Looking for some guidance for friends

Remember the friends of mine sold their house here in southern California, moved to the middle of nowhere Utah and bought a mcMansion (which they paid cash for), with the leftover house-to-house money, chose to buy all new furniture for the mcMansion instead of paying off all the rest of their debt.

So it’s not really a surprise (to me anyway) that a year later, they are in as bad a shape as they were when they were living in California.

Good news: He’s old enough that he is drawing about $2100 in Social Security benefits. Bad news: she’s (50) ill enough on a regular basis that she can’t work (not that there is work to be had in middle of nowhere, Utah.)

She just emailed me asking about DR, and what to do (etc). Her DH wants to take out a HELOC on the paid-for house, “combine” all the debt, which allegedly will reduce their monthly outgo, and everything will be peachy, what do I think?

I asked her to send me her income/expenses (below), total debt (which actually, is not that much.) The problem as I see it is actually not their debt (although the car is a big one) it’s their living expenses, which at best, are not going to get worse.

When she is/was able to work, she ran a screen printing business out of her home.

So far I have advised or asked the following:

1. Work on getting certified as disabled. The reality is that she IS disabled, and getting certified as such will (a) bring $700 income in to the house (b) more importantly, qualify her for medicaid which (c) will cover her medications. Doctor visits and medications are running about $300 a month.

2. I asked what she was willing to sell. (not could sell, WILLING to.) A year ago, (so I don’t know if it’s still true) they had 2 or 3 dirt bikes, a big hauling trailer, the truck (paid for) to haul it all, I think they might have had an ATV too. I can’t remember.

THEN of course, they didn’t want to part with them because their non-contributory kids DESERVED to have fun. Now that the well has run dry, those same kids have all moved on, so there’s no reason to keep the dirt bikes (and ATV) for SURE.

I went over all this with them when they moved and could have paid everything off (they have $17k in car debt, $5k in CC debt). Gave them TMMO (which they have not read.)

DR says money problems are 80% behavior and 20% financial. It’s true.

Anything else I should mention to them? I pretty know they’re going to just take out a HELOC because that’s going to solve all their problems (so they say.)

I have used since it first came out Family Treemaker

in fact we just did the latest upgrade. I like it for it’s simplicity in how you can add your source codes in, put in as little or as much as you want on the notes pages, how it warns you if you are putting in a possible error (like same last name, Mom too young/old etc) and many other things.

I know that it can seem daunting at first to newbies, but it really is a simple program to run (or I couldn’t do it for certain) and the various charts, maps and such you can create with it are great for sharing photos. I send geds to family members often and even large ones take very little time to send (except to one niece who is on a system that the old Juno accounts ran faster than).

The are also various forums you can talk on about the ins and outs.

Not to mention it works in conjunction with ancestry by suggesting files (as shown on the commercials) that might be your family member.

I also like that if I find, say a census of that family member on ancestry (which I’ve never paid for, I take advantage of their free days or go to my library where it’s always free) I can tell it to place it in my file and it will add that census record in my sources with a “photo” of the record.

You can also add such items and other media files from other sources to it. What can I say I’m a big source freak! I want everything documented—Just got a GREAT email on a dead end line that had DNA resorts that took that line from 1850 back to 1625! Those records verified the line I thought it was.

Like I said I just upgraded my FTM and have not worked a lot with it, except to enter that DNA info, but the new functions I have used are wonderful. I believe you can download a free trial of it as well, it’s put out by Broderbund.

Thank you for the reference Mark

I downloaded the free version, and it does look simpler to use than Ancestral Quest, even with all the colors and shading. One of the reasons I liked the Ohana products so much besides their seamless integration was that they kept the “visuals” minimal (colors, shading etc.) I have a hard time reading through a lot of color…Roots Magic has improved quite a bit since I saw it last (ok, it’s been a decade).

Fingers crossed that it will get the job done!! 🙂