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Topics many don’t want to think about

 Benjamin Franklin (Image courtesy Joseph Duplessis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Benjamin Franklin (Image courtesy Joseph Duplessis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Benjamin Franklin said the only things certain are death and taxes. Coin collectors are notoriously averse to thinking about either.

How many heirs have contacted me over the years after the passing of a loved one? Too many. They don’t know the value of the coins that they have inherited. They don’t know how to sell them. They simply don’t know what to do about them.

They reach out to me, a stranger, to give them a hand.

That is bad planning on the part of the collector.

There have been stories floating around the business for years about rare coins that were cleaned to make them worth more, or serious collections sold for a song, even stories of widows dropping pieces in church collection plates one week at a time.

There is no way to confirm many of them, but there are enough of them to warn today’s collectors to make arrangements while there is still time.

Collectors also don’t like the topic of taxes. This kind of story usually is widely greeted with indifference. Only when a specific individual is presented with a specific tax bill does the concept become all too real.

But from time to time, I try to break through the fog with a story to help those who do pay attention to taxes. Last week, it was sales taxes.

Another topic that puts people to sleep is that of budgets. It is budget season now. Organizations from businesses to municipalities to churches are drawing up their plans for 2019.

Individuals less so. Yet budgeting is a wonderful tool to help collectors sleep at night.

Because of the chaotic nature of finding the right coins to buy, a collector can go for weeks, months, and even years without spending. Then suddenly they can be confronted with the possibility of purchasing long-sought pieces one after another.

This kind of opportunity, as wonderful as it is, can put strains on budgets.

Do I buy when I have the chance or pass? A budget will help you have your cake and eat it, too. If you think ahead, you can have a line of credit in place to help smooth out the demands on your monthly cash flow.

If you are spending $1,000 a year and you suddenly spend $3,000, a budget will tell you that cutting back is necessary.

If you haven’t spent the $1,000 amount in the past two years, you should have a guilt-free $2,000 to spend on your heart’s desire. Budgets aren’t magic, but they are useful. It is a shame few want to think about them.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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 2019 North American Coins & Prices