ordinary, for quite some time, even without trying to hide anything.

It's similar to "when should the aging parents no longer drive themselves"?
Trying to negotiate "you aren't safe" usually is not greeted with enthusiasm and thanks, to put it mildly.
THAT was a situation we saw developing with my parents (who lived a long distance away, so the change was more obvious - and frightening!), and it took a while to do something.

But hoarding, if one isn't inside, or the "$1" in pocket and nothing more, might well not have any obvious symptoms if the person has SOME income, and doesn't appear to be hungry or in unusually poor health, etc.

Very tricky to figure it out, because we DO have the right to our own little idiosyncrasies. If someone is functioning otherwise just fine, who are we to say that collecting those "treasures"
is "wrong"? That's not (usually) "hoarding" or a symbol of other problems.

VERY tricky...

RM
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by letsgobobby »

My dad keeps saying, when he thinks the stock market will crash/the economy is a shell game/the country is bankrupt, "I don't know, maybe we'll have to spend everything just to eat and leave you nothing."

To which I say, "Good for you!"
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by rec7 »

[/quote]

you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.

[/quote]

Some heirs can be a real piece of work. You would not mind dumping stuff on them. Sad but true.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by roymeo »

rec7 wrote:
you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.
Some heirs can be a real piece of work. You would not mind dumping stuff on them. Sad but true.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by reggiesimpson »

I know this sounds like a "story" but its not. This took place many years ago. A neighbor of mine died suddenly at 60. He led not a good life but a great life. His lawyer, another neighbor, showed me his final assets sheet (blocking out his name to keep it legal). He owed everyone. The IRS, mechanic, plumber,restaurants you name it. He paid them off bit by bit so they kept servicing him. The one bill he always paid on time was his life insurance bill. The payoff was twice what he owed. End result was that everyone got paid and he left the remainder and the house (also now paid off) to his daughter. The lawyer laughed as he was telling me. He told me that as he was going to the office on a beautiful spring morning our neighbor would tell him it was too nice to go to work and would play golf instead. Thats why he was laughing. He said that he was the schmuck not our neighbor.
Last edited by reggiesimpson on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by awval999 »

mathwhiz wrote:What exactly is wrong with dying with $1 in your pocket? Heirs are not owed an inheritance. You are entitled to nothing. If he lived a good life and was happy in his last years with his trinkets, good for him.
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placeholder
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by placeholder »

End result was that everyone got paid and he left the remainder and the house (also now paid off) to his daughter.
If the life insurance policy had a beneficiary then that person would have no obligation to pay the debts.
Last edited by placeholder on Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mathwhiz
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by mathwhiz »

There are ways to keep estates out of probate and stiff creditors legally. It's called having bank accounts that are joint with rights of survivorship or transfer on death. That keeps it out of probate. Family and heirs get the money and creditors like credit cards who usually have no secured debt get nothing or fight over the crumbs. Maxing out credit card limits when you are terminally ill can be free money if planned correctly. Ethical questions nothwithstanding.
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mephistophles
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by mephistophles »

This thread does not show Bogleheads in a very favorable light. Makes me wonder why I contribute here.
ole meph
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by reggiesimpson »

placeholder wrote:
End result was that everyone got paid and he left the remainder and the house (also now paid off) to his daughter.
If the life insurance policy had a beneficiary then that person would have no obligation to pay the debts.
This occurred back in the 70s and i simply listened to what his atty said. As i felt privileged to even get this info i wasnt about to question him.
SP-diceman
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by SP-diceman »

mathwhiz wrote:What exactly is wrong with dying with $1 in your pocket?
As long as you're accurate! :D
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by The Wizard »

mephistophles wrote:This thread does not show Bogleheads in a very favorable light. Makes me wonder why I contribute here.
ole meph
I agree.
But the good news is, probably 80% of bogleheads following the 4% SWR rule will croak with at least a year's former income in their accounts.
So it's all just cheering for the outliers...
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by rec7 »

roymeo wrote:
rec7 wrote:
you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.
Some heirs can be a real piece of work. You would not mind dumping stuff on them. Sad but true.
And ultimate technique to achieve a gold medal in the Passive Aggressive games.
After they insulted your family for 40 years your tolerance can sink to a new low level.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by tcjbum »

It must all be a matter of perspective.

I, for one, hope to leave my family with a little something.

I hope, however, that my parents enjoy every last dollar of their hard earned winnings.
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Re: Dying with $1 in Pocket

Post by roymeo »

rec7 wrote:
roymeo wrote:
rec7 wrote:
you are forgetting the expenses and work you just dumped on your heirs.
Some heirs can be a real piece of work. You would not mind dumping stuff on them. Sad but true.
And ultimate technique to achieve a gold medal in the Passive Aggressive games.
After they insulted your family for 40 years your tolerance can sink to a new low level.
Just saying, there's probably healthier things to do than passive aggressively stiffing someone. If you care enough to hurt them passively, why not do it right?
The sewer system is a form of welfare state. | -- "Libra", Don DeLillo
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