Jewish World Review August 13, 1999 /1 Elul, 5759
DEAR J.K.: I am not sure where you determined that four years isn't long enough for mutual funds, but let me disabuse you of that notion immediately. I have no problem with mutual-fund investments for a much shorter period of time. You need to recognize that you could possibly take a loss, but the likelihood of that is relatively remote. That, of course, assumes that you don't pick some high-flying, long-on-risk, long-on-profit possibilities. It just seems foolish to me for someone of your relatively young age to invest in fixed-income securities. The only way to have a decent return is to assume some risk.
DEAR BRUCE: My wife and I both contributed to our companies' 401(k) programs and are maxed. I understand that we both can contribute $2,000 each year to a Roth IRA as long as we don't touch it for 5-1/2 years. Can we then draw any amount of this IRA each year, and it will be tax-free? We are 55 and 58 years old. -- C.K., via e-mail
DEAR C.K.: Yes, you can both contribute the $2,000 in AFTER-TAX dollars to a Roth IRA. As long as you do not make premature withdrawals, the money that you withdraw will be completely tax-free. While at your age you will not be able to take maximum advantage of compounding, Roth IRAs are still a very handsome way to save.
DEAR BRUCE: Having moved to Florida some years ago, we decided to update our wills and chose a local lawyer who specializes in elder-care. We had several questions that we were prepared to ask her, and she signaled "stop" as soon as we started talking, and informed us that her fee was $250 per hour for regular wills -- and we could tack on $4,000 if Medicare planning was involved. Naturally, we went with the regular will. What is your opinion? -- A.M., Port Charlotte, Fla.
DEAR A.M.: My suggestion is to get another lawyer. There is no reason in the world why someone would jump to a minimum fee of $4,000 for Medicaid or Medicare information. As a matter of fact, $250 would be more than ample for an entire regular will, as opposed to $250 per hour. This lady seems to be very overpriced and I would look elsewhere. Perhaps she is worth it, but for this kind of job expensive talent is not
08/11/99: It's your job to shop around