Where Would You Keep Something Very Valuable?

I saw the play Wait Until Dark last night, and it was very entertaining. I have not seen the old movie with Audrey Hepburn, so I wasn’t sure how it ended. As a result, my son and I jumped and were shocked by what was happening on the stage during a pivotal scene at the end of the play. While decompressing over a beverage in the theater afterwards, we were laughing at ourselves (and being laughed at by our dates) for not seeing the “jump scare” coming. But we are much bigger fans of comedies and dramas than we are of thrillers.

In the play, a key part of the plot was a frantic search for a doll.  The doll’s contents were worth killing a few people over. The whole play was about the lengths various people would go to in order to retrieve the contents of the doll. That raised the question after the play – “if you had a physical object that was incredibly valuable, where would you keep it and why?” I’ve raised that issue with some friends, and here are some of the responses I’ve gotten:

A safe deposit box at the bank

Why? It’s safe and only I would have the key.

Drawback: One downside is that if the valuable thing were something thing that I’d want to see (like jewelry or art), that would be a lousy place for it.

A safe bolted to my basement floor

Why? It’s here at home, and I don’t have to operate on bank hours if I need it. I can also buy it one time and not have to pay a bank an annual fee. If the safe is big enough, I can put way more stuff in it than I could ever put in a safe deposit box at the bank.

Drawback: The price of safes is high, and there’s some serious labor involved to properly bolt it into a concrete floor. It’s also not ideal if you are renting, living in a tiny house or a boat or have very limited storage space.

Keep it at home and simply insure it.

Why? The real risk of theft is statistically very small. I’ll keep the valuables around so that I know where they are and they add to my quality of life. For art, I want to see it. For jewelry, I want to wear it.

Drawback: There is a risk of theft or vandalism or natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc) as well as the cost of the insurance to cover the loss.

All of my valuables are on paper, so I scan them and store them in my external drive with a password protected backup in “the cloud.”

Why? Why not?

Drawback: My kids and I have become fans of the show Mr. Robot, which has NOTHING to do with a robot but everything to do with the world of hacking. Anything that is online is at risk of being compromised. If you doubt that, ask Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Hillary Clinton or Colin Powell about their online security!

For the things in your life that you consider valuable or irreplaceable, do you have a plan or, like me, do you have a scattershot approach to this and have a few things secured and a few things unsecured and other things that you put somewhere and just have to remember where so that you can figure out what your game plan is for them? My personal goal, spurred on by the play, is to have a coherent plan for my valuables and have that plan implemented by this Halloween. If I don’t put a date on it, it won’t happen.

So, what’s your plan? What’s your deadline? If you don’t have answers to those questions, spend the next 5 minutes writing down what’s valuable/irreplaceable in your life and develop your plan, complete with a deadline. Then get busy implementing it!

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