Who’s On First?

USA Abbott and Costello postage stamp  If you are my age you remember this comedy routine performed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello as it made its way to late night television and TBS a number of times during the 1970’s. Additionally, a board game with the same name was also released around this time. First performed in 1938 this routine was based on a fictional baseball team in which the players were named Who, What, I don’t Know, Why, Because, Tomorrow, Today and I don’t Care. If you can and could follow the relationship of the players to one another throughout the skit you are better than me.  Continue reading

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D-Day, The 6th of June

Monument Juno Beach Today marks the 73d anniversary of Operation Overlord which was the invasion of Normandy that helped lead to the ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany. The veterans we have left from this war are all in their nineties, with a few exceptions, and within another decade they will all be gone. What few know is the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, had some doubts as to whether the invasion would succeed. And while 73 years later this fear may seem unfounded, we must remember the Allies had suffered a significant defeat at Dieppe in which the Germans repulsed with heavy losses a raid against the French coast. Accordingly, General Eisenhower penned the following in the event the Allied landings failed:  Continue reading

“Cause You Know Words Sometimes Have Two Meanings”

Navajo petroglyph panel in Largo Canyon, New Mexico

Last week my wife and I celebrated 36 years of marriage, and we toured New Mexico. If there was a sight to see we saw it, or did our best to do. Of particular note we visited a number of Native American sites such as Salmon Ruins, Chimney Rock and Chaco Canyon. At each of these locations are the remains of massive stone buildings built by a people who inhabited the area over a thousand years ago. While we know that some of their descendants inhabit the region today, we do not know much about the people who lived so long ago. Certainly among some of their descendants their memory lives on in oral traditions, but the details about the lives of these ancient peoples are lost to us although researchers are doing their best to make educated inferences as to how they lived. But because of the scanty record there is a healthy debate about who exactly these people were.   Continue reading

Ignorance is Bliss…Not!!!

Old book with feather pen         Thomas Gray penned “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise” in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, written in 1742. Today this phrase has become synonymous with apathy and a carefree attitude. In my mind it takes its place with classics such as, “it’s only a lot of reading if you do it,” or “it only takes a minute if you wait to the last minute.” Each of the phrases represents what I call a lack of situational awareness.  Continue reading

The Times They are a Changin’

Lease agreement document with money on a wood backgroundBob Dylan wrote these lyrics 53 years ago, but I think they are just as relevant today as they were then. If there is one constant in life it is the fact that there will be change. For example, here in Colorado we have legalized marijuana, which in itself violates Federal law. This puts law enforcement and, sometimes, business and property owners in an awkward position.   Continue reading

A Soup Sandwich is Just That

Soggy BreadWell, it’s been some time since my last post; time has a way of getting away from us all, and I am no different. Anyway, when I was in the Army we often used the phrase, “soup sandwich” when referring to troublesome soldiers. A soup sandwich is exactly that: a sandwich over which soup has been poured and the phrase itself denotes a mess. If you have ever tried to pick up bread that has been soaked in water you know exactly what I mean as it is nearly impossible to do so.  Continue reading

How Should I Handle a Mortgage When Divorcing?

I just published this article on my website:

Mortgage concept by money house from the coinsIn addition to dividing assets when getting divorced, couples must also address debts. This means they must choose how to handle mortgages as well as homes.

Divorcing spouses in Colorado who own a home together must generally wrangle with the question of what they will do with their home once divorced. Many people, especially women, have strong emotional ties to their homes. This can make the thought of selling a home very difficult and upsetting.

If young children are involved, concerns about maintaining stability for the kids often contribute to a decision to keep a home. For other people, they prefer to sell a home so as to get more physical and emotional distance from their prior marriages and lives.

Houses and mortgages are not the same

Regardless of what people decide to do with their home, it is important for spouses to remember that making a choice about a home is not the same as making a choice about a mortgage. Conscious and deliberate thought must be given to what should happen to the financial liability associated with a home .

Selling a home

Bankrate explains that among the many options divorcing spouses have, selling a home may be one of the cleanest and least pitfall-ridden from a purely financial perspective. This eliminates any future financial ties regarding the mortgage between spouses once the divorce is over.

If the home’s equity is less than the amount owed on it, a short sale may be required. While this may have some negative credit impact, it again makes a clean break for both spouses.

Sharing the mortgage

If the couple keeps the home even if only one spouse will continue to live in it, they could choose to maintain a joint mortgage. Spouses should be very careful about this arrangement even if a divorce decree specifically states that one spouse is responsible for making the mortgage payments.

If both names are on the mortgage, both people can be held accountable for the debt. Any missed payments or foreclosure can negatively affect both spouses’ credit. According to Time, this is true even if a quitclaim deed transfers ownership of the home to one person only. Again, homes and mortgages are not one in the same.

Refinancing

One person may wish to keep the house and is able to get a new mortgage in his or her name only. This avoids the issues associated with maintaining a joint mortgage and lets the spouse who wants the home have it.

Getting the right guidance

In addition to remembering that homes and mortgages should both be reviewed, decisions about either should not be made in vacuums. Working with an attorney when getting divorced is always recommended so Coloradans can understand their full financial picture with all assets and liabilities viewed together.