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Posts tagged with: wills

Year Of Becoming An Adult: Final Status

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Back in October 2014 I wrote about wanting to use 2015 to really “become adults.” To me, this meant taking care of some much needed issues that were in addition to my 2015 financial goals. I wrote a few posts throughout the year with updates (January update, March update, September update, October update), so this will be my final update of the series.

  1. Wills. Wills were actually drawn up at the beginning of 2015, but it took us awhile to actually get them notarized. This task was completed by mid-year. Final status = Complete
  2. Life Insurance For Hubs. We had intended to start working on this mid-year, but didn’t actually get around to applying until October. In November hubs completed all the bloodwork and in early December he was asked to supply some additional information (all stemming back to his mysterious illness at the end of 2013 where our medical bills are from). He finished everything on his end but we’re still waiting to hear back from the company. When I first applied for health insurance it took about 3 months to all be processed so I’m thinking this is normal (and not something directly related to his mystery illness). If he doesn’t hear back sometime in the next couple weeks we’ll check back with them but I’ve got my fingers crossed everything is in order and our next interaction will be mailing off a check to actually finish the process. Final status = Well underway, but waiting to hear back from insurance company
  3. Open Retirement Accounts. We opened up a Roth IRA in April 2015 and a 401(a) through my work in July 2015. I fund 10% of my pay to the 401, and we’ve saved a little extra here and there for the Roth (but a truly minimal amount…something I’d like to increase in 2016). Final status = Complete
  4. Open College Savings For The Kids. We opened up one 529 for each child in October 2015 and we’ve been funding them with $25/month each ($50/month total). Not a lot, but every little bit helps! Final status = Complete

Overall, not too shabby. I wish we’d started the life insurance stuff a bit earlier in the year so it was all wrapped up and done by now, but at least it’s well underway and if it doesn’t work out it will be because we were denied (not due to our own lack of trying). But hubs’ health has been great and, especially with his weight loss, I’m really hoping everything goes through smoothly and he’s able to be insured. It will certainly give me great peace of mind.

How have you done on your financial (or other) goals in 2015? Do you have any new goals or resolutions set for 2016? I’d love to hear them!

 


The Year of Becoming an Adult: September Update

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In October of last year I wrote about some of the financial goals we have for the year 2015. I called it “The Year of Becoming an Adult” as a way to acknowledge that, at the ages of 31 and 32, we really should have had these tasks taken care of long ago! It was long past time and 2015 was our year to tackle these important adult milestones.

There were four things, specifically, that I had mentioned. Time for a little status update on each of them:

  1. First, we’re going to make a will. This is finally done! I actually made the wills on my birthday (December 31st), but it took us MONTHS to get them notarized! In our state we had to have two witnesses and we had a hard time getting people to be our witness. We asked bank employees (nope), we asked friends (yes, but had a hard time finding a time that worked for 2 separate friends at the same time), and finally we got it done when hubs’ mom and grandma came to visit a couple months ago. Kind of ridiculous that it required two people coming to visit us who could serve as our witnesses, but the bottom line is this task is finally completed and behind us.
  2. Second, husband will get life insurance. Quick recap for newer readers – hubs had a mystery illness at the end of 2013. In summer of 2014 I got life insurance and tried to get him some, but he was rejected due to the mystery illness (doctors never found out exactly what was wrong with him). He was advised to wait a year and try again. So initially we were going to reapply at the beginning of this summer. But hubs has been on a hard-core mission to lose weight and wanted to wait until his weight-loss is complete so he can try to get better prices on life insurance. He started his weight-loss mission on June 1st and in the 3 ½ months since then he’s lost a total of FIFTY POUNDS!!! Yes! It’s incredible! Like watching an episode of extreme weight loss in front of my eyes! He wants to lose another 20 lbs. but I think we’ll probably initiate the life insurance process early next month (October). I remember from last time around that it was a couple-month process – not a quick overnight thing like I had expected. So this should still be done by the end of the year, but hasn’t been handled yet.
  3. Third, we’re going to open retirement accounts. Success! In April (before tax day), we opened up our first Roth IRA for 2014. It was a meager contribution ($1,000), but it was a start. For most months this year we’ve been setting aside $100 to be added to the Roth. But then when I started my full-time job in mid-July things really kicked it up a gear. I’m now contributing 10% of my full-time job income to a retirement account, which is being matched up to 7% from my employer. In addition to that, I’ve opened up a FSA (flexible spending account) for dependent care. I contribute $500/paycheck of pre-tax money so I can pay for the girls’ care with pre-tax dollars. I actually haven’t made a withdrawal from the account yet (and I need to!), so I need to figure out how to do that. But the point is that we’re now contributing to various retirement accounts (mostly through my employer’s 401a but still a little in a Roth), as well as taking advantage of a tax-advantaged FSA.
  4. Finally, we’re going to open college savings accounts for our girls. This one still hasn’t happened yet. Starting in June (the month of their birth), we’ve been setting aside $25/month with the intention of opening up a college savings account. Honestly, I’ve been so overwhelmed with work and stuff happening with my Dad that I haven’t been able to investigate into this further. Matt made it sound like it was super easy-peasy when he opened up an account for his niece, so I just need to bite the bullet and do it. In the meantime, the money has been earmarked for this purpose (I categorize it using YNAB’s budgeting system), so it’s available when I finally do get around to actually opening an account. I’ll go ahead and put this on my To Do List for the beginning of October, too. So I’ll call this a half-success since we’ve actively started saving the money but haven’t actually funneled it into an appropriate account yet. The intention is there, so now it’s just a matter of the follow-through!

Those were the main things I had discussed in my original Year of Becoming an Adult post, but I’m also happy to announce that hubs is finally getting a handle on his dental issues, too (never mind that it took an all out emergency to make that happen). Actually, TODAY is the day he’s getting his first quadrant of work done! He’d gone to the dentist right after the emergency but had to be put on antibiotics before any actual work could be done so today is the D-Day (D as in Dental work). We’re hoping to knock out one other quadrant before the new year (to max out our dental insurance benefits), but that probably won’t be scheduled until late November or December sometime to allow us a couple months to try to save up some more money. Remember – this round of dental work cost $665. I’m not sure what the next quadrant will cost but I’m assuming it will be pretty comparable. Allowing for a couple months’ buffer to restock our dental savings account is really helpful for us.

So there you have it!

#1 = check!

#2 = in progress

#3 = check!

#4 = in progress

BONUS (dental work) = in progress

 

I’d love to report more successes/check-marks but with the cards life has dealt us this year I’m pleased with our progress. When life gets crazy, baby steps is all we can ask for. As long as we’re moving forward we’re moving in the right direction! : )

I’ll be sure to update in a few months when I can hopefully report that ALL of these items have been checked off the “Year of Becoming an Adult” list!


Year of Becoming an Adult: January

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This year one of our resolutions (for hubs & me) was to do a lot of not-so-fun things that we’ve been putting off for far too long in the name of finally growing up and becoming adults.

We’ve planned things out so we have at least one or two big items to knock off our list every month. Hopefully by the time December 2015 roles around we’ll feel much more settled into our “adulthood” and many of these important items will be distant memories, having been taken care of months prior.

For the month of January we have a couple big things on our “Becoming an Adult” list:

  • Make wills for myself and hubs
  • Fill out power of attorney forms for myself and hubs
  • Add each other to our savings/checking accounts

I wanted to give a little mid-month update on how these things are going.

We used Legal Zoom to make wills and fill out power of attorney forms. It was so, so easy and painless! I really thought there would be a lot more emotion wrapped up in it (it just seems so morbid to be making decisions about who will raise your kids if you and spouse die, etc.), but it really wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected. And it was quick! Only about 10 or 15 minutes total! This is not an advertisement (I’m not being paid by them, nor did I receive any discounts or anything), but I really would recommend the website for simple wills (if your estate is super complicated you may need an actual attorney).

Buuuuut (there’s always a but), when the documents arrived at our house I realized things would be a bit more complicated. Apparently in the state of Arizona wills have to be notarized PLUS have a witness signature, and the witness cannot be the notary, nor can they be anyone related by blood or marriage (so hubs and I cannot be each others’ witnesses). So we’ve reached a bit of a hangup. It’s not a big deal to get a friend to go with us to have the documents notarized and serve as a witness, but it takes more arranging of schedules and whatnot. It WILL happen this month, but its not done yet.

The checking/savings accounts are not complete yet either. I called and talked to my bank(s) to see if this could be done online and no, it cannot. I have to go to the banks in person with husband to have him added to my accounts (and have me added to his). Not huge, but just another annoying hurdle to getting everything in place.

But at least we’re in the process of working on this month’s goals. I’m sure glad we broke things down into bite-size chunks because it seems like everything is just a little bit more annoying/time-consuming/difficult than expected. It’s nice that we’re not trying to do everything all at once. If you want to see some of our other goals for this year (the year of becoming an adult), see the post I wrote about here. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as the year moves along.

Do you have any big financially-relevant goals this year? What are you working on?


Don’t procrastinate!

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I have never had an issue with talking about death and dying and what we all need to do to help our loved ones when the time comes for our passing.  Maybe it has something to do with my parents having me in their 40’s at a time when people just weren’t having babies in their 40’s.  My mother often talked about her mortality–sometimes in a heavy way but more often with a healthy dose of humor.  While I can’t say this led to Mom being ready to do the “must do’s” related to mortality, it did give me a real sense of the importance of planning…not dwelling, mind you…but not completely denying the reality either.

With the issues regarding my Aunt in a nursing home and then my own aging parents, I just don’t put this stuff off.  What’s the state of your estate?  Take time this week to talk to your loved ones and make a plan of some sort.  It may not be feasible to buy your pre-paid funeral plan or figure out all details right now, but do something to move in that direction! Losing a parent at any time is a traumatic event, please don’t leave your kids with more trauma because you have not communicated anything about your desires for your funeral and done nothing to deal with the property you have at the time of your passing.  It will cost your loved one dearly on the financial front if they have to start from scratch.

In Texas, we can do a hand written will.  It isn’t ideal, but it is an option.  Look into your state’s laws and see what you can do yourself.  If you need help, there are a lot of very reasonably priced options for basic will drafting.  Be sure to have the various power of attorney documents as well and don’t forget the advanced directive.  I’m not giving legal advice here…this stuff is important and easily accessible on the internet.

Why the sudden rant?  I just spent 2 hours messing with stuff related to my Aunt not being able to handle her legal affairs.  It is a nightmare as it is…I can’t imagine if I didn’t have the proper legal documents to get me through much of the red tape.