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Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 1999 /21 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams
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Econophone

Slow road for savings accounts


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- DEAR BRUCE: I am a 51-year-old female and I have 10 more years to work until I retire. I can't afford to save much. Is it worth putting money in a deferred comp plan? I put $200 into a savings account each month. -- L.W., via e-mail

DEAR L.W.: Why in the world would you put your savings into a savings account with today's incredibly low interest rates? I can't tell you if the deferred comp versus traditional investments would be better. It depends on your company and the plan. Any plan would be better then just socking the money into a regular savings account. I understand that some folks have a need for absolute safety, but this is carrying that notion to an extreme. You are penalizing yourself and ensuring that you will have less during your retirement.

DEAR BRUCE: I am interested in working for a company whose ad says they are looking for home workers. They say I can earn up to $3,500 or more per week, stuffing and mailing their catalogs from home. They pay $7 per catalog that is stuffed and mailed. They provide postage and supplies. All I have to do is to stuff the catalogs they send me in number-10 envelopes and mail them as they require. A $39 refundable deposit is requested; it will be returned after I receive my third payment check. What do you think? -- E.J., via e-mail

DEAR E.J.: This one has "sucker" written on it from front to back. To my knowledge nobody has ever made any money in any of these envelope-stuffing schemes -- except the promoter. Could it be that the hook is you have to find the people's names to send the catalogs to? They, in turn, must have requested the catalog. What these companies often tell you to do is to put an ad in the paper to get other people to respond to you for "envelope stuffing." The chances of making any money and getting three checks is so slim that the guarantee is worthless. Most ads for home workers -- particularly in the classified sections of supermarket magazines and newspapers -- are at best overambitious, and usually fraudulent. Stay away!

DEAR BRUCE: We have lost our series EE Bonds. The only information that we have is the approximate year of purchase and the name of the bank that we purchased them from. Is there any way we can find a record and recover them? -- C.S.K., Jasper, Ind.

DEAR C.S.K. You may contact the United States Savings Bond department at (800) 322-1909. They will take you through the process of recovering your savings bonds.



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

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?
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10/11/99: If it ain't broke...
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10/04/99: Get a financial education!
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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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