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BOOMERS: PRAY, HOPE AND DON’T WORRY

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I looked in the mirror this morning and thought to myself when did the years creep up on me?  I was a toddler yesterday now I am my father’s age when I was 16 years old.  When I get together with other Boomers I hear the same story from everyone.  Their daily concerns revolve around the aches and pains they feel now but never felt before, college tuition, unmarried kids still at home, boomerang kids that came back and can’t leave, aging parents, tough bosses, in peril jobs, the lists go on and on.  These are very real fears, anxieties and concerns.

They look and feel exhausted, worn out and worried.  They are weighed down.  Women, the traditional care-takers and still the ones primarily that carry the heaviest load of responsibility are not the only ones that feel the pressure but they seem to have more weighing on them.  The men do as well, especially if they are the bread winners and are concerned over ageism managing them out of their jobs.

What can you do?  Well the root of all this is fear.  Fear is usually not your friend unless you are swimming toward shore with a shark in tow – then the fear adrenalin rush is your friend.  Many of us feel like that though, especially with looming concerns. 

Jesus is quoted as saying “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  The gist of this good advice is that worrying is useless.  The first part really refers to prayer and trust in God.  The second part is that worry can’t change anything.  One way to allay fear is to prepare.  When a storm is coming the media scares people silly, however, some intelligent reporters allay fears by giving advice on how to prepare to weather the storm and maybe even enjoy yourself while the lights are out.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Here are some suggestions to help with the pressures of life.  Preparation is key.

I always recommend prayer.  I pray with my wife before making financial decisions and really before I undertake anything.  I ask for Wisdom, guidance and help to make the right decisions.

I make lists of what I want to do.  Every January I update all my information.  I have files and paperwork which give clear directions and roadmaps to assets, medical, contact numbers, passwords etc…  That way if I kick, whoever has to get things in order will have an easy time of it.

Boomers have so much to contend with and very little time and energy to do what needs to be done.  I pick a Saturday that is rainy or snowy or if I have a vacation day available during the week or a lazy Sunday I use it to sit down in my home office, pull out all the paper work I need to update and enjoy a cup of coffee and a good radio station while I organize.  It is quite peaceful.  Lock the door and tell everyone you will be busy for two hours.  No cell phones.  No interruptions.  I know, I know, easier said than done but Boomers can do anything they put their minds to.

OK – first things first.  Organize yourself, then you can organize parents (if need be) and kids.  I use an excellent resource from CSA which I will be happy to email to you upon request called the Information for Life Kit.  It is a pre-printed guide with fill-in forms for all your important information.

 

Some Suggestions on Organizing Your Life

1.    Everyone should have a will.  It is relatively inexpensive to have a lawyer do it or you can download one from the web.  Check the internet for your state’s requirements on what constitutes a valid will.  I think it is worth having an attorney draw one up;  I can provide web sites that will suggest attorneys and other professionals upon request;

 

2.    Everyone should have a Living Will;

 

3.    If your assets are considerable speak with an Elder Care attorney about establishing a Trust;

 

4.    Create a list of assets, medications, doctors’ names and addresses, phone numbers, passwords, instructions etc… (E-mail me and I will be happy to email you back a copy of the Information for Life Kit by CSA);

 

5.    Boomers should look into long term health care insurance.  My wife and I are planning on applying now while we are healthy.  God willing we will never need it.  Many Boomers are looking into Long Term HealthCare Insurance.   In short this is the definition as provided by CSA:  “Long-term care is care that is provided for a wide range of medical, personal and social services for an extended period of time. Your health care professional determines that you have a chronic problem, lasting 90 days or more, and you will need substantial assistance. Care levels include assistance with daily activities, home health care, adult daycare, care in an assisted living community or nursing home. Supervision at home or in a facility is included if you have a severe cognitive impairment – memory or reasoning loss. Long-term care is intended to maintain and support an individual’s existing level of health, to preserve his or her health from further decline or to manage a deteriorating condition as safely as possible.”

 

6.    Everyone should consider their current health issues and those of their aging parents and how they may progress for the better or worse.  If for the worse then a plan should be put in place to arrange for home health care, paying of bills, laundry and house cleaning, shopping and meal preparation.  Family members should all have roles (it should never fall on one child if there are siblings).  Impose on your children and siblings if they are reluctant.

 

7.    Plans to care for pets should also be made;

 

8.    I would also suggest funeral arrangement preparations (at the very least buying burial plots);If a religious service is desired, prepare a request list to be carried out;

 

9.    De-clutter.  I am a big believer in de-cluttering in general.  Every year we de-clutter and get rid of stuff we haven’t used in at least 6 months.  The good things get donated to charity the garbage such as old paper documents and things that are not salvageable etc… are tossed.  There are actually services that will help you de-clutter if you need it.  They are reasonably priced and are very popular these days.  Trust me that old clock that hasn’t worked in 15 years gathering dust in your basement is NOT worth keeping. 

 

10.  Sell your old jewelry, especially if you think it will be a bone of contention when you pass.  Use the proceeds to take a trip.

It is very important to nourish yourself in body, mind and spirit.  Don’t wait for a New Year to make a resolution.  Make little resolutions every day, nothing big.  Big ones always fade.  For example don’t take on a diet that will make you unhappy just eat healthy once or twice a week.  Make it fun.  Exercise is always a hard one for me.  I try to do something exercisey every once in a while.  Maybe make it a point to exercise twice a week be it a walk around the block or a walk on the boardwalk in Spring Lake.  I enjoy bike riding at the shore or the Manasquan Reservoir.  Have some alone time (even if it is just a good soak in a hot tub).  Make a list of books to read over the summer.  Go out with friends. Enjoy life.  Enjoy friends and family.  Pray, golf, fish, travel, eat out, exercise, go dancing, have a cocktail party with a small group of loved ones, take up a new hobby, mend broken fences, and reunite with a relative you haven’t seen or spoken with in years.  Take time to forgive old hurts and then forget them (easier than you might imagine).  The Boomer years can be the greatest years.

My wife and I love going disco dancing these days at the Battleground Country Club.  I lovingly call it 54 on Geritol but it is a great experience.  For a couple of hours twice a month we are kids again, with other Boomers who are kids again too, if only in our minds.

You don’t need a ton of money to enjoy these years, you don’t have to be in perfect health all you need is to make a personal decision to do it and have fun.

Live la dolce vita.  Padre Pio used to say – “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”  Try it – it works.

 

 

 

 

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REAL ESTATE

HAUNTED HOUSE FOR SALE?

Haunted House

Have a haunted house for sale? You better disclose it to potential purchasers. In New Jersey, real estate agents and sellers are required to disclose to potential buyers if there are psychological impairments inherent in the property including if the house is haunted. Full disclosure is paramount. The most written about case of a haunted house involved Jeffrey and Patrice Stambovsky of Nyack, N.Y. and the $650,000 Victorian home they bought near the Hudson River. Helen Ackley, the owner of the four-bedroom, two-bathroom property had decided to retire to Florida, and when she put up the house for sale she failed to inform the buyers and realtor about her ghostly tenants. Her story of a friendly ghost was publicized in local papers and even appeared in Reader’s Digest.

So what do you think happened? If you guessed that the buyers sued you would be correct. The buyers won on appeal. What is the moral of the story? DISCLOSE ALL MATERIAL DEFECTS IN WRITING!

The National Association of Realtors published their Haunted Real Estate Survey: http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-dealing-with-stigmatized-properties

41% of respondents would buy a place with reported ghost sightings 36% of respondents wouldn’t object to levitating objects 15% of respondents would pay full market value of the home 19% of respondents would take a 31-50% discount

Would you knowingly buy a haunted house? Do you have a haunted house story? I’d love to hear it. If it is brief enough to fit in my blog I will be happy to print it in my October blog for Halloween. E-mail it to me at emonti@outlook.com.

Back in Brooklyn, my next door neighbor had a haunted house. We were attached on one side. It was a brick house built in the late 1920s. They would tell us about all the weird happenings they experienced. Their guests saw doors open and slam shut without cause or explanation. Objects levitated. They saw black shadow men and smelled tobacco smoke (no one in their house smoked). Once when I was visiting them a book violently flew off a bookshelf across the room. Needless to say I avoided going next door very often and when I did I always had my Rosary beads and a vial of holy water. Thankfully, I never saw anything like that happen there again. They sold their home in 2004 for $425,000.

I spoke with a Realtor from New York who was unaware of the haunted house case. He rightly concluded that it would fall under the rules of disclosure. He stated he would not accept the listing. I would. In fact, I would market the house as haunted. As the survey shows almost half of potential buyers would be buy a haunted house under some circumstances. Stigmatized properties will always be problematic. As a Sales Associate we are bound by ethics to always do the right thing. So if you have ghosts it may be prudent to disclose. You still may have a specter of a chance at getting full list price. Ya never know.

Words of Wisdom: “The major fortunes in America have been made in land.” -John D. Rockefeller

The ideas expressed in this report reflect my own personal views and opinions and are for reflection and personal discernment only and should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice. The foregoing report is for information only. No warranties are made regarding the truth or accuracy of this information and I specifically disclaim any and all liability for any reliance placed upon the materials that are here published. Always consult your lawyer for legal advice in matters of private or business importance. Nothing published in the Monti Real Estate Monitor should be construed as investment advice or as a solicitation to buy or sell any kind of financial instruments or Real Estate.

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