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Jewish World Review Feb. 23, 2000 / 17 Adar I, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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Keeping child's money safe from divorce -- DEAR BRUCE: If you wanted to give your child a gift of money but wanted to protect it in case of a divorce, how would you handle this? -- G.C., Butler, Ky.

DEAR G.C.: There are a number of ways that this can be done. The easiest thing to do is to put the money into a separate account in your name, letting your offspring know that anytime he or she needs money you will withdraw it and hand over the cash. That way, if a divorce becomes a reality, the money belongs to you and the spouse would have no claim on it.

DEAR BRUCE: We are building a rather substantial commercial building. We were supposed to be ready for occupancy by the first of the year, but now it could be two to three months late. While we can work around the inconveniences, my lender will not lock in my rate for that period of time. It seems to me that there ought to be some way to do this. Because there are a couple million dollars involved, even a half of one percent can make a big difference. We are pursuing it from every angle that we know of. Do you have any suggestions? -- B.G. (e-mail)

DEAR B.G.: I sympathize with your circumstance, however, it is unreasonable to ask a lender to lock into a rate that he or she might take a hit on.

I realize your concern but think about this: How many businesses can you think of could tell you what the price of a product will be in 30 years? That's what lenders are expected to do on a long-term mortgage. Obviously, most mortgages are not held to term, but I am sure that you can understand the point that I am trying to make. The only redress that you have is to "kick butt" on the construction end and get it done in a timely fashion.

DEAR BRUCE: I am 56 and my wife is 55, and we are in excellent health. We are contemplating retirement in about four years. A financial planner advised us to consider nursing-home care insurance. The programs would be much lower now than when we obtain senior-citizen status. Is this a good idea? -- A.L., Lowell, Mass.

DEAR A.L.: The viability of nursing-home insurance is a topic of endless discussion. As I have stated numerous times, the very wealthy and the very poor do not require nursing-home insurance -- it's the folks in the middle that should consider it.

While I think that it is a prudent buy for the middle class, which I am assuming you fall into, I see very little reward starting as young as you are. If it were me, I would put that decision off for at least 10 years until you reach 66. Those are the beginning of the dangerous years. Whether or not you specifically require this insurance depends upon your overall financial condition. A rule of thumb might be: If you have combined pensions and investment income of over $70,000 annually, the likelihood is that you would be able to do very well without the nursing-home insurance.

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).


02/16/00: Just how important is a 401(k)?
02/14/00: Shaky partnership buying house
02/11/00: Protection by residential zoning
02/09/00: Benefiting from a reverse mortgage
02/07/00: Ensure your insurability
02/04/00: Absurd community zoning laws
02/02/00: Money or securities?
02/01/00: Can we KO a custodian?
01/31/00: Why sell a home you love?
01/26/00: Everyone needs a will
01/25/00: Will splitting stocks affect rollover?
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
01/06/00: Check references before hiring an advisor
01/04/00: Savings bonds a bad investment
12/31/99: Out of state ain't that great
12/29/99: Warranty rip-offs
12/27/99: Checking up on investment handlers
12/23/99: Options good only when company's strong
12/20/99: Capital gains tax sometimes best
12/17/99: Don't give up your nest egg
12/15/99: Small-claims court no panacea
12/13/99: Termite company not liable for termites?
12/10/99: Services provided must be paid for
12/06/99: How do we minimize house-sale gain?
12/06/99: Maximize your tax shelter!
12/02/99: My neighbor won't maintain even a modicum of civility
12/01/99: Long-distance rentals a bad idea
11/29/99: Mortgage strategy A-OK
11/18/99: Students can work and learn
11/16/99: Value is what will sell
11/11/99: Y2K: No big deal for real estate
11/08/99: Real life is tough luck
11/03/99: The right time to cash a savings bond
11/01/99: Slow road for savings accounts
10/29/99: What do you want from insurance?
10/27/99: You have a right to see your tax forms!
10/25/99: Why own a house at 65?
10/22/99: Online fine, but CDs?
10/20/99: Love, honor -- and separate credit
10/18/99: Find the value of your stocks
10/15/99: Property lien prevents trade
10/13/99: Clear up debt, only then tie the knot
10/11/99: If it ain't broke...
10/04/99: Should I stick with the company IRA?
10/04/99: Get a financial education!
10/01/99: Insurance: Not much one person can do
09/30/99: Lost tickets are lost cash
09/29/99: Trusting only one financial planner
09/27/99: Adult children should help out
09/24/99: Tips for first-time home buyers
09/21/99: Use the rule of 72s!
09/17/99: Legal strategy can be a pain
09/15/99: Teen drivers drive up insurance
09/13/99: Always use an attorney!
09/10/99: Whose taxes are they, anyway?
09/08/99: How do I roll over my 401(k)?
09/03/99: How can I work out my IRS payments?
09/01/99: When your company can't pay you
08/30/99: Beware of shady viatical investments
08/26/99: Landlords vary on security deposits
08/25/99: Educational IRAs must be spent on education
08/23/99: Finding out the value of old stocks
08/20/99: How to get an FHA refund
08/19/99: 100 percent financing is a scam
08/16/99: Will I have to pay a capital gains tax?
08/16/99: Thinking about PMI
08/13/99: Short-term mutual funds a-OK
08/11/99: It's your job to shop around
08/10/99: Sometimes, roots need to be uprooted
08/09/99: 'Pre-approved' doesn't mean a thing
08/06/99: Only you can determine your investments
08/04/99: Bank IRA the lowest-risk option
08/03/99: Reverse mortgages good for the elderly
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...

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