On Friday, January 18, 2013, The Wife’s grandmother passed away.  She died while we were closing on our new home and no one called us to tell us until hours after to let us have a good memory of that day.  She was 92 years old and up to her last moments was sharp as a tack.  I am only writing about it now because her funeral was a couple of days ago (Monday the 28th).  She was a lot of fun to just sit and talk to since she loved to tell stories and I am not sure if it was because of my interests or hers but she loved to talk about personal finance issues.

She lived by the basics and was very comfortable in telling you that is how you should live your life:

  • Don’t carry credit card debt
  • Don’t spend more than you earn
  • Don’t buy wasteful garbage
  • Don’t eat out a lot
  • Be happy with your Spouse – She was married 66 years before The Wife’s Grandfather died 6 years ago (to the week!).

In terms of finances what did it get her and her husband who share a HS Diploma between the two of them?

  • Both of her children graduated college debt free
  • Spent enough time volunteering at her church to make her basically a legend there
  • Paid for the assisted care facility she wanted as opposed to being forced into a Medicare/Medicaid bed somewhere
  • Both her and her husband were retired for 20+ Years (her 30+ years) before passing away
  • During that retirement they spent countless weeks with her grandchildren
  • Gifted an impressive sum of money to all 5 grandchildren during their lifetime so they could see how it was used (a good portion was used for the down payment in our first home).
  • Bought her house mortgage free I think in the early 50’s and she lived there for the next 4 or so decades until she needed a little bit more help with day to day activities

She is going to be missed, but it is my hope she is in a much better place with her Husband.  The world lost a great personal finance role model this month.

Funny money side story that she talked about until late into her years: When she was in her 20s or 30s she worked at IBM and her manager at the time convinced her to invest in US Bonds during the war instead of IBM stock!