When Your Household Membership Changes

photo shows a family of 5 in silhouette watching a red and yellow sunset near a bench and a tree

Momentum carries us through many of life’s relationships. Practicing traditions and routines takes all sorts of decisions off our plate. It’s a type of comfortable efficiency. Then, sometimes, a big change occurs—and things shift. We can find ourselves suddenly reconsidering decisions that we used to be able to take for granted.

I’ve seen it unfold in your lives, clients, and certainly in my own. When my wife passed, I discovered that there were aspects of my lifestyle that suited “Mark in a couple” but did not fit in my new life as “Mark on his own.”

Upon the passing of or separation from a partner, some people realize all of a sudden that what used to be a two-kayak household is now a zero-kayak household. And they’re content with that.

It can happen when the home suddenly expands, too: it’s not just the birth of children that can change a household’s makeup. Perhaps that mother-in-law suite becomes literal, or maybe an adult sibling or adult child moves in to help manage things.

No matter how the membership of a household is changing, the new dynamic will most likely bring changes to the financial texture of life for everyone involved.

  • Are there are any lifestyle expenses that now make you feel, “I could take it or leave it”?
  • Do you anticipate changing your employment situation in a way that wasn’t possible before?
  • How might your tax strategies or insurance options change in this new arrangement?

Although many recommend waiting a year (or some other interval) after a loss or change before making big decisions, there are ways to explore in the meantime. Some people find it helpful to do their own research and talk with trusted friends as they explore options. Some prefer to work on their own personal development for a spell before reviewing their choices.

When your household membership changes, there is no right or wrong way to navigate these issues. Clients, if you’d like to talk through what this may mean for you, we’re game. Please write or call.

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When Your Household Membership Changes Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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Dimes for Sale: 8 for $1!

photo shows a stack of 8 dimes

You may never see an offer like this. No one would buy, right? It is too obviously a bad deal.

But people get tricked into doing essentially the same thing, all the time. Buying insurance you do not need is a lot like buying dimes, eight for a buck.

A recent retiree told us about being offered “Medicare Supplement Plans” where the one that had a potential $180 per year exposure to deductibles was $250 cheaper than the one that featured full coverage. The agent said most people prefer the “better” policy, desiring full coverage. But when you think about it, why pay $250 to save $180?

Another told us of a proposal to buy long-term care insurance, which sometimes makes sense. But this person supported a lifestyle that already cost more than long-term care, a lifestyle whose expenses would disappear if the need for home care or assisted living or long-term residential care emerged. A more expensive lifestyle would disappear if the cheaper long-term care lifestyle came into play. No coverage needed!

These thoughts came to mind as I cancelled a disability policy into which I had faithfully paid each month for forty years, one that would have provided needed benefits when I had large family obligations and little in the way of other resources.

Insurance is a marvelous invention. We believe in buying all of it that you need—and none that you don’t.

Otherwise, you’re buying dimes, eight for a buck.

Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.

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