Stay clear of offering financial advice during this challenging time.
“If your mother-in-law had nothing to do with her husband’s crime, she is going to be freshly skittish about trusting even a member of the family,” Miss Manners wrote. “The poor state of her finances suggests an ineptitude that could hamper you in showing her that whatever you do is in her interest.”
While Miss Manners doesn’t discourage the daughter-in-law from reaching out, she believes professional help for the in-laws may be the best option.
I would agree. Some people’s personal business you just want to stay away from.
Is Your Financial House in Order?
In a recent column, I wrote about the passing of a close and dear friend, Juanita Ann Walker. How she lived her life is an inspiration for us all.
“My friend could have been the spokeswoman for the simplicity movement, which strives to get people to reduce their consumption and material possessions. Her place was so tidy and uncluttered that I wept. It made me ashamed of my personal living space, my cluttered office and my hoarding of things that long ago should have been tossed or donated.”
Just think about this: If you were to die, how long would it take for people to go through your stuff? How many hours would they have to take off from their jobs to find and organize your personal property? Could they find your will? Where would they look for any instructions on your estate? Have you written down in a secure place the passwords to your computer or phone so friends and family can contact people if you pass away?
Jane E. Brody of The New York Times wrote a great article on ways to declutter your life. So, let me ask you again, is your financial house in order?
Send your responses to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name, city and state. Put “Is Your Financial House In Order?” in the subject line.
Family Financial Fights
Money and family are often two things that don’t mix.
But I’m here to help. If you have some family financial drama going on, perhaps I can offer some advice on how to work through your issues -- or avoid them all together.
Send your Family Financial Fight stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, city and state and put “Family Finance” in the subject line.
For last week’s Color of Money question, I asked: “What do you think of the possible elimination of the mortgage interest deduction?”
Here are some of your responses:
“Cap the mortgage interest deduction or limit it to incomes below a certain level,” wrote Thomas Hodgson of Glade Park, Colo. “There are many middle-income families who depend on it. If it is eliminated it should be only for new mortgages going forward. This would allow home buyers and refinancers to take it into account in their financial planning.”
Robert Markle of Grand Haven, Mich., said he has always opposed the deduction’s “second home” provision, since no one needs more than one. Adding that he now believes that “phasing out the deduction entirely over a period of years makes sense. I am biased, of course, in that I have never benefited from it.”
“I definitely think the mortgage interest deduction should be addressed, particularly for those who own second or multiple homes,” state Nancy Merrick of Cary, N.C. “The deduction should also be capped at a certain amount so that low- and middle-income families still could receive the benefits from home ownership, and the wealthy could also have some tax deduction, but not at the excessive amounts now allowed for extremely costly homes and second or third homes. It also should be capped for those who own multiple properties for investments.”
Tia Lewis contributed to this report.
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