Endless Lists

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you’ll recall that I’ve had to deal with several lists of tasks in order to get “accepted” in the Peace Corps. While all of those tasks ( at least the ones I’m aware of. I’m going to check again) are done, the list of things I need to do to prepare for my departure seems to stretch on and on.

I’m not a list maker by nature, it’s something that I’ve forced myself to do after seeing how effective it was for my friend Marcia. She has to be the Queen of Lists. The woman puts everything on bits of paper and, amazingly, addresses them and crosses them off as she completes a task. At any given moment the Queen of Lists will likely have 3-5 lists hanging around with at least 2 or 3 tucked in pocket or purse. I imagine she’s still that way.

New habits are hard for old guys like me to pick up, but this one I made the effort to acquire and, while I’m no where near the list fountain Marcia was or is (nor do I think I want to be), I’ve managed to incorporate list generation into my planning of major tasks and events.

Included on my Peace Corps House Prep list are:
• Investigate refinancing – Done ( won’t do it until I get back)
• Investigate Home insurance – In progress (I discovered I can save about $1000 a year and get better coverage if I switch.)
• Get Wind Mitigation Assessment – in progress
• Touch up painting, exterior – in progress
• Price the cost of new windows – done, may have to wait until I return
• Touch up painting, interior – in progress
• Clean out the garage – haven’t started

Sadly, the list goes on from there, and that’s just one of three lists I’m working on.

The wind mitigation assessment is needed by some insurers since my home is close to 30 years old and has a ceramic tile roof. Getting it could easily save another $100-$200 a year in insurance costs IF the roof passes inspection. If it doesn’t then I may been looking at the cost of buying a new roof, which could be pricey.

By the way, if you haven’t done so recently, I strongly suggest that you call around for insurance quotes. I know I must sound like a Geico commercial, but you could save a lot on premiums. As you may (or may not) recall, Florida experienced an insurance upheaval after Hurricane Charlie. Many insurers left the state, and the ones that didn’t or couldn’t because of legislation requiring them to stay jacked up the prices to make it uncomfortable for homeowners to keep them as insurers. That, it turns out, is why my insurance savings is so high. I had kept with State Farm for both house and car. After some investigation it turns out that State Farm is considered one of the worst insurers in Florida and had been on a campaign to get out of the state by escalating premiums.

My bad. I should have checked this when I bought my house. If you have access to USAA then I’d recommend you try them. They don’t actually insure in Florida, but they are affiliated with local companies that service USAA members, and the premiums are really good. Another good insurer to call is Liberty Mutual. Like USAA, they don’t insure in Florida, but have local affiliates who service their customers in state.

So, another day, another item on my lists to attack.

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