Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being a Grown-Up

Tomorrow morning a nurse is coming to our house to draw blood, take our blood pressure, get a urine sample, and ask a lot of very invasive questions all in the name of life insurance. Yes, we are finally acting like responsible parents and insuring ourselves against future tragedy. Right now if we were to die Landon would inherit a house that is almost all mortgage, two big dogs with even bigger appetites, and a savings account with barely enough to keep him in diapers for a year. After tomorrow he would be a multi-millionaire, though until we ground him for staying out too late on a school night I'm pretty sure he prefers us alive and well and nagging him to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD eat something besides Cheerios.

As part of this "how big is the risk that we'll actually have to pay out this money before the policy expires in 30 years" process, I was given several pointers from our broker for making sure my blood and urine results were as "accurate" as possible. These include: no alcohol for 48 hours, limit salt, cholesterol, and caffeine for 24 hours, fast for 8-10 hours, drink plenty of water, and get 8 hours of sleep the night before the exam. I think if I followed these rules every day I really would be less of a risk- they stopped me from eating so many unhealthy things today (well, I did have french fries at lunch, but who can resist french fries with a turkey wrap? I cannot. And they were delicious- all plump and seasoned and doused in ketchup, mmmmmm). We're hoping to get the Super Preferred status, it's so much cheaper, so I really did try to follow the rules, though I'm greatly missing my little "Landon's in bed and I can sit down for the first time since I've gotten home" glass of red wine.

In other grown-up news, we're also (finally) making a will. The Firm has a program where an associate in the Trusts & Estates group does your will and estate plan free of charge. It's been a surprisingly difficult process. There isn't any estate to plan, we currently have negative wealth, other than the pending life insurance policies, but choosing an executor and guardian and back-up guardian for Landon and future children was tough. But these decisions must be made, and if it's this hard for us to choose, I certainly don't want anyone else deciding for us.

And since I was flush from all these other grown-up activities, I decided to start our taxes today. JP has done them since we were married, but he's even busier than I am and I'm the one who really cares about the refund total- I have plans for that money. I didn't get very far, but I hope to finish this weekend.

So now I have a house, a husband, a child, a mortgage, a job, a will, a life insurance policy, my own turbo tax user ID, and hair curlers I kind of know how to use- and yet I still don't feel like a full grown-up because I can't choke down coffee in the morning. It's like some strange caffeinated version of an inferiority complex, but I swear that someday I'll be one of the cool kids gripping my coffee mug like it's a life preserver at our 8:00 a.m. meetings


  1. you get refunds? i guess with a kid and a mortgage you will. i'm jealous!

    way cool program that the firm does your will!

  2. wow- you have been super productive in the land of the grown ups! I need to get on some of those things too...maybe when i get a job (proctastination!).

  3. Ah, Lag Liv, you have not heard my rant against refunds, have you?? People! A refund is an interest free loan to the government! Personally, I love to owe just a little.

    That is all. As you were.

    P.S. Even as a SAHM, I still cling to a mug o' coffee every morning. YUM.

  4. It's true Cagey, but this year our withholdings were a mess because neither of us held a job for a full year, so we were withheld at a higher rate than we really should have been, especially given that we had 4 months with no income at all. And while I plan to adjust our taxes for the next year, part of me does love the big check in March- I don't think we would have put that much aside if I got paid the little extra each month.

    But yeah, interest free loan, JP likes to tell me that too ;)

  5. "I don't think we would have put that much aside if I got paid the little extra each month."

    Automatic debits!! Sorry, I'm turning into a crotchety personal finance harpy, too. I actually debit a miniscule $15 a month into Becca's 529 (it's really just there for family donations), and practically every month I do this thing where I see it on my statement, forget what it was, check, and then am happy I set that up.

    We're going to owe like $45,000 this year, But that's because of the Jeopardy money, so who can complain? And I put the tax fund in a money market account and we made $1000 in interest! See, it works :)

    Also - multimillionare? Nice. Clearly you got a much fancier policy than we did.

  6. Wow, you sound all kinds of grown up with your life insurance, will and Turbo Tax even if you don't feel like it. I still don't really feel like a grownup either. My husband did get life insurance this summer so that was good but we don't have a will. I totally would do one if I could get someone to do it for free though. I have been working on gathering my tax stuff all week so I can do them this weekend. They get more and more complicated every year with all this grownup stuff like investments and childcare credits, etc. Thank goodness for TurboTax.

  7. Wow, you are so impressive! This is the first year we won't be getting a refund and it's kind of perfect timing since CA will just be handing out I-O-Us anyway. It's also the first year we hired an accountant to do our taxes... with four W4s and a 1099, we thought it might be worth it to avoid the headache. Now if he can just magically qualify us for the child tax credit or the tuition credit, we'll be golden!

    Also, how does anyone ever decide guardianship? That's the main reason I haven't made a will. If you come up with any good pointers, let us know!

  8. Such an adult! Im impressed. I really need to do a will. My husband has one and life insurance, but I have SOO got to get my act together on that front.

  9. We JUST got life insurance too. Such delinquent parents. (Sounds like you got a lot more than we did, though. We're kind of betting that we won't die soon. Plus, ours is just a 10 year term.)

  10. Perfect article, one of the best "client's confession" I have ever read :) I hope you will be satisfied with your policy and I think both you and your insurer will be happy to reach the 30 year limit!
    Medical examination can be sometimes pretty ...invasive, but i guess it's worth those few thousands $$ which will be saved!
    Best wishes!