Saturday, January 20, 2007

I have pictures. I will post them tomorrow. Late.

Nothing exciting. Just a felted bowl I crocheted, and I'm not that excited with the bowl but I do love the shadings in the yarn. I needed something soft to put on my dresser, where I could dump the jewelry of the day without scratching it. It will do for that purpose. But the yarn is lovely, and I have lots more of it. I'm thinking a bag for the yoga mat. It would be light blue with stripes of handpainted brightness.

And pictures of flowers, because it is January in Orlando and it should be at least mildly cool, but the hibiscus and bougainvilla think they are in Key West. Hundreds of miles south of here, for those who don't know how BIG Florida is. It's a long, long state. Miami to the GA line is a 7 hour drive, if you drive REAL fast. So I am at a totally different latitude than Key West, but you can't tell that to the hibiscus.

Cousin C is killin' me. Actually, the workings of the Universe are killin' me, in a very good way. I am under stress right now and creating my backup plan for when something goes wrong with the job. My plan is to ride it out and see what happens, but one can't count on the timeline when it's all crazy. I have been saving via my 401k(s) with all of my might, but my on-hand savings is not substantial. So I was thinking about cashing in a small 401K account from the prior job, taking the tax and penalty hit and having more living expenses on hand for the coming unstable time.

Cousin C had no knowledge of this drama at all. She called my mother, all on her own, and harangued her to start passing my inheritance over to me, in IRS approved chunks. I am an only child, there are no other heirs. Her grandkids would appreciate a check right now too, and as Cousin C (who is doing this with her own sons) said, she'd have that good feeling of seeing her family enjoying the money, instead of leaving it after she's gone. We will see if she does it, but honestly, the first chunk would be more than the 401K I was considering kiliin' after penalties and taxes, and I would put it in MY savings account that earns better interest than hers. But what on earth caused C to call my mother today, and tell her to do this? I don't know if she will actually do it, because my father was irrationally cheap and cautious about money and my mother is conditioned to Feel Poor and like she's going to be eating cat food tomorrow if she spends a dime, despite having a paid off house and a retirement income and health insurance and all the good things. She's very comfortable, and I am not a slacker, I am doing okay, but this is not the best way to manage the money she has, it is not earning much at all. I'd never take a dime that would in any way impact her standard of living or her security. I know her finances, and I know that C is right, I could help my kids and throw the rest in savings where it would earn better interest than her accounts. And she could do this exercise each year, and she would never feel it at all or even notice. She could do this out of ONE bank account for the next decade, without touching the other bank accounts. She is 80. As I said, this would in no way put her at any risk. So maybe she'll get it, or maybe she won't, and I'll manage my life either way. But I get a big kick out of C for telling her to do this.


dragon knitter said...

i don't suppose telling her that if she dies with all of it, the government will get an even bigger chunk than if she gives it to you now would help? i can remember you talking about your mom before. seriously. death taxes reek. investigate if florida has a state death tax as well. my grandmother lived in wymoing, which doesn't have inheritance tax, thankfully, and we still paid the feds over $200K. yes, that's how many 0's. and my grandmother split the inheritance between my mother and us kids, so we benefitted from it immediately.

and my mother is investing, mostly because i watch how much she has in her accounts. she trusts me to help her make good decisions (and my mom will be 79 on the 30th). some people, i guess.

good for cousin c!

Catherine said...

Florida has no estate tax, and my mother's estate would be under the federal threshold which has been raised enormously from what it used to be. She isn't three million dollars rich, but she's comfortable, so there's no tax advantage to doing this. There's also no reason not to do it. So I'm leaving it up to her, if she wants to do it, fine, if not, that's fine too.

Sue Woo said...

Girl, if she does, call me and we'll go to Galapogus!

Catherine said...

I was thinking Paris. But actually, anything I get has to be squirrelled into the ING account, because deeply crazy is the order of the day at work. I just don't know what's going to happen, and if I end up having to look for a job again, I intend to take my damn sweet time and possibly move, so I am stockpiling the cash as best I can.