A place where one woman has gathered resources and information to help her family survive in an uncertain future; together with occasional personal musings.

Monday, January 25, 2010

financial planning

From:ELEANOR DAY (guera_linda@msn.com)
Sent:Tue 10/20/09 2:34 AM
To:michael Cung (kcung@dadco.com)
Hi Michael,

At the risk of sounding totally crazy, I'm going to tell you what my plans are and what my motivation is. Watching the news and doing my own research over the last several years, especially regarding climate change, I have become convinced that the world is going to be a very different place in twenty or thirty years, and probably not for the better. I am afraid that my children, if not I myself, will live to see severe upheavals and quite possibly the breakdown of basic services and protections. Therefore I have given a lot of thought to how I might protect them from the worst effects of societal transformation.

I am aware that I will never amass the kind of fortune that could insulate them from the sort of trials I fear. In fact, I have to wonder whether money in the bank will be any kind of protection when my children are raising their own families. While I do intend to leave my children cash, if possible, I have come to believe that a different kind of inheritance may be more valuable. I am concentrating on building a homestead that will be sustaining for them. I already own ten acres of very good land in the Bellingham area, and I do not plan to buy any more. Instead, I plan to slowly improve that land. Here is a short list of the things I would like to do over the next ten years:

1) put in a state of the art solar electric system - about $25,000
2) put in a rainwater catchment system with underground cistern and filtration- about $10,000
3) make needed repairs on the farmhouse, including plumbing, electric, carpentry, and insulation - about $10,000 to $20,000
4) convert our heating system from propane to a high efficiency insert - about $3,000
5) fencing - about $5,000

None of these things has a firm timeline. I will do them as time and opportunity dictate. Probably the solar system will be the first, within two or three years. Other than that, I have no firm plans. As I said on the phone today, I hope to sell the house in Seattle within five years. I am waiting for a good market and for my daughter to finish school. If I can sell it for a decent price, then I can use that money to finance my plans and give you the rest to invest. Also, I will probably be able to partially finance my plans with savings over the next few years. I don't really expect anything concrete from you at this point other than to understand that I expect to spend heavily sooner than I had previously thought.

I am (painfully) aware that this message may make me sound like a crackpot. Oh well. I think I remember you telling me that you grew up on a small farm. Maybe you understand the kind of life I want to build for my descendants and the kind of security I hope this will offer them.

Thanks for listening, and I appreciate all the work you do to help me finance my dreams.


Aimee Day

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