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Archive for September, 2014

Thanks to all of last post's commenters

September 23rd, 2014 at 03:56 pm

I'm kinda relieved now I am not already over the Pacific. I've just been reading up on Japanese funerals. Bluesfemme kindly filled me in on the pearls, but now I have to get hosiery and a black handbag, maybe a nice Ambien prescription. Sleeping was hard last night. I exchanged some money for the "funeral envelopes" (I did this for the wedding years earlier) but fear it is not enough. I don't think this is the right time for me to be stingy, and maybe I should expect to be in debt for a month or so.

Anyway: $1576 Canadian after taxes to fly to the Far East, no awkward transfers in Honolulu so Ambien can send me for 6 to 8 hours.

An American is going to greet me at the airport and take care of me at least partly so I don't burden my sister and her family too much. I do not know if my brother had a will. He made mention of making me executrix last year when he had a health scare. I'm scheduled to stay a week. This would've been open-ended if there were a will and I would have to take care of things. I think intestate decedents leave half the estate to the surviving spouse, don't know if Japan government takes the other half.

Japanese funerals cost $25000 USD on average. I think I might have a heart attack of my own. I don't know if I'm going to offend by putting as much as I can afford (the maximum) in a funeral envelope, or if I'm going to be surprised with a bill for funeral expenses.

Answers urgently needed! International airfare websites

September 22nd, 2014 at 06:19 pm

Reposted from forum:

My brother, 44 years old, died last night. In Japan. I am in shock racing into grief.
(I know this is very young, and I will tell you it was from a lung malady, not from selfharm or a traffic accident or what usually takes the lives of men under the age of 50.)

His wife asked me to fly over. I need this information fast. I don't know if compassionate fares work for overseas flights.
Will my 12 yo child need a passport to fly with me?
Are there fare discounts or freebies for children?

Update: My cousin who is a travel agent found a flight for me. I am going alone. I now have some Japanese Yen, a tasteful black dress and black flats (no sense going as Godzilla-in-mourning) and maybe I'll have ticket info (website timed out on my cousin when she booked as me). I am still kind of in shock but prone to sudden crying fits. I am very thankful I have two places to stay at in Japan, and I'll be there for probably a week so I don't burden my sister's parents, who know very little English (I know even less Japanese). My mom and dad are both dead and I am struggling with minor details and what to do for Japanese funerals and how I'm going to communicate across the sea: do you think maybe my sister will let me have my brother's laptop?

How weird is it that today's SavingAdvice article is about men and heart disease? My brother died of a pulmonary embolism.

Will I save money with a smartphone?

September 21st, 2014 at 05:15 pm

I just read a Forbes article on the real costs of smartphones when one foregoes the 24-month contracts service providers try to lock customers into. According to Forbes, the cost was around $450 - $600.

I've got a cheap mobile phone with a cheap monthly plan: $28.34 in monthly charges. I won't be switching to a smartphone unless it can absorb or eliminate other budget expenses. Can a smartphone help me save $50 in groceries, 10% at the gas pump, 15% off my utilities, et cetera?

Anyone have any true stories to share?