Due to a thoughtful family decision, hubby and I are beneficiaries of a generous retirement, doled out in monthly payments. The only stipulation was that we don't actually get it until another family member doesn't need it any more. As we're not in a hurry to use it for that very reason, we've tried not to panic these past few years at the impact an entire extra paper-only salary has made on our already shaky financial state.
The biggest targets have been financial aid for college (so long, 'needy' grants) and - gulp - taxes.
We're very fortunate that the current actual recipient is understanding and has insisted on paying the taxes owed because of the retirement. What we haven't shared - and won't - is that not only are we having to PAY now, we've lost what used to be substantial refunds... which we've always needed to plunk down on essentials. You know, food and stuff. We counted on those refunds as a chance to catch up. This year, the impact of the retirement (amount we would have gotten plus the amount we owe) is over $5000.
Before I had a chance to regroup from the CPA's horrifying chart regarding the damages for 2010, she very tentatively showed me the projection for 2011... the year we lose two deductions at once and the college credit. And if we 'settle' on any credit cards, our souvenir will be a 1099 to share with Uncle Sam.
I haven't recovered from those numbers yet.
Meanwhile, I've found a state assistance program that looks promising. I'll report when I learn more.
Meanwhile, part two, I'll see if Sarah has another little spoon handy. Because I will need it.