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A Very Serious Question


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Earlier this evening I had the chance to sit down with @Grizzly at his place to listen to some music via his beautiful system and we pondered on this topic. I wonder what perspectives fellow members might be able to offer. While everybody gets older, as someone who was born in 1957, and at the risk of sounding morbid, I am acutely aware that I'm not always going to be around. When I go, what is going to happen to my prized audio collection? As it happens, nobody in my family has any interest whatsoever in my hobby. As of now, I would be leaving behind a very tasty Goldmund turntable, an assortment of very tasty valve (and ss) amplifiers, a number of very tasty speakers, not to mention sundry cd players, dacs, exotic cables and assorted gizmos - and not to forget, 1400 vinyl records. Anthony made the point that one's "system" and the very personalised synergy contained therein was significant. He expressed dismay that kindred components could

so easily be thrown to the four winds. I would like to think that my beloved collection continues to provide pleasure long after I'm gone, yet in truth I will be past caring. But critically, I do not want my hobby and its probable dispersion to be a burden on my family. What plans could I or should I be putting in place now? Has anybody given thought to this?

 

Edited by Bisguittin
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I think we have seen enough times on this website now - where a family member has joined to find a good home for such a collection. They may not have had the same appreciation, but have come here in the hope of finding a good home for the equipment rather than just the highest price from other platforms. 

 

Of course, we only see the cases where this has happened.
Too often you do see deceased estates being 'cleared' on Gum-bay though. :(

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As I mentioned last night to the OP, my mother in laws' step father passed a few years back (not a hifi nut but the lesson is the same). His will was solidly written but the difficulty was in clearing out 40 or more years of accumulated "stuff", working out what to do with it and then actually finding a home for it all individually which took a LOT of time and effort. She (MIL) learned a lot from this and recently downsized dramatically, partially to reduce the potential stress and anxiety of dealing with their stuff.

 

My thoughts are that we owe it to our loved ones to make it as simple as possible. Perhaps an easily accessible journal with a few details on each piece and a realistic suggested possible selling price if it is to be cleared to ensure (A) that it isn't given away but also (B) that it isn't difficult to move.

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My solution - and I was born in 1949 so my mortality most definitely taps me on the shoulder from time to time - has been to simplify both my system and my music collection as much as possible.  I have long since ripped all my music to FLAC and have replaced amp/pre/dac/source and most of my cabling with a pair of active speakers (see sig).  I haven't been into vinyl for a long time and I'll be selling off and/or giving away my CDs over the coming months.  My FLAC files and a Qobuz subscription (with Spotify on the side) will provide all the music I'll ever need.  

 

I'm doing the same thing with my DVDs and my book library.  All the DVD's are ripped to .mkv files and archived on HDD.  As for books, I'm keeping a few old friends and selling/giving away the rest.  Kindle and eBooks will provide my future reading.  Netflix/Prime/Stan or whatever will provide my future viewing.

 

When our 83 year old neighbour moved into an old people's home a couple of months ago, we watched her kids and grandkids spend many days clearing the house and sheds of many decades worth of accumulated "stuff" of all descriptions.  They could never get the old dear to do it while she still lived in the house and every time they tried to do it for her, she couldn't bring herself to give any of it up.

 

It's true, you can't take ANY OF it with you.  Much better and more considerate to leave as little behind as you possibly can.

Edited by brumby
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Your second life starts the day you realise you only have one! 
 

I’ve gone through many times what my stuff is worth with my two boys. They’ve already puts dibs on which guitars in my collection are theirs. 
I’ve left everything to them. What they do with it after I’m dead is beyond my control. I won’t care. 

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My first taste of this "problem"  is occurring just now because we are considering moving house to a smaller premises.  This has caused me to think about what has to go, and how to dispose of it.

 

For example I have a huge number of 78 records.  They are very mixed in type and quality.  They are FAR too heavy for me to even move around the house, and I certainly won't be taking them with me to the next place.  I could dump them  a bundle at a time, in my wheelie bin until they are gone, or I could hire someone to dump them, (and lots of other stuff I can't keep) for me.  Dumping them would hurt though.  Sad to see such history become landfill.  I could put an advertisement on here to see if anyone wants to come and get them for free, but I wonder how likely that is  (anyone reading this who wants them, contact me now :) ) 

 

Same situation, for hundreds of CDs (digital music in the new house will be via HD and streaming), and a bunch of reel to reel tapes. 

 

Then there is the stuff I am unsure of, such as my 45s collection.

 

What about the hardware?  I have too many turntables to take with me, at least 6 of them are in use at the moment at different times, and there are some awaiting refurbishment.  Then there are speakers and amps.

 

The one thing I am not doing, is parting with ANY of my vinyl collection, my big idler turntables,  hand built valve preamps and SET power amp,  and Osborn speakers - they are coming with me :) 

Edited by aussievintage
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6 minutes ago, Jakeyb77_Redux said:

They’ve already puts dibs on which guitars in my collection are theirs. 

 

argh, yes, guitars and guitar amps are another thing I have to cull severely when moving house.

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I would be in a similar boat to the OP, that is, not much family interested in hifi. I would aim to help my family as easily as I could ahead of time (of course this isn't always possible).

 

But ultimately, I would say "don't worry about it - enjoy your system now and for the rest of your days"

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I have already started the process, gave my stepson about 500 lp's, my kids arn't interested in hifi, so i have left all my stereo gear to my stepson. Have been slowly clearing the rest of the house of unecessary items, its actually quite liberating, what has helped the process is owning a caravan and going on holidays, realising that you dont need that much "stuff". I think of when we were young we had very little, never seemed to matter then.

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51 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

My first taste of this "problem"  is occurring just now because we are considering moving house to a smaller premises.  This has caused me to think about what has to go, and how to dispose of it.

 

For example I have a huge number of 78 records.  They are very mixed in type and quality.  They are FAR too heavy for me to even move around the house, and I certainly won't be taking them with me to the next place.  I could dump them  a bundle at a time, in my wheelie bin until they are gone, or I could hire someone to dump them, (and lots of other stuff I can't keep) for me.  Dumping them would hurt though.  Sad to see such history become landfill.  I could put an advertisement on here to see if anyone wants to come and get them for free, but I wonder how likely that is  (anyone reading this who wants them, contact me now :) ) 

 

Same situation, for hundreds of CDs (digital music in the new house will be via HD and streaming), and a bunch of reel to reel tapes. 

 

Then there is the stuff I am unsure of, such as my 45s collection.

 

What about the hardware?  I have too many turntables to take with me, at least 6 of them are in use at the moment at different times, and there are some awaiting refurbishment.  Then there are speakers and amps.

 

The one thing I am not doing, is parting with ANY of my vinyl collection, my big idler turntables,  hand built valve preamps and SET power amp,  and Osborn speakers - they are coming with me :) 

Please don't dump them.

 

There are museums etc and even stores like antique places that would take them and hopefully they'll be used again

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It also weighs heavily on my mind as i have various collections, and also reluctantly inherited my fathers rather large Rocks and Mineral collection that is still stored in boxes in my shed.  My boys have little interest apart from my youngest who already has one of my ex army land-rovers, stored here, and will take a good stereo and I assume my surround sound.  I have offered him one already from the collection but he is waiting to build his house.  He enjoys music thru the ages and accompanies me to Bluesfest every year having been brought up on a diet of 70's and 80's music. Still there is so much to offload.  With a disabled wife I built this home for home nursing so hopefully that works out so i can enjoy my main systems to near the end, but who knows, the best laid plans of man and of course 'Murphy's law' that always seems to send curve balls ones way.  I have also generated spreadsheets with the cost of every component and where possible the current value of my hifi and musical equipment, even down to the collection of valves I have accumulated in the belief that one day they will be silly expensive to get for all my Guitar and Hifi amps.  So if the worst happens they don't just junk it, my oldest regularly talks about bring a skip in !!!!!  Or do a garage sale for peanuts.  I have read of folkes setting up selling 'on commission' with a shop so there kids can just hand over the gear to them.

 

The sensible answer is to do what my father did, and that was undertake a year long project slowly getting rid of, his was mainly giving away to family members, then friends, then societies, most of his things leaving a bare minimum so when they entered the nursing home they were pretty well set.   For me i guess slowly selling down, but it is so hard to let things go ...

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If you simply cannot face the thought of dealing with it in a reasonable fashion before you're no longer able to, the next best thing you can do is make it clear to your family members how valuable it is so they don't just throw it out or virtually give it away after you're gone.

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This is something that I have been thinking about for some time.

My plan is to give my watch collection to my son and the audio gear, records and CDs will go to probably three members of SNA who are a lot younger than I am and are worthy gentlemen who I would hope to keep the gear to use for themselves.

 

 

 (I know this may be somewhat irrational, but I really wouldn't want strangers buying my stuff for cheap, so a gift to some good people is preferable to me)

 

They don't know whom they are just yet but I intend to let them know sooner rather than later as I have had a couple of health situations that makes one think that we are not here forever.

Edited by rantan
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17 minutes ago, tripitaka said:

Well done all, for the most depressing thread I have read in a long while😀😀

Yep it is .. but as you age it becomes something you really need to address. 

 

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During lockdown, l finally got around to listing every single album I own onto discogs.

Plus I've made up a list of every single item in my home system including home theatre with what I paid, and it's retail price new.

 

The plan is to keep it up to date, so there won't be any excuses for any greedy jackels, (you know who you all are!), to be lowballing my family shortly after my demise! 😂

 

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A little off subject but in common ... sorry on my Soapbox !!!!  This thread has stirred up one of my pet frustrations so for some here something to think about as we reach those twilight years.

 

What stuns me continually is those that retire and move out of the city to their retirement heaven with little planning on what age will potentially bring.  Beautiful multi story and split level homes, houses built on steep land overlooking the sea.  I watch those TV series on moving to the country and just gasp .. doesn't matter whether its the Aussie or the UK series, people seem to be all the same.  My parents moved into a wonderful brand new 2 story house backing onto a luv'ly reserve in Brisbane and it was their retirement home.  2 problems, all the bedrooms were upstairs and no bathing facilities on the ground floor, just a toilet.  Heaven for so many years and then along comes hip replacements because they were very active walkers, kept them young but body wear and tear takes it toll.  A camp bed in the lounge room and hand bathing in the kitchen sink.  In the end the house was totally unsuitable after my father suffered a couple of minor strokes yet they didn't want to leave which i understood, I argued extending with a purpose built room and basically locking off the top floor but didn't win that argument.  I explored adding a lift but that adds a lot of cost they could afford but being of that age having lived thru the post WWII depression they wouldn't spend the money.  An impasse.  My father had drilled into me for 20 years DO NOT PUT US INTO A NURSING HOME. In the end he made the decision for them both to go into a nursing home, something I had to manage which is no fun, they both lived into their 90's and Mum is still there.  A Nursing home is not ideal to live out those twilight years, for years when i asked Dad how was, the answer was 'just waiting to die'.  He would have been so much better off to spend another 5 years in his home with home nursing.

 

So in a parallel world disability came a lot earlier to my household so I got to live and learn about accessibility a lot earlier.  My wife got diagnosed with MS over 30 years ago and we have lived thru her becoming more and more dependent on aids.  We were fortunate that our old house could be modified with some wonderful NSW State assistance, a new bathroom with wheel into the shower and hand roses, ramps and everything else thru pure luck because we were on a single level on a relatively flat block.  My oldest though challenged me 10 years ago, 7 years before I retired and says, so you want to retire in this sh#t hole !!!  No ... but my plan of retiring down the South Coast with my boats with fishing and walking the dogs on the beach was gone.  The priority now was to maintain the hard fought and wonderful health professionals and carers services we had evolved.  Not having easy access to our clinics and world class Neurologists would be a backward step so when the medical crap hits the proverbial fan, being near good medical facilities is also a huge factor.

 

So regardless where we decided to live the need for a sensible house rang loud and clear, initially for my wife but as i had seen with my aging parents then also for me.  We searched locally for suitable houses for 10 months, but there are few designed or that can be easily modified for a wheelchair near where we lived.  Eventually 1 acre blocks became available and we built using consulting services of an OT from Camden Hospital and made the important decision to design for home nursing, and of course have a dedicated home theatre/music room for ME !!!   We have now been here 8 years and it works extremely well, and NDIS works well for us to upgrade services and aids as things change.

 

So if you are that age (60+) and are commencing your planning for your final residence please think about your future needs, there is little in escaping the aging process.  Some tips.

 

1. buy a single level house or into a modern unit or apartment that has good and reliable lift access or get on a ground floor, just think wheelchair access is a damm good yard stick for buying.

2. largish bathroom that can support or be modified for wheel-in to the shower, and for rails to be put in ..

3. Minimal internal doors so open plan works best - if you are building then sliding door are a godsend for bedrooms and utilities areas such as laundries

4. Kitchens and bedrooms, plenty of access to stoves and drawers below and around waist height.  No wall ovens.

5. Access to the house, hopefully minimal steps (or a lift) and you can install ramps, not on the side of a massive hill ..

6. Access to good medical facilities, which typically means a medium sized city, not that dream block in the middle of no where !!!

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19 minutes ago, evil c said:

During lockdown, l finally got around to listing every single album I own onto discogs.

Plus I've made up a list of every single item in my home system including home theatre with what I paid, and it's retail price new.

 

The plan is to keep it up to date, so there won't be any excuses for any greedy jackels, (you know who you all are!), to be lowballing my family shortly after my demise! 😂

 

 If Mag sees that you’re screwed 😳😂😂😂😂😂

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16 minutes ago, Jakeyb77_Redux said:

 If Mag sees that you’re screwed 😳😂😂😂😂😂

You're one of the people l was referring to!! 😒

It will not be found before I die, unless it's just before! 😬

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10 minutes ago, evil c said:

You're one of the people l was referring to!! 😒

It will not be found before I die, unless it's just before! 😬

I thought your house would become the Syndal Graceland 😳

😂 

A memorial GTG held in your honour at least once a week 

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Just now, Jakeyb77_Redux said:

I thought your house would become the Syndal Graceland 😳

😂

A memorial GTG held in your honour at least once a week 

Afraid it will be more the lyrics from American Pie!😉

Just realised l need to add instructions - if found fatally impaled by multiple tonearms!!

It was not sexual misadventure! 😟

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1 hour ago, Shhh said:

screw that you morbid lot, he who dies with the most toys wins.😅

What is the point of winning when you are dead?

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