Jewish World Review August 24, 2000 /23 Menachem-Av, 5760
More 'interest' to live on
DEAR BRUCE: We are retired, and a portion of our income comes from the interest on our investments. With interest rates so low, what other investments are available that still pay every six to 12 months? -- S.W., St. Geneve, Mo.
DEAR S.W.: You must understand that you may invest in almost any other vehicle -- stocks, mutual funds, etc. -- and when you need money, you sell off a percentage of your investment. If you have chosen reasonably well, the investment will have grown in value. A security that you may have paid $10 for might grow to $12. You would sell off enough of the securities to take your "profit" out. Growth is the only way that you are going to see a decent return on your investments. As you point out, interest rates are low, and they will remain low in the foreseeable future. I am confident any broker can explain exactly how this would work.
DEAR BRUCE: I sold a small parcel of property and plan to put the money into C.D.s. If I divide it equally and have my name and one of my children's names on it, will they receive the money upon my death, or will it have to go through probate? -- L.R., Radcliffe, Iowa
DEAR L.R.: If the C.D. is titled in your name, and your child's name with the right of survivorship, the money would pass directly to them. In all likelihood, your social security number would be on the instrument.
Many older people have put funds in their children's names so that the children would have access to them in case it was necessary and the parents were not able to handle their own affairs. Unless the amounts are extraordinarily large, I think you will find there will be no difficulty in this respect.
DEAR BRUCE: I have a truck that is about 7 years old, with 100,000 miles. Should I keep that truck and run the wheels off of it, or am I better off trading it in? -- E.T., West Virginia
DEAR E.T.: It's a matter of choice, really. A truck that has been well kept, with 100,000 miles on it, has plenty of life left in it. If you talk strictly dollars, it's a whole lot cheaper to "run the wheels off of it" and give it a decent burial. You'll save money on insurance, depreciation and, in all manner of ways, it's a much better deal.
However, if you can afford a new truck or car and want to buy one, by all means go ahead. It is not always a matter of economics. By the way, if you can only afford the new one with five-year financing, all bets are off.
Unless you can pay for it comfortably in three years you're buying over your
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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