A Sad Surprise: Nobody Wants Your Stuff

Category: Home and Garden

March 23, 2018 — Are you one of the many people who have been carefully amassing, polishing, and preserving all kinds of collections for posterity? Here is some really bad news – nobody wants it but you! As one furniture dealer, speaking about early 20th century goods, commented, “It’s never coming back.”

Recent articles in the New York Times and the NextAvenue.org blog highlighted this sad issue, which then generated an avalanche of emotional comments. It is very hard for people to part with objects that represent emotional or sentimental ties with the past. Many people develop feelings of guilt about losing objects tied to their ancestors, while others go into denial.

Here are some of the top 10 treasures that you might love, but nobody else wants.

1. Glass and ceramic figurines. Way too old-fashioned and fussy today.
2. Silverplate and china sets. Millenials aren’t interested in polishing silver or storing multiple china sets.

3. Collections of anything, such as antique dolls, clocks, etc. You might have many beautiful objects but folks don’t have the room or interest in displaying them.
4. Oriental rugs. Not light enough for today’s casual lifestyle. Most have little value because they are threadbare, or the owner paid too much to begin with.
5. Heavy and dark furniture. Mid-century modern like Eames or Knoll are desirable, but no thanks, mom, to anything else.

A mid-century modern chair might be worth something

6. Old photo albums. Who were those people anyway?
7. Stamp collections. Unfortunately, a quiet hobby that has no one interested in it anymore.

8. Books. Your Winston Churchill collection is of no interest. Our father-in-law died with a stunning collection of books about Native Americans and their battles with the U.S. cavalry (his ancestor was a West Point Cavalry Officer in that era). Unfortunately it proved very difficult to find the few people who might have had an interest in it.
9. Old magazines and paper ephemera. You might have 20 years of Gourmet Magazine, and every birthday card you ever received, but no one wants them.
10. Equipment older than mid 20th century. Sewing machines, film projectors, etc. There are a few exceptions – phonograph turntables are coming back.

What to do about your stuff
There are a variety of things you can do, once you get over the grief you might have that no one wants your stuff. Here are some of the best suggestions we have heard:
Get started planning now, and don’t add any more to the collections. The worst thing you can do is to burden your heirs with disposing of stuff they don’t like and know nothing about.
Find out what is worth. You can search online, hire an appraiser, or go an antiques dealer. That process might find you some outlets.
Hire a service to liquidate it, conduct an estate sale, put it on consignment, or sell it on ebay. Novaliquidation.com is the type of company that will help you get rid of everything at once.
Advertise for takers. Let your children, relatives or friends know what you have and ask them if they want it. Don’t shame the kids into taking it though.
Give it away. Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and church groups will take almost anything except upholstered furniture. At least you can get a modest tax deduction.

Comments? What have your experiences with parting with treasures from your life? Have you had good success doing so? What would be the hardest thing for you to part with? Please share your tips and experiences in the Comments section below.

For further reading
NYTimes: Parents With Lots of Stuff and Children That Don’t Want It
Know What Your Stuff Is Worth
Top 10 Objects Your Kids Don’t Want
12 Steps to Downsizing Success

Posted by Admin on March 22nd, 2018

10 Great Places to Retire Abroad

Category: International Retirement

March 21, 2018 — Note: This is an updated version of Part 1 of a 2 part series on international places to retire. Part 2 is “The Pros, Cons, and Considerations of an International Retirement“.

A few years ago our friend Dennis asked us where we thought the best place to retire was – internationally. The question took us by surprise, partly because it came from a man who has traveled the world extensively, and who also has a home in Costa Rica – wouldn’t Dennis have a better grip here than us? The question got us thinking.


Posted by Admin on March 20th, 2018

The Mountains of Nevada Offer Surprising Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

By Flo Williamson
Note: This is the 3rd in Flo’s series about retirement in the Lake Tahoe area. In this installment she concentrates on some surprising Nevada towns that make great places to retire, and are a less expensive alternative.
March 18, 2018 — In this article, we’ve got some good news – there are several Nevada towns close to Lake Tahoe where you can benefit from the Tahoe lifestyle without spending a small fortune.

One of the best, and less expensive alternatives is Reno, Nevada, “The Biggest Little City in the World”. I have to admit, that while I’ve flown in and out of Reno, dozens of times over numerous years, my main objective was getting to Lake Tahoe ASAP. I’ve spent little time in the town, but my research on the benefits for retirees in Reno proved to be a most pleasant surprise. Reno is VERY retiree friendly.

Reno is located about 30 miles from Lake Tahoe, over the Sierra Mountains by way of the Mt. Rose highway which starts in Incline Village. The Reno, Nevada climate is similar to a high desert. The winters are cold, with some snow, but it’s usually not nearly as cold or snowy as at (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 17th, 2018

Rethinking the ‘When to Start Collecting Social Security’ Question

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

March 14, 2018 — A crisis will affect Social Security just 16 short years from now, and it has some experts rethinking their strategies for when to start taking Social Security. Instead of urging people to wait until age 70, some are recommending beginning at age 66.

The crisis
In 2034 the Social Security reserves are expected to be exhausted. With no reserves available, the only money available to pay benefits is what comes in from current worker and employer contributions into the program. Sadly, that won’t be enough; starting in 2034 there will only be enough coming in to pay 77% of scheduled benefits.

A new recommendation to think about
Mark Hulbert of Market Watch reported on the argument posed by Richard Band, editor of the Profitable Investing advisory service, in “Why it might be better to take Social Security at age 66 instead of 70“. To Band, the question of when to start taking the benefit hinges on your confidence in the federal government. The advisor, who is 66, facetiously wonders if anyone really (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 14th, 2018

Foreign Travel Is a Dream – Losing Your Passport a Nightmare

Category: Travel

March 5, 2018–
Lucy asked, “Did you pull my passport out of the safe?” That question started a sharp jab of worry, which quickly rose to a full scale panic. “Nope,” I replied, “you must have it.” Except she didn’t. We started searching her purse, her backpack, her suitcase. Then the same for me, checked the safe again and the money belt and the neck pouch. Nothing! By this point the (more…)

Posted by Admin on March 4th, 2018