Good Vibrations

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 09 Dec 2018, 14:50

No need to apologize for running long on a post. Most of what you have to say is pretty interesting and good reading. In this instance I empathize with you because my wife worked in the insurance industry all her professional life. At one point it was her job to facilitate mergers of insurance companies. She was responsible for fixing problems such as the one you describe, but only on a corporate level. What is most surprising is that any of the individual policies in a merged company get transferred correctly at all. LOL

The correct people to solve a problem such as yours would be the Insurance Commissioner of the individual state in which the Insurance Company in question is licensed. They take all complaints seriously and put the insurance company's license on the line if they don't make you happy. Of course you must have a legitimate complaint for any of this to happen. Fear and trepidation run through the veins of any insurance company when they have to deal with the Commissioner's office. Believe me. Some of those final papers you had to sign, most likely, were an agreement that your problem was resolved. The offending insurance company has to present that settlement within a certain amount of time to the Commissioner or be taken over by the state. You did the right thing if that is the course of action you took. So, with the next insurance problem you have, casually mention that you will be discussing the matter with the state Insurance Commissioner next. You won't believe how quickly your problem will be solved. :grin:

I don't know where the Insurance Commissioner gets their information, but as you point out it's very thorough. They are as good as the FBI. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 10 Dec 2018, 12:15

Yes they were. They had more data on those forms, most of what I didn't know what it meant, but I'm sure the insurance company did. They fixed things up pronto after I got their licensing state involved.
My first contact was with the Missouri Department of Insurance, since that is where I bought the policies.
After a few conversations, in the end it turned out I had to talk with the Insurance Division of Iowa, since that is where the HQ of the company who now holds my policies was based.

The sad thing is, the cash out value of the policies are less than the face value.
However, when I croak, the beneficiary will get more than double on most of them, more than triple on the first two, probably because they have been accruing interest or dividends reapplied to the polices for 71 and 65 years respectively.

One thing almost everyone in my family, meaning aunts and uncles too, would buy an insurance policy for each child when they were born. The amount of the policy was what it cost to bury someone, plus about 10 to 20% more. So the owner of the policies were the parents, the child was the insured, and the beneficiary was the parents.
When the cost to bury someone exceeded the face amount of the policy, the parents would buy another policy, for the additional amount they would need, again plus about 10 to 20%.
This is all and well, up until the parents get older, and one or both may die. The insured cannot be named as a beneficiary, but can be named as the new owner, with the parents or surviving parent still listed as the primary beneficiary. Then due to their age, a contingent beneficiary is also added, which could be a funeral home, but not wise to do it that way.
After I was married, mom and dad added my wife's name as a contingent beneficiary on all three policies they owned.
A number of years after dad passed away, and mom moved into a seniors center, she changed two of the three policies, making me the owner and her the beneficiary, but never changed anything else. She forgot about doing one of them. In fact, she forgot about one for each of us kids.
My sister who helped mom with stuff as she neared the end of her life, discovered a lot of things that were left undone.
All she could say was it was a good thing dad was well organized and had almost everything my sister needed to know written down. This is how she learned the policy numbers of those my mom forgot about.
My sister did a lot of the early legwork to get things straightened out, but couldn't do anything with the ones where I was named as the owner, and dropped the ball in my lap.

I will always wonder what would have become of these policies had I not survived my first heart attack?
Who would know I was insured?
The other two policies are ones I obtained myself many years ago and had them paid up long before my first wife took off. I'm just glad, even though we were flooded out twice, and my office was in the basement, I still had a record in a safe deposit box at the bank that contained all kinds of important info. Like policy numbers, etc.
I also had other normal life insurance policies I had to let lapse, the kind you continue to pay for life.
They had no cash value yet, so no biggie. I hadn't paid in that much to worry about it.

At least now everything is taken care of and in proper order, and all the beneficiaries have a copy of each.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 10 Dec 2018, 19:02

As time marches on I am becoming more aware of the need to get things organized for the kids in the event of my departure for this plane. I'm organized and well documented by nature but there are a lot of little details that need fixing. Beneficiaries on certain policies and investments have not been updated because I don't have all the information to do it, i.e., SS numbers for the kids. While I'm taking my time and thinking things over, I wonder why I need to care at all. I'm of the opinion that when I am dead none of my material possessions will be of any use or value to me. In fact I'm not at all positive I will even exist in any form other than potential energy. The wife and kids are well educated and can figure it all out if they really want what's left to my estate. I'm just doing them a favor if I organize it and make it accessible in advance.

The only real incentive is my contempt for the civil jurisdiction in which I live when I die. LOL They get to keep it all if it's not claimed in a timely manner. The unclaimed insurance/investment/bank monies go into a state fund where information regarding unclaimed monies is published. I'm not sure what the statue of limitations is, but after a certain amount of time the unclaimed money goes into the state's general fund. There is a web site somewhere with the list of unclaimed money and people who can claim it. My wife's brother-in-law picked up several thousands of dollars that way from a relative he barely knew. I think it was a case where the beneficiary was not changed by the old goat and the BIL got the benefit due to the oversight. So, if your insurance policies are not cashed in after a certain amount of time, the money goes to the state fund where it will sit until the limitation period runs out. Then the state gets to keep it. Same goes for abandoned real property. The state confiscates it after a time and then gets to keep it if nobody shows up to pay the taxes on it.

The only effort I've made to make life easier for my descendants is the purchase of a fireproof safe. It sits in my basement with all the important papers, including a complete list of all my Internet passwords. There are hundreds of them. I'm pretty sure the safe will survive a house fire but I don't think it is waterproof. Nobody is going to pry it open easily, but moisture gets inside the safe from the humidity in the air. The safe came with one of those moisture absorbing packs to keep the papers dry, which is another reason I suspect it's not waterproof.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 11 Dec 2018, 11:32

I've done basically like you have. We have a fireproof lockbox down at the house, and another up here in the office.
The originals are kept in the house, and copies of same in my office.
Although there are a few duplicate and certified originals in my office as well.
We have all the SS numbers for everyone, birth certificates, etc.
And like you, I have printouts of my passwords with the date each was updated.
Just in case my PDA dies, hi hi.
I no longer use safe deposit boxes in banks. But did keep a lot of things out-state until my brother downsized.
Nevertheless, he still has the HD I used to access on-line filled with important data.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 11 Dec 2018, 13:07

Up north we did not have an in house safe. We kept all the important stuff in a bank vault. It turns out that might not have been as good an idea as it sounds. There is no doubt the safe deposit box would survive a fire, probably even a direct hit by a nuclear missile. However, the bank had one key and my wife and I each had a key. Nobody else would be allowed access without a court order. That sounded good at first, but what happens if we both are extinguished simultaneously? Nobody but the court would be able to get at what the kids would need right away. Plus, the rental fee was exorbitant given what we got for the money. The savings of box rental for around 8-10 years would pay for the safe.

I put the passwords in the safe mostly for my own benefit. Nobody who survives me is going to be interested in the 300-400 doors that those passwords will open. There are financial institutions on that list, but each of my insurance companies can be contacted by phone. Who needs passwords other then a geek like me? I suppose if somebody were to do a biography of my life the list of places I visited might come in handy. Fat chance of that happening.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 12 Dec 2018, 12:36

The only time I had a safe deposit box was to store Red Seal $2.00 bills.
I always figured the Red Seal would increase in value faster than the Green Seal version.
They did, but not fast enough for when I had to sell them all to cover the late wife's medical bills.

I also had several Silver Certificates, but was afraid if I didn't turn them in, they would become like Confederate money. Useless. Had a few Krugerrand also used to pay medical bills.
Seems like no matter how big of a nest egg one builds up, it can be wiped out almost overnight.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 12 Dec 2018, 13:42

There are people who don't need to worry about nest eggs. If they run into situations where they need a lot of medical attention, they get it. If not, they just buy a hospital and occupy the penthouse therein; screw the insurance companies.

You got me thinking about $2 bills now. My dad would drive a lady to work some fifty years ago, and she paid him $2 a week for gasoline. She paid him in $2 bills of which I have a couple dozen in my safe. I never looked to see the color of the seal. It might be a good idea to check it out, or not. I'm never going to cash them in anyway.

Also, I think any silver certificates in existence now are illegal. I recall something to that effect when they changed over to bank notes. The government didn't want to give up any of its precious metals, which they had to do when you cashed in the certificate, so they outlawed them. I kept one and it might be around here someplace, but I doubt it. Haven't seen it in decades.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 13 Dec 2018, 10:11

Yes they did make the illegal for trade, but a few collectors still have them, unfortunately, they have not accrued any true value. They sell for $1.25 to $1.50 is all, and some more rare ones up to $2.00.

Now the Red Seal two dollar bills, if the seal is on the right, it's only worth about 10 to 15 bucks, but if you luck out with some with the Red Seal on the left, they are worth anywhere from 25 to 200 bucks, with an average of around 35 bucks.

By the way $2.00 bills are still printed and still in circulation.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 13 Dec 2018, 12:07

There is some kind of crazy perception in the public's mind regarding $2 bills, and I don't get it. They are indeed being minted every day, from my understanding, but people either hoard them or are afraid to use them. The only place I've seen them exchanged freely is at the race track, and I'm not sure that is still the case. Using $2 bills just makes sense, as does using $1 coins. I don't think I've ever seen a $1 coin in circulation, although I have a few hoarded away with my $2 bills. LOL

I also have a couple silver dollars that are not in too great of a condition. I'm guessing the metal alone is well over the $1 denomination of the coins. When I was a toddler my dad made me a "piggy bank" out of a glass brick block. He cut a slit in the top big enough to accept a silver dollar coin. At one point the block was half full of them. All I have in my hoard now is two or three. I think they are dated in the late 1800's.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 14 Dec 2018, 09:56

I have seven $1.00 coins in my pocket right now. I still use them!

I used to collect coins, but when my son was around 12 he took the coins and used them in vending machines at school.
Many of them were V-Nickels and Liberty Dimes.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 14 Dec 2018, 15:19

I can only recall once being give a $1 coin as change for a purchase. The cashier said nobody wanted them but would gladly give them to me if I would like. I took them and spent them all elsewhere. I know I kept a couple, but I can't say where they are right at this moment. I think this happened when the Susan B Anthony coin was first minted. I see that in today's world it's valued at around $200. Amazing.

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pilvikki
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by pilvikki » 14 Dec 2018, 16:07

ah coins...
hubby had a nice collection in the 70's, face value just over $300, which was a nice bit of cash, as in 2 weeks salary for me.
then the kids discovered it, having been stored in a tacklebox. there were old silver coins, 35 canadian /67 bunnies (why i remember that..?), all pretty much cleaned out.
:eek: :eek: :eek:
mother had a coin/stamp collection given to her by an old man. that was about 1930 with russian coins from the 1700's. grandmother gave them away.
she started another collection, some of which disappeared from my house and which i built up anew.
then my house burnt down.
i had this bee in my bonnet to replace any i could get my hands on, but now i've rather lost interest. it seems a doomed project somehow. go figure. also, the kids used to be interested but now it's all computer this and that. so sad.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 14 Dec 2018, 16:55

Somewhere in the early 50's I took an interest in collecting pennies. I had just about every kind minted, not necessarily in mint condition, for the previous 50 years. Some rare ones, like the 1909 VDB S, were missing. Steel pennies were easy to come by in those days so that I had several of those too. But, alas, I needed some hard cash for something important one day (like a bottle of RC cola) and disposed of the collection rather frivolously.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 15 Dec 2018, 11:30

As a magician, we used the old steel pennies in many of our tricks, after we had them copper plated of course.
You wouldn't believe what all has been done to coins to make them gimmicked for some trick.

When the dollar coin was introduced around 2000, I bought several rolls of them after I started dating a gal in TN.
The coins were not available there yet, so I used them heavily for tips and other small purchases.
It didn't surprise me that so many places did not want to take them, thinking they were fake tokens or something.
But waitresses knew what they were and loved to get their tip in the new gold coins, hi hi.

Now that they are not in heavy circulation, when I present one because I'm out of paper ones, I get the evil eye, and sometimes they say we can't take this instead of a dollar, hi hi.
I was thinking of picking up a few $2.00 bills to give them when they wouldn't take a dollar coin.
Trouble is, the banks now make you buy a whole order of them to get them. If they don't happen to carry them that is.
To get more gold dollars, I have to buy the box that holds several rolls, or they won't order them in for me. That's more money than I can spare right now, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 15 Dec 2018, 12:30

Be it $2 bills or $1 coins, they are all legal tender. It would seem that all banks, being part of the Federal Reserve System, should be required to handle all forms of legal currency. I'm guessing they would if their customers were demanding said oddities. I don't think I'd go out of my way to get a load of dollar coins, but I certainly would have no problem using them freely. Same goes for the 50¢ coin. Whatever happened to those? LOL I think the real answer lies in the vending machine industry. They refuse to handle dollar coins or half dollar coins. Also, like the copper in the penny, the silver in the half dollar is worth more than the face value of the coin. Who would want to give that away if they had one?

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 16 Dec 2018, 11:00

My brother was in the vending business for many years.
Coin receptors used in gaming machines could handle 50 cent pieces, but the weight of the coin did cause excessive wear to the mechanism, which is why they were not used in pinball, video, or vending machines, which often used plastic coin receptors.

When I was working in the plumbing industry, we hoarded copper pennies for making plumbing repairs.
For one simple reason. A small repair saddle cost around 18 cents and a penny 1 cent.

I'm sure you remember the Penny Ford Gumball Machines. Their excellent design made them work flawlessly, as long as only Ford branded gumballs were used in the machines. Charities used to split the income from the machines, until they were no longer profitable, and other machines began taking their place.
It would have been simple to convert them to accept dimes, after all, it was for charity. But folks would not pay a dime for a single gumball. Ironically, from a competitor, they would pay a dime for two hollow gumballs.
One of my uncles had a metal working shop, and got a contract from the Lions Club to mill the coin slot and disk to accept a nickel coin. He received a letter from the Ford Gum and Machine Company giving him permission to alter their machines but only for the Lions Club. This turned out to be a most lucrative project for him as well. At first he figured it was just a one time shot, with only about 200 machines to modify. But each time they picked up the 25 or 30 he had finished, they dropped off another 25 to 50 machines. Lions Club also delivered to him a stack of over 1500 new decals for the machines he was renovating for them, and said if he gets close to running out, give them a call for some more.
He now knew there would be at least that many machines to do, so he built special milling jigs to speed up the process.
After about two years of making these conversions for the Lions Club, Ford, who owned the machines, said he could do no more for them. Apparently Ford was selling out to another company who was taking possession of all of all the machines.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 16 Dec 2018, 13:38

You and your family have been involved with some very interesting projects over the years. While many of my uncles were involved with engineering and machining, it seems their specialty was mediocrity. LOL They all worked for somebody else. I think that's the reason nothing spectacular happened.

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 17 Dec 2018, 11:55

Interesting. My family is quite the opposite. I guess it is how we were raised and taught?
That being said, things are lot different these days than they were when I was growing up, or my parents were growing up.

I worked for several large companies right out of high school, but still had my job at the family owned business, which dad always pushed me to keep one foot in the door. Also, due to the nature of the business, almost all of our relatives came to work there on the holidays.

Naturally, our great-grand parents, and perhaps our grandparents, main goal was to afford a farm of their own.
I know my great-grandfather cracked rock with a sledge hammer for road building for 12-1/2 cents per day working ten hour days until he saved up enough to get a small farm. Once they had a farm, they could earn a lot selling produce, and buy more farmland.
My grandfather, while working on his fathers farm, became interested in flowers, and there came a point in time when people were buying more of his flowers than produce. So in 1913 he changed the sign from The Wayside Market to The Wayside Florist. We never became rich, but the business provided an income for nearly every family member for 71 years, when due to political problems in our city, we decided to close in 1984.

One other thing, when you are raised in a family of business owners, your playmates are also usually area business owners children. So we all thought alike, and worked hard because it was expected of us.
There was a sharp contrast between the kids of business owners, vs the kids of blue and white collar workers. Not that we were any better than they as for as being a person, but the type of activities they joined in were different than our own.
Also, living in a small town, if you did anything inappropriate, it would get back to your parents before you could make it back home yourself. The punishments we had back then were great deterrents in deflecting association with bad behavior and those involved.

Even in a family owned business, there is only the owners and the workers, even though you might be the owners son, you are still just an employee, but one held at a higher work ethic than everyone else. More is expected of us, which in a few cases is why the kids went to work elsewhere, including myself for a time.
Once you do become a manager or supervisor, it is almost impossible to go back to being an employee, or working for anyone else. This could be why so many chose to start their own businesses. Many failed, some succeeded.
In today's marketplace, it is almost impossible to start your own business. Too many laws and restrictions that take big bucks to comply with, something start-up businesses don't have access to.

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yogi
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by yogi » 17 Dec 2018, 15:25

Well I don't know about today's world being unfriendly to start-up companies. Jobs and Wasniac started up Apple computer from a garage. Bill Gates didn't own diddly squat but had a great vision and good business sense to carry it through. Even Zuckerberg invented Facebook in his college dorm. Perhaps these guys are not of the same generation of which you speak, but I think there still is a lot of opportunity for the small guy if he is clever enough to follow through on it.

You are absolutely correct about our families having different origins. At least you know what your origins are. All I know is that my grandparents immigrated here from Poland. Grandpa on dad's side had a farm in rural Illinois which we visited from time to time. He rented out the land and didn't work it himself. Now that I think about it, that was pretty clever. LOL But, that's about all I know of my heritage. I don't even know what my mom's dad did when he arrived here. Perhaps I did at one time, but he was long gone by the time I arrived.

You know the old saw about "birds of a feather..." I'm certain that applies to all levels of a society. Whatever the social structures are, they become reinforced by association with peers on a like level. That phenomena explains why indigent people tend to remain that way. Be that all as it may, there are no social restrictions that I know of to stop an individual from accomplishing great things in this country. Well, unless you happen to have dark skin. :sad:

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Kellemora
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Re: Good Vibrations

Post by Kellemora » 18 Dec 2018, 12:36

With enough ambition and drive, yes, someone could start and build a business, if he can stay under the governments radar long enough to make enough of a success he can then convert to doing it above board.

The first of two products I quit manufacturing had more to do with shipping regulations that made no sense whatsoever.
I purchased two ingredient, both were shipped in bulk, both were in flimsy packaging, and had no safeguards concerning the undiluted hazardous chemicals contained therein. No Hazmat markings of any kind on the flimsy boxes. One was a concentrated acid, and the other a concentrated base.

My product shipped a diluted mixture of each ingredient, both bottles in the same sturdy carton, and if the carton got crushed, the combination of ingredients were pH neutral. Yet I had to have a Hazmat license, and labeling to ship my safe product. Why? The packaging contained a plastic bag, two absorbent pads, and the carton itself you could stand and jump up and down on. It passed every packaging test at four to five times the then test requirements. FWIW, the cost of the packaging alone was double the cost of the product it held.
Quite a contrast to how I received the products from the manufacturers.

The second product I stopped making because I could not buy the individual ingredients without certain licenses which pertained to those specific ingredients. I could still buy different groups of pre-blended ingredients for ten times the price, which came close enough to my formula after diluting those blended ingredients. Nevertheless, most of the other ingredients I still had to buy in large quantities, even though I may use less than a gram divided among 48 bottles. Some of those ingredients are illegal to store in a residential area, although most of them are contained in things you buy everyday, such as a bottle of vitamins. Heck, half the cleaning products stuck under your sink are more hazardous than any of the ingredients I used in my products which were safe for delicate reef animals.

You cannot make pretzels to sell on a street corner without having a licensed and inspected food service facility, and a vending license to sell on the street, etc. Famous Amos could never get off the ground under today's laws!

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