Monday, April 30, 2018

Out with the old, in with the new!

More or less
For many the art of acquisition is all consuming.
When young - we cannot afford what we want.
Post exiting firmly established nests, we need to
create our own home fronts. However as is the
case with most young pups, financial resources
are more than limited. Hence most of us spend
our formative years yearning for the impossible.
Leading to at least a decade of needs and wants
unfulfilled. That is unless one is foolish enough
to dive deep into debt. Only to realize that one
must be careful what they wish for... as they
might get it... only to be stuck with a BIG bill.
Hence is less more? Or is more - more of less?
Handle with care
Once we finally get everything we want, most
realize it's not enough. And that managing too
much of a good thing is nothing but a pain in
the ass. No wonder many of we baby boomers
are slowly but surely paring down. However
said process of elimination requires a bit of
finesse. I consider editing to be curation. Yet
often emotion drives our separation of life's
wheat from it's chaff. Removing everything
that is unnecessary requires a willingness to
see things for what they are. Hence we either
hold on due to sentimentality or... in abject
appreciation of what we deem to be special.
Going... going... gone
The dilemma is appreciating the value of all
that what one is stuck with. In theory simply
getting rid of the burden is worth it's weight
in gold.  Many have faced the formidable task
of sifting through their relation's cast offs.
Once confronted with another's tsunami of
flotsam and jetsam it's easy give up. Hence
during times of transition many of us make
rash decisions. Loading the car and driving
to the dump versus making the tough choice.
Or deferring the pain and forcing somebody
else to call the auction house. Haste makes
waste. So remember that fool's rush in...
Treasure trove
It can get even more complicated. Yesterday
I got a call from a couple who have inherited
his father's mess. Much like Aladdin's cave
his house might be full of treasure. However
not being appraisal experts - they've no idea
what they're stuck with. Meanwhile - their
relations are spread across the country and
globe. Meaning that drawing lots for each to
pick what they want is next to impossible.
For weeks they've been photographing items
in order to insure all can see the options. In
an effort to divide the spoils fairly they now
want to  place a fair market value on it ALL.
All this and heaven too
Putting a price on dead people's stuff isn't as
easy as one might think. Sentimental value
can warp the most rationale of evaluator's
perception. What may mean nothing to you
could mean the world to me. So... my advice
is stick to the facts. Second, antiques dealers
need to make a profit. So whatever they say
it's worth - double it at a minimum. Finally,
probably the best place to get a true grasp on
reality is e-Bay. Simply search for whatever
tidbit you've uncovered and chances are that
a dozen or more will pop up. Proving that if
nothing else there is safety in numbers.
The devil you know...
Ignorance may be bliss but please, think before
you toss. Getting ripped off is never smart - let
alone when it's due to your own negligence. So
even if you decide to give it all away, knowing
the real value of what you've got insures that
you'll get proper credit off on next year's taxes.
Recently a lady appeared on Antiques Road
Show with a vase that her ex-husband never
liked. In an effort to get rid of her, he let her
have it. Post an expert's examination - it was
appraised at two hundred thousand dollars. All
the better given she had it's pair was back home.
Proving that the spoils of war go to the victor.
Exit strategy
While one can safely assume that her ex-husband
would have given anything to exit said union -
almost half a million could have been one hell
of a negotiating tool. Whatever you do, do your
homework. With the internet at our fingertips we
have no excuse for not putting a proper value on
whatever is in the bag we're left holding.  As we
start to ease our burdens, we might as well make
a few deposits into our retirement accounts. Even
at our age, investing in our future is the smartest
way to guarantee that we enjoy our golden years.
Hence when it comes to limiting one's options
it's best to be in the know before you throw.