Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 1999 /15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
Why own a house at 65?
DEAR BRUCE: I bought a row house for $72,000, but would now like to relocate to be closer to my family. I am retiring next year at 62 and would like to know if I should buy a condo or small house or rent an apartment. I only have a little bit of equity in the house. I could afford to buy a home, but what would be the advantage? -- J.H., Downingtown, Pa.
DEAR J.H. From where I am sitting, there is no advantage. Why take on the responsibilities of ownership when you can go into a condo or an apartment and have nothing to be responsible for except the interior of your own unit? I would sell the house, take a look around the area where I want to move and find myself a small, comfortable apartment I could reasonably afford. Who needs home-ownership responsibilities at 65?
DEAR BRUCE: We are a young couple just starting out and we have very little money. We would like to invest $50-$75 a month. Where do we start? -- D.W., Fort Hood, Texas
DEAR D.W.: Your options are very limited until you build up a nest egg. There are a couple of mutual funds that will allow you to begin with a minimum investment of $250. After you make the minimum investment, you can add the $50 or $75 a month with no problem. The great majority of mutual funds, however, require $1,000 to begin. Your best shot is probably a money-market account, where you will get about 5 percent in interest until you reach $1000. Good luck!
DEAR BRUCE: I have approximately $100,000 in an IRA which I will have to start drawing down soon. I would like to put it into something that will accrue interest tax-free. What do you suggest? -- W.D., West Liberty, Ky.
DEAR W.D.: You didn't tell me the rest of the equation -- how much income do you have? If you are not in a high tax bracket, you would be better off to pay the taxes. The only thing I can think of that would be "tax-free" would be municipal bonds, and they ordinarily pay a modest (around 5 percent) rate of interest because of their tax-free
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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