Jewish World Review Jan. 9, 2001 / 14 Teves, 5761
Power of Attorney questioned
DEAR BRUCE: Because my mom lives in another city, I have had a Power of Attorney executed
so I could consummate a real estate transaction. My husband and I are buying a condo that she owns, and we are taking on a mortgage. The title company went to close the deal, and the woman in the insurance department refused to accept the Power of Attorney. She said that it was potentially a self-serving deal for my husband and me. We protested to no avail. We were forced to delay the closing until the papers could be sent to my mother for her signature. Do title companies have a right to ignore this document? -- S.C. Muskegon, Mich.
DEAR S.C.: Not only do they have a right, they have a responsibility. Title companies issue a policy saying that the title is clear. And given the circumstances, some years from now someone might challenge your ability to execute this and could cloud the title, which could cost them a great deal of money. You are playing both sides of the street here by representing your mother and yourself. Without a proper signature, I would have done the same thing. Frankly, it is to your advantage as well.
DEAR BRUCE: My husband and I sold our home, and now we have $208,000 to invest. We have no debt, and our current home is paid for. We have ample monies in our IRAs. We would like to invest this sum of money and receive about $2,000 a month for our living expenses. -- A.C., via e-mail
DEAR A.C.: Well, I can't tell you how to invest your money. You might investigate some decent corporate bonds, which will pay slightly over 8 percent, which will get you very close to your goal. If, on the other hand, you are willing to take a little bit of a risk, there are many mutual funds that can kick out 10 percent or more, which will get you over the top.
DEAR BRUCE: I am considering contributing 6 percent of my salary to my company's 401(k). I have been putting about $100 a month into a mutual fund, which I think is going to do well. My question is, should I continue to invest in the mutual fund, or should I open a Roth IRA? -- K.M., via e-mail
DEAR K.M.: All things being equal, I would far prefer to see you put after-tax dollars into the Roth. You can buy the exact same shares inside the Roth but have the additional benefit of paying no income tax whatsoever when you take it out for retirement. This is a terrific deal; don't let it pass you
Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).
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12/18/00: Time to move on
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11/23/00: Rent our house or sell it?
11/21/00: Fixed or adjustable rate?
11/20/00: Debt consolidation requires discipline
11/16/00: Ten-year fixed-rate mortgages
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11/08/00: Can I shelter my severance pay?
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10/05/00: When property is worth more than the home
10/04/00: Put part of windfall in a Roth
10/03/00: Not paying taxes on interest from house sale
09/28/00: Protection by Medicaid and Medicare
09/27/00: Refinancing home without alerting crooks
09/26/00: Base investments on trust
09/25/00: Do we really need a will?
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09/14/00: House buying only for the young?
09/13/00: No reason to give credit
09/11/00: Must I pay for my gifted child's college tuition?
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08/28/00: When the insurance company has an 'out'
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08/11/00: Her shopping will ruin us
Yes, a contract means something
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08/09/00: A $1,500 car ... for $3,000
08/04/00: Time to take on the airlines
08/02/00: How can I retire at 62?
08/01/00: Cash in your savings bonds
07/28/00: Hold onto a mortgage under 7 percent
07/26/00: I want my partner to buy me out
07/25/00: Negotiate with your neighbor
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07/20/00: Where's my prize?
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07/13/00: Death is no escape
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07/03/00: When to diversify assets
06/30/00: I'm buying my dad's house
06/29/00: How social security seniors should invest
06/27/00: Waiting before re-establishing credit
06/21/00: Insuring an older car
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06/16/00: Utility company incursion
06/15/00: Insurance settlement is no bargain
06/13/00: A straightforward form of bankruptcy
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06/07/00: The trouble with tenants
06/05/00: Do I really need title insurance?
06/01/00: The truth about nursing home insurance
05/30/00: Keep mother-daughter loan simple
05/25/00: CDs for security, not investment
05/24/00: Battling with collection agency
05/22/00: Are callable CDs a waste of time?
05/18/00: Building a college fund
05/16/00: Even death brings no relief
05/15/00: House is 'worth' what's offered
05/12/00: Borrow from Mom and Dad?
05/11/00: Your heirs, your choice
05/09/00: Mutual-fund investigations
05/05/00: Credit cards vs. debit cards
05/04/00: Lawyer are good for something
05/03/00: The binding nature of contracts
05/02/00: You know you are in trouble when ...
05/01/00: Can primary residence be rented out?
04/28/00: A full refund after five years?
04/25/00: Get a homeowner's title policy!
04/24/00: Beware of errors in your favor
04/18/00: $10,000 limit on gifts
04/17/00: Invest or repay student loans?
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04/11/00: Six percent is a pittance
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04/07/00: How not to blow an inheritance
04/06/00: Get genetic screening for Tay-Sachs
04/05/00: Beating the look-back period
04/04/00: Providing for retirement
04/03/00: Readers disagree on time shares
03/30/00: The road back to good credit
03/29/00: Pre-tax dollars in IRA taxed later
03/27/00: Gambling on business ventures
03/22/00: Old cars as hobby, not investment
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03/16/00: How to buy government bonds
03/13/00: Buying treasury instruments
03/09/00: Subcontractors must pay S.S.
03/08/00: Real-estate lawyers are essential
03/07/00: Don't expect compensation for ideas
03/06/00: Too rich for a Roth IRA?
03/01/00: Is time-sharing a scam?
02/29/00: Paying for nursing-home care
02/28/00: Rely on a real-estate lawyer
02/23/00: Keeping child's money safe from divorce
02/16/00: Just how important is a 401(k)?
02/14/00: Shaky partnership buying house
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02/04/00: Absurd community zoning laws
02/02/00: Money or securities?
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01/26/00: Everyone needs a will
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01/24/00: Should early retirees contribute to SEP?
01/21/00: Strategies for paying off debt
01/20/00: Is 15-percent growth achievable?
01/19/00: Selling a second home
01/18/00: Running from a time-share
01/14/00: Don't be a spendthrift!
01/13/00: Who gets the house?
01/11/00: It all depends on size of estate
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12/29/99: Warranty rip-offs
12/27/99: Checking up on investment handlers
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12/20/99: Capital gains tax sometimes best
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12/10/99: Services provided must be paid for
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11/29/99: Mortgage strategy A-OK
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08/02/99: Get the survey BEFORE you buy the house!
07/28/99: Get a lawyer -- it's worth it!
07/27/99: If it ain't broke...