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Jewish World Review Feb. 7, 2000 / 1 Adar I, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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Ensure your insurability


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- DEAR BRUCE: What are the criteria that you endorse when it comes to life insurance? I am a 34-year-old homeowner, recently married with no children, and we both are employed. -- G.T. (e-mail)

DEAR G.T.: Currently I don't see any great reason for insurance other then to ensure your insurability. If you bought a decent-sized term policy, if and when the kids come along, and if and when you are, unfortunately, not in the best of shape, you would still have that insurance in place.

As to the necessity for the insurance, if either one of you passes away, the other one will sell the house and get on with his or her life. Given that set of conditions, the only reason that I can see either of you carrying substantial insurance is to ensure that insurability.

DEAR BRUCE: I heard someone call your radio program and ask you about a company that encourages people to bring in three friends and then those people bring in three people. You responded that it was a scam, but now I can't remember the name of the company. Can you tell me the name of that company? -- E.G. (e-mail)

DEAR E.G.: I don't know the name of the company, and I don't recall the conversation. But anytime a company's emphasis is on proselytizing (getting more people) rather than on selling, it is my opinion that it will collapse of its own weight.

There are some companies out there that offer particular products and services so that they cannot legitimately be termed "pyramids," but I am telling you that if it acts like a duck and squawks like a duck and has feathers, you can be pretty sure of what it is.

DEAR BRUCE: I purchased a gift certificate for a friend from the local health spa for $120. She went to redeem the certificate and found that the spa had gone out of business. Is there anyway that I can recover the $120? -- B.G. (e-mail)

DEAR B.G.: I am afraid, my friend, that you are out of luck.

Health spas come and go more regularly than baby teeth at a nursery school. If they are truly out of business, your $120 is gone. This is why I am not enthusiastic about the whole idea of gift certificates. I don't understand why giving cash is crass, but a certificate with a dollar amount on it is acceptable. Maybe someone can explain that one to me.



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).

Up

02/04/00: Absurd community zoning laws
02/02/00: Money or securities?
02/01/00: Can we KO a custodian?
01/31/00: Why sell a home you love?
01/26/00: Everyone needs a will
01/25/00: Will splitting stocks affect rollover?
01/24/00: Should early retirees contribute to SEP?
01/21/00: Strategies for paying off debt
01/20/00: Is 15-percent growth achievable?
01/19/00: Selling a second home
01/18/00: Running from a time-share
01/14/00: Don't be a spendthrift!
01/13/00: Who gets the house?
01/11/00: It all depends on size of estate
01/06/00: Check references before hiring an advisor
01/04/00: Savings bonds a bad investment
12/31/99: Out of state ain't that great
12/29/99: Warranty rip-offs
12/27/99: Checking up on investment handlers
12/23/99: Options good only when company's strong
12/20/99: Capital gains tax sometimes best
12/17/99: Don't give up your nest egg
12/15/99: Small-claims court no panacea
12/13/99: Termite company not liable for termites?
12/10/99: Services provided must be paid for
12/06/99: How do we minimize house-sale gain?
12/06/99: Maximize your tax shelter!
12/02/99: My neighbor won't maintain even a modicum of civility
12/01/99: Long-distance rentals a bad idea
11/29/99: Mortgage strategy A-OK
11/18/99: Students can work and learn
11/16/99: Value is what will sell
11/11/99: Y2K: No big deal for real estate
11/08/99: Real life is tough luck
11/03/99: The right time to cash a savings bond
11/01/99: Slow road for savings accounts
10/29/99: What do you want from insurance?
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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