The Big Game Over: The start of a conversation about what to do with your collection if you unexpectedly pass and other not fun discussions.
Sometimes, we can find ourselves distracted by our own lives. So much so, that we forget to plan, or even worse finding ourselves completely unprepared for a life changing event. And the things about those events, is that they come without warning. A conversation with a group of friends got me thinking, “how many folks out there don’t have a plan together”? This got me thinking about my own plan and how it could help others. So, we have the birth of the “The Big Game over” series. In this article series we will be talking about how to prepare for those not so fun parts of life and collecting.
Big Disclaimer here: This is not financial advice. I’m not a financial planner, and your decisions are you own to make. I’m sharing my journey with all of you, in hopes of taking some of the weight of feeling alone in having to make these kinds of decisions.
Step 1: Have Life Insurance.
This is one of the biggest things I made sure to do has a life insurance policy. In the event of an untimely passing this money will help those closest you make your final arrangements. Your beneficiary should be able to sign some of the life insurance policy over for burial costs.
The last thing your loved ones need to do in the midst of their grief is trying to sell off your boxed copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 to bury you. I cannot state how important it is to make sure you have a life insurance policy set up. There are certain types of life insurance policies I do like, but I’m not going to recommend any of them for the simple fact that I’m not an insurance agent or financial advisor.
Step 2: Determining the liquidity of your collection.
Liquidity of an items deals with how easy it is to turn that item or asset into cold hard cash. I usually like to approach it as if I needed to sell this item today, would it be possible and on average how much money would I get? Usually, these numbers end up being a bit different from what an item’s online going rate. This is because we don’t get the luxury of time when trying to cash out a collection. If you believe your family will have a bit more time to liquidate your collectables, then that number will be higher, but realistically know that number will be a fair amount lower than what you would like it to be.
If you decided to skip step 1, this number is going to get smaller and cause undue stress on your loved ones as they try liquidate your collection.
Also, another main idea to keep in mind that is that the value of your collection will change value. It is an asset in an unregulated market that’s not backed by anything. There is a chance that in the future your collection won’t be worth anything. It’s best to view your collection as possible “extra” money for your loved ones, but not money to plan with.
3. Choose an action plan point person.
So, now you’ve found what products help you and your family plan for the unexpected, and you’ve realized what the realistic amount of liquidity your collection has. How do you get rid of it? This is where it gets a bit tricky. Naturally, you want to make sure that you get the most money that you can for your family. But how do you get the money out of your collection? There are a couple ways to do this. The first, that I personally feel is a bit of a trap, is selling each individual item one at a time. The second is selling everything as one lot. Going this route is a bit more appealing because it requires less time commitment, allowing those that need the money to access it quicker. But, how do you make sure your loved ones aren’t taken advantage of in that situation? The best idea I could come up is appointing an action plan point person.
This is a person that you trust to help your loved ones move your collection. Work out the specifics with them and see what percentage they would keep as a commission, and how you want them to move your items. If they don’t know the conventions, local collecting groups, or other resources make sure they are available to them. My personal plan is to have my action plan point go to a local convention to sell some items over the course of the show, then take what didn’t sell to a game store or other interested party to move the rest of the items.
It’s hard to plan for the unknown.
It’s not much, but the plan is a start to help my loved ones in they need it. With my plan they don’t have to worry about final expenses, have a clear understanding about what my collection is worth and how much they could realistically get for it, and have a plan in place to realize the value of the collection. Hopefully, this plan will be some help to you in your planning.
The next article in the this series will deal with how to protect your collection and what that entails.
Donald Paris is a contributing editor for The NES Page. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. His articles have also appeared on East Coast Games. His poetry has appeared in Calamus Journal, Cease, Cows, Eunoia Review, Public Pool, Rat’s Ass Review, Sonic Boom, The Camel Saloon, Other Journal, The Rising Phoenix Review, Uppagus, and Verse-Virtual. He is also one half of the podcast show The Rick and Don Show at rickanddon.com. He is currently a Watering Hole fellow.