Preserving Your Assets is Like Canning on the Farm

Aug 9th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Preserving your assets is like canning on the farm.  Some, born before 1960, may remember their parents or grandparents, living on a farm, or in town with a large backyard garden, canning fruits and vegetables during and at the end of every growing season. My grandmother referred to canning as “putting up” food for the winter.  It would be prepared carefully in Ball or Knox jars and closeted away in a large pantry or storm cellar or the basement.  It was security for the winter, for bad times, for economic downturns, and for having  good food on a continuing and regular basis, until the next season rolled around.

Little of that is done anymore.  There are still some in certain more rural and good growing climates where it is practiced. The food is always delicious.  One of my favorites was canned tomatoes.  How wonderful to sit on the porch and consume an entire jar. 

Today, with fewer family farms and limited garden space, one sees little of this kind of thing.  But it speaks to us nonetheless, asking what can we do now to preserve our assets, however they are defined, earned, accumulated? Surely, the old “coffee can in the backyard,” routine is not an advised one.  Recently a well meaning relative bought a new mattress for her mother, threw out the old one, only later to find that it had been packed with thousands of dollars!  No FDIC protection there.

Even with canning, a sudden hard freeze could crack the bottles if there weren’t some temperature control.  If kept too long, the food can spoil.  So, as on the farm, the methods available to protect and preserve your assets today are fraught with risks and surprises.

Evaluating your options includes, in this economic jungle of vipers and snakes, identifying someone or some firm that is trustworthy.  That is a tall order.  Investments are like pie crusts, made to be broken, it seems. There are, however, worthy financial managers, with long and solid reputations who can be counted on to help you preserve your assets. There are, in most communities, ways to make a little on your investments today without risking throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  There are, if you are willing to do some careful research and examination, organizations which are worth their salt and will preserve yours’.

Keeping track of the condition of your preserved resources needs to be a frequent routine.  Do not expect that everything you leave in an asset plan will be the way you expect it when you return.  Keep tabs, make calls, let your broker or whomever know that you are alert to and watching carefully their management.  The rule is: No  sudden surprises. 

Be sure to avoid Shylocks and other quickie investment types who have the “deal of a lifetime” just waiting for you.  I got an email from a so called banker the other day giving me a chance to get in on a $24million deal.  No thanks. 

Just as our parents or grandparents were using good judgment in putting away their resources, so we need to consider how best to put away ours.  Look, seek, find, be sure and then sleep well at night!



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  1. Very interesting and amusing subject. I read with great pleasure.

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