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Jewish World Review August 6, 1999 /24 Av 5759

Bruce Williams

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Only you can determine your investments -- DEAR BRUCE: We need your advice as to where to put the $70,000 we just inherited. My 64-year-old husband will retire in two years with $72,000 in his IRA, and we have $10,000 invested elsewhere. Should we put the inheritance in CDs? We think the stock market might be a bit overpriced right now. -- L.B., via e-mail

DEAR L.B.: You ask a question that is entirely a judgment call. The CDs will certainly be secure, but they will also turn a very miserly profit. I cannot tell you how long the stock market will continue to be profitable, but it would seem that most experts foresee a fairly long run of this bull market. Given that, conservative stocks of major established companies seem to me to be a better bet than a CD -- but this is a call that you are going to have to make by yourselves.

DEAR BRUCE: I have some CDs in my IRA that are to be renewed this fall. The current interest rates are a little more than 5 percent and are on their way down. Where can I invest these accounts at a low risk but with a higher interest income? I have different types of investments available to me, but I am unsure of which ones to try. -- G.L. Dodge City, Kan.

DEAR G.L.: As guaranteed interest rates fall, other opportunities are being considered. Understand that gain is expressed in interest to have a common expression so one can make a comparison. More investments offer gain as the principal amount grows then a fixed amount of interest. It would seem to me that most of us could afford a moderate amount of risk investing in America's very successful and established companies. Often, no dividends (interest) will be paid, but the stocks themselves gain in value rather substantially over the course of the years.

DEAR BRUCE: My mother-in-law is 72, lives in Florida and soon may be moving into a nursing home. She refuses to have a will made, saying it is unnecessary because everything is in my wife's name or held jointly. I question this. I feel that there is always a need for a will. -- READER, via e-mail

DEAR READER: You and I are together on this one. There is no excuse not to have a properly drawn and executed will. It's entirely possible that everything will pass directly to your wife through this joint tenancy and the right of survivorship accounts, but in the event that they don't, the will serves as a back-up. If everything passes satisfactorily, then the will can be discarded or just filed not probated.

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).


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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