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Friday Doings

March 30th, 2018 at 01:15 pm

It's in the low 50s today. So I put on some light-colored clothing, work gloves and a baseball cap to start cutting up some tree branches that came down in the last snow storm.

I went straight for the biggest mess, a crabapple mostly taken down by a fallen locust tree branch. I will have to pay someone to do the big logs, but I'm "cleaning up" the many smaller branches with my loppers and bow saw. I worked til I was tired, 1.5 hours, slowly and methodically cutting whatever branches I could, then dragging them to the brushy area where I flung the branches as far in as I could.

There is much, much more work to do, but at least I got a start on it. There were many piles of deer turds around thee tree mess as they're drawn to sheltered areas. So I need to be careful not to brush up against stuff.

Oh, in my younger days I could work all day. I am really noticing the difference.

In fact, tomorrow, I'm thinking instead of paying $5 for an hour of yoga, why not actually put my exercise to practical use, and continue working in the yard?

I'll do the yardwork for another hour or so in the morning, rest, have lunch with dad and then visit my friend R., who just had his 4th chemo session this week. He has written his own, very irreverent obituary, which he has shared with me.

Last night was my 3rd and final class in the financial retirement strategies class I took. In my evaluation of his class, I wrote that the title of the class didn't really seem to accurately reflect the contents...meaning, most of the time was spent on defining very basic concepts, like what are stocks, what are bonds, what is life insurance, estate planning, etc., in very broad brushstrokes. So it wasn't much in the way of strategies, though we spent a small amount of time talking about how helpful Roth IRA conversions can be for early retirees, a topic I am newly fascinated by. I asked a lot of questions.

Probably the best part of the class is that we can each meet one on one with the instructor (a CFP) if we so wish, after having turned in very detailed forms revealing our assets, liabilities, income, etc. I expect to be hearing from him within a week. I guess for this complementary consultation alone, the $40 I spent was worth it, especially if he can give me personalized recommendations.

I cleaned the bathtub today and did a 35-minute walk. I re-registered with a focus group company since I now have more free time. Sure, if I wanted to make more $$, I'd could do better by working f/t, but it's all or nothing at my office and I'm good with the new schedule. I find doing one off things like the focus groups fun.

7 Responses to “Friday Doings”

  1. Carol Says:

    Meeting with the instructor will probably be helpful, but it is possible that he also uses the classes to try to get business, (happened to us) Just a heads up.

  2. Carol Says:

    Oh, Bogelheads.org has lots of conversations about Roth conversions.

  3. Bluebird Says:

    Great job getting things done!

  4. Dido Says:

    You are industrious!

    I detest yard work, so I paid this year for a yard clean up and application of fresh mulch. They are finishing up this morning and the uncluttered yard is making me feel happy.

    If you want to read up on Roth IRAs, look up books by Ed Slott in your library. He's written several consumer oriented books and also has advisor trainings. His website is excellent too.

    If you read any of his books, just keep in mind that you can no longer do Roth te characterization a as of January 1 under the new tax law. You used to have up to a 21-month "free look" period if you converted the beginning of one year and didn't file your taxes until the extensideadlune of 10/15 the following year, and you could recharacterize investments that had gone down in value, but that ability is gone. Otherwise the Riths are a good value, and you have the opportunity to do them to fill your tax bracket now, as long as it looks as though your taxes after age 70.5 with RMDs and Social Security would put you in a higher bracket than you are now. Another alternative is to just draw from your IRA account now to decrease future RMDs. Some of our clients in your situation do that instead. Same tax as converting the same amount, but doesn't get you tax-free income.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    What is it specifically about yardwork you don't like, Dido? Do you maybe not like it because you don't feel you really know what you're doing, or do you really just not like it?

    You have such a small yard; it would be fun to have it because you could make it "perfect." With mine, just trying to "control" its wild perimeter takes up a lot of "gardening" time.

  6. Dido Says:

    Hi PS, Partly it's the not knowing and to a large extent it is not enjoying physical labor. I don't like getting my hands dirty, plus my allergies make yard work very unpleasant.

    Plus I have absolutely NO visual imagination. I can tell you if I like something or not but I can't imagine and plan visually the way I can with numbers. I enjoy gardens but I can not envision gardens.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Good job on the yard work and I thought your idea of exercising for a purpose, i.e. lawn work made lots of sense. Just don't overdo and make yourself miserable.

    If nothing else, I would say the $40 at least gave you a chance to get someone else's view of your finances, and even if it was a sales pitch, you can always say no.

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