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Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 1999 /15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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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 status.

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).


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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