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Jewish World Review Oct. 29, 1999 /19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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What do you want from insurance? -- DEAR BRUCE: The term policy provided by my husband's employer has been terminated due to lack of participation. I am a 42-year-old homemaker in good health. What type of insurance would you recommend? -- W.E., via e-mail

DEAR W.E.: Unfortunately, you didn't give me enough information to make an intelligent guess as to what you need. Look at the factors involved: What are you trying to accomplish with insurance? Perhaps it is to provide enough money in your absence, so your husband can stay home with the children or provide some kind of outside care for the family. Are you close to going back to the employment world, or will you remain a homemaker for the foreseeable future? These are some of the variables that have to be dealt with before you can determine how much insurance you need. There is nothing here to persuade me that anything other than term is appropriate.

DEAR BRUCE: My husband and I are interested in a frozen-treats franchise. However, we know very little about this type of business. How do we find the statistics on profits for a small business such as this? How do we find information on the opening versus the closing of this particular franchise? The information from the company states that potential owners should perform an individual analysis of proposed cash flow predictions. How can we do that if the company will not give us any more information? They estimate our initial investment to be between $80,000-$140,000. -- H.G., via e-mail

DEAR H.G: The reason they don't give you any information is because they would put themselves in a very tenuous legal situation if things didn't work out for you. For this reason, even the largest of the franchises will not project your earnings. Rather than making this a statistical hunt, if you are really serious, one or both of you should seek out a franchise that is operating well out of your area. Offer to work there for nothing for six months in return for training. You will learn more in that six months than you could possibly learn in four years of college. The six-month investment might be the best experience in the world because you may decide that this is not for you. For you to dive into something you have no experience with is an invitation for trouble.

DEAR BRUCE: Some years ago I believe you said that if you are purchasing land for a home site and the owner becomes the contractor for the construction, there are some consequences to be considered. I am considering this and would appreciate it if you would repeat the advice that you gave. -- D.C., via e-mail

DEAR D.C.: Under ordinary conditions, I would be much more comfortable if the contractor you hire to build your home purchases the property from you, so that he owns it free and clear. Then you agree to purchase the constructed home at a pre-agreed upon price. By doing it this way, you are buying a home and your attorney can be certain there are no liens or pending liens against the property. The contractor takes the full responsibility. Just keep in mind that if you paid very little for the property and are selling it to him for quite a bit more, there could be some tax consequences.

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).


10/27/99: You have a right to see your tax forms!
10/25/99: Why own a house at 65?
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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