I was listening to the podcast today –

not sure which day it was from, but within the last week – and DR was saying they never could hire enough web folks, he was putting out a call. Wonder if they need IT people too? You’ve got a lot of folks here who can vouch for how much you care about the cause!

We are using Quicken

and we’ve gotten pretty comfy with using it for household spending. I even found, and spent some time building, a spending budget in Quicken which very closely resembles the DR zero-based budget. If everything were to remain the same, we’d build our planning budget in Excel, then compare how we did by downloading our spending through the month, which will auto-populate the Quicken version of the same budget, then compare side by side.

But not all things have stayed the same RTloans.com — quick cash loans. I hear tell that Quicken 2015 made a lot of changes, and some folks are saying it’s not as good as previous versions? I’d very much like to hear what changed. There have also been complaints about the 2014 version supposedly having a small business portion of the software, which none of the books explained very well and is hard to use. I have been debating upgrading to 2017, on the hopes that the small biz portion would be improved. But I don’t want to lose what works in the 2014 version. Anyone care to shed some light on how the two compare side by side? Thanks!

Hey Maria, I did contact one of the grower’s lists

and not only got two referrals to other agents that might be able to help, but also got confirmation that Nationwide is still writing policies for farms like ours. So now the question is “why not us?” I have told the agent that either the underwriter can fix this now, or I’m getting the WA Insurance Commissioner involved. If they had complained about stuff we were definitely selling and planned to continue to sell, and had a definite exposure risk for them (and let’s face it, some ag products are riskier than others), then I could understand. If they warned us that they’d drop us for this-or-that specific product because of changing regs or risks, and gave us time to decide whether to modify our operations to close the offending income stream, I could have even worked with that. But the way this whole thing was handled just stinks to me that something else is going on. I was definitely shell-shocked for a little while there but now I’m on a mission. Whatever the motivation, they’ll very soon be feeling like a bug under a microscope. Maybe they have justified reasons but soon they’ll have to explain that to folks with a lot more clout than me.

As for the suggestions for Dave-recommended insurance agencies, I hadn’t thought of that but I will look for that on his website. Thanks for the idea. I’m still mad, but now I’m calming down a little bit. I was mainly concerned that we have our hogs going to market in April and we wouldn’t get something turned around in time. Now I have some options. Thanks everyone – y’all are the greatest.

I know how frustrating that is for you

I’d be willing to bet the change in policy has to do with some knew government regulation. I know that is what pushed us out of the poultry business. You definitely cannot afford to run without insurance, that is asking for Murphy to move in your attic and “raining” down on you.
I am certain you have already checked with all the various Farm Bureau policies. How about the swine producers network? Or wool producers network? Or any other such farm production folks. Have you queried all the lists?
Also check with the company as to what it would take to “comply” it might be something as simple as a food handler’s permit—that happened to one local farmer I know. Or it could be you have to have a certain type of inspection x times a year. You’ve already done so much to be qualified as certified organic there has to be a way around this.
If the insurance company won’t cover you ask them if they know who would. Also contact your State Insurance Commissioner to find out what type of policy you would need to get and who you would need to get it from.

We just got word that we might lose our insurance coverage for the farm

This was after shopping extensively for farm coverage, and being turned down left and right because insurance companies don’t want to mess with food safety issues so they simply don’t cover farms anymore. We thought we’d finally found a company that would be around awhile, but late yesterday afternoon we got the call from our agent, who is as surprised and angry as we were, that we might be dropped like the proverbial hot potato. I’m really not sure what to make of this new development. If we run without coverage, and something goes wrong, we lose everything because we have to pay out of pocket. If, on the other hand, we trim down our operation to what will fit within their new guidelines, we’ll effectively gut the farm. I can actually understand if they find meats or milk or eggs too risky. But they listed as reasons to deny coverage:
1) the fact that we have sheep and harvest wool from the sheep (um, people don’t eat wool???)
2) we sell books through Amazon.com on our website (I’m totally lost on why that is a risk)
3) we sell meats for ANIMAL consumption, which the federal government doesn’t even regulate

I understand all too well

My dad is on kidney dialysis and I was going to be a kidney donor for him until we learned it could very easily create some additional health issues for both me and for him, at which point we both said no, this isn’t the answer. But he’s tied to that machine now 3x a week, for 4hrs each time. To say his kidney failure has rocked their world is a major understatement. Mom has recently been diagnosed with PTSD which (and I’m trying to be gentle here) has simply become the latest crutch. They are both on multiple medications, some of which might be justified but some of which I suspect are not. And Dad had some business losses in recent years which ate up their savings; a lot of their supposedly very safe investments dropped dramatically with the downturn because most of them were real estate. Their “upper middle class” lifestyle with multiple homes and multiple vehicles and multiple investment accounts has eroded down by a lot, over a very short span of time. I have heard my mother use the word “broke” more times in the last year than in the entire history of my growing up in that house. So the health and financial issues are definitely there. And yes, they’re in that same 70-75 age bracket.

As for others to help, it’s an odd thing but even with siblings, there’s no guarantee they’re going to help. I was it for a long, long time. My two stepbrothers (I call him my Dad but he’s my stepdad), live in a different state, and were never around when the folks needed help. My natural brother also lives in a different state, and is very family oriented but he has three young kids at home. So his “family oriented” was with his own immediate family. I was always the helper, and particularly since we didn’t have kids we were always the ones to travel there for whatever reason. When my mom fell and broke her ankle, I was the one who got the call from the emergency room to drop everything and fly home because she needed me. When my dad went into his first kidney-disease crash-n-burn, I was the one who got the call from emergency room that I had to drop everything and fly home to help Mom take care of him. Those events both happened after we had stopped flying home ourselves, because the farm had become big enough to need our attention by then. So travel at that point was already very expensive and complicated for us; it has only gotten more so since then. Yet the calls have continued to come in at a steady pace. “Mom is suicidal. Come home.” “Dad is at death’s door. Come home.” “Mom has gone missing, we’re not sure where she is. Come home.” “Dad really needs you right now because the doctors aren’t sure if dialysis is going to work. Come home.” Even I could eventually see that pattern emerging. They always miraculously lived through whatever crisis was at hand, but by golly a few months later, another crisis came along. I could set my clock by it.

One of the things we’ve discovered with family, particularly with family facing both health and financial issues, is that there is a LOT of public assistance out there, and no I don’t mean Welfare. There are non-profit groups who help with utility bills, who help with construction, renovation and repair tasks. Who pick up seniors to get them to their doctors’ appointments if/when they can’t drive. There are church groups who will assign a family in need to a group of people, who then take turns baking and cleaning and running errands, so that no one person is tasked with doing too much. So on and so forth. Help is available for folks in any urban area; even in rural areas there are groups who can provide at least some assistance. But what we’ve also found, and I’m still fighting this with my folks, is that they’re too proud to accept that help. But they’re ready, willing and able to pick up the phone, tell me to drop whatever I’m doing to run my very complex and demanding business, and fly home to fix drama-du-jour. Mom once texted me that she was having issues with her DSL connection, and I should fly home to fix it. Because apparently I’m the only one on the planet who can. Finally, I said No, I’ve had enough.

I can understand the value in venting about a situation that you do have under control, but don’t like. I can also understand venting about a situation that you don’t have under control, and you’re not sure what to do about it. I wasn’t sure from your original post which way it was for your particular situation. It does sound like you have the circus under control, for the moment, but you’re trying to figure out if it’s always going to be this way. I would encourage you to Google the term “caretaker syndrome”, and see if you see yourself reflected in what you read. I suspect you will (I sure as heck did). I would then encourage you to seek out alternative ways to provide for your Mom’s needs, both financial and household, and make good use of them. Some of your tax dollars are going to pay for those services; make the most of them. Even non-tax-supported assistance is better than trying to carry all the responsibility of two lives. I’ll bet you already have a pretty good list of things to do just for your own life.

I can guarantee that this latest round of drama will come and go. It always does. But what happens with these situations is that it never stops. There’s always some drama, because that’s how that relationship has evolved over time – the drama feeds the relationship so the relationship creates the drama. If and when you’re ready to get off that bus, there are ways to do so. Until then, I do hope you’re able to get some time for yourself so that you can attend to your own needs, whatever they are. Hang in there, explore your options (and hers), and see if a few of them fit well enough that you can start to turn over the maintenance tasks to someone else. Then you and she can have a relationship based on respect and love, rather than need and guilt. That’s what I’m aiming for with my folks. Still working on it, but it’s better than it was.

Hang in there

One day at a time. We too have a hefty tax bill to the tune of $25K on our business last year. We are making payments to the state and fed for around $775/month.
I wasn’t financially smart enough or dedicated enough or disciplined enough to put away enough for our taxes again this year. Hoping the bill for this one is less than 13k.
For 2013, I’ve decided that I don’t have the discipline to save up myself, so I’ve changed our withholdings from 5 to 2 and added a voluntary extra $100 to state and fed out of each paycheck. In addition, I’ve also started paying more on our paychecks and less on draw/dividends in hopes that all the extra tax paid will save us from having to pay at all in 2013!
Keep at it, eventually you will get one thing completed and you will feel a sense of accomplishment which will fire you up to keep go ing!

We have a payment plan w/IRS if $250 per mo

Just for the origional $12,000 (+ fees, penalties & interest ) equals approximately $14,500. This is NOT including the new $2900.
Mom is 75, in poor health & on a very fixed income. I’m an only child so I’m it. No family to help her, or me for that matter. I know you understand the emotional & psychological baggage that comes with this. The guilt trips are never ending . She has watched all my kids “no $ charge ” forever and I feel obligated. Blah, blah, blah…
My GOAL is to get her flipping house done so she can move into it and stop paying $535 rent and:
1) start paying on the loan we have at the credit union ($254 mo for building supplies and a new furnace for it )
2) start paying the $250 IRS bill
3) start paying the prop taxes & insurance on the property.
That has been an ongoing battle /nightmare! Plumber is coming tomorrow to finish the installation of bathroom plumbing & run the gas line for the kitchen stove. After the plumbing is done, the $$$ out is going to be minimal. Maybe another $1000 total.
It’s just hard to put in the man hours when we both work full time an have a 3 yr old daughter & a 10 yr old son with aspergers Syndrome at home.
Ok. Finished whining! Lol.
Thanks for the support. It helps.

John, I’m so sorry this is still flaring for you

Maybe we as a group can send YOU the Pollyanna pills this time ’round? Hugs to you and to Cyndi. Family life just gets so rotten sometimes. We love them so we want to help them, then they turn on us when we do the single best thing possible for them. Hang in there for both of you, as best you can.

Quite frankly your dm needs to help with those taxes

I know, I know it will be hard to face her on this issue, believe me I know. But for your own salvation you must. You are in this mess because you tried to help her avoid paying certain fees and now you are in a pickle. She created the mess, she needs to help fix it.
Like Kathryn we’ve been the savior right up until we said “No more.” Everyone loved us as long as we were paying their bills and handing out money. When we took over dmil’s finances she had been served with an eviction notice from her senior income building, had over $1,000 in hot check charges in a month and much more. For six years we covered her hot checks, paid her bills, purchased her eye glasses, purchased all her groceries and medicines and much more.
Then sil decided that she wanted dmil’s ss check and went behind our backs to take that over for herself. When that happened we informed them in writing we would NOT be paying any more toward dmil’s future because we knew exactly what would happen when sil did this. We also started sending dmil a monthly bill for a small token payment on the over $64,000 she owes us. The plan was we would put that money back for any future real emergencies she might have. To date we’ve had not a word or penny from them and it’s been 18 months.
Immediately like Kathryn we became the pariah of the family. Siblings were told by sil we had taken dmil’s truck and fifth wheel without paying her for it (we paid $18,000 and have the receipts to show it—sil has actually seen that paperwork and still lies about it). That we took $11,000 of dmil’s brokerage account—sil has seen the brokerage paperwork that shows dmil took it herself and spent it on that exact same sil, That we forced her to take out insurance policies to benefit us—the single policy that was to benefit us was taken out in 1992 by dfil who died in 1999, we didn’t even know about it until we started paying dmil’s bills. The burial policy we have canceled check from OUR checking account that shows we paid for it and the policy states it is strictly for her burial that there will be no additional funds. And the list goes on and on.
We’ve been called everything from the ruination of the family to the devil incarnate. But guess what we survived and when this last week we discovered that not only were those family members back to using the charge cards that dh and I went in debt to help pay off but within a three week period they spent over $10,000 on at least one of the charge cards. They’ve cashed out the life insurance policy we had been paying for dmil’s additional future burial expenses that the burial policy won’t cover that was in dh’s name and much more. While doing this the sil that is doing it has gotten on facebook and told the world that we took advantage of her mother. She has told the world so many lies about us in writing that we could hit her with a serious defamation of character lawsuit. However, we have decided, at this point, to not do so. It’s just not our way. The other siblings that believed the sil are starting to see everything we warned would happen have already happened, but no apologies have came our way. They never will, but we have came to grips with that. Dh and I’ve decided that taking that first step to stop shelling out money for other people’s problems was hard, but so worth it.
Eventually sil will crash and burn and we will let her, we have to because until everyone quits bailing her out she will never take responsibility for her own actions. We have to let that happened, because no matter how angry dh is with his sister he still loves her and he now sees the only way he can truly help her is to let her hit the bottom hard.
We instead continue to battle through to pay off the debt we incurred for dmil and when (hopefully not for a very long time) she passes and the sil is looking around for money not a penny will come from us.

What’s done is done, so don’t beat yourself up over it

You know what you need to do, and in time you’ll do what you have to do. Being “fed up” or “stressed” is a powerful motivator sometimes toward us making positive changes in our futures. Have you talked to the IRS about payment plans for your outstanding balances?
Hugs for you, things will look brighter soon.