Smart Money

DEAR BRUCE: I sold my house for $400,000 and purchased a much smaller house for $100,000. I am 59 years old and retired from the school system. Do you think I should invest in the market? -- Reader

DEAR READER: I certainly believe you should get into the market. Not necessarily with the entire proceeds of $300,000, but you should start becoming knowledgeable about the market or, the alternative, seek a very qualified representative from one of the larger advisory firms to help you. With that kind of money earning somewhere around 6 percent, that's $18,000 a year. You will want someone who is an expert in this field helping you. Make sure you get some solid knowledge before you make any moves. Then move very slowly.

DEAR BRUCE: I have a question regarding the hurricane that recently came through Florida. I have some damage to my home that isn't covered, according to my insurance company. I am wondering, when I apply for the FEMA assistance to cover what's not covered through my insurance company, do I have to pay back the money? -- B.C.

DEAR B.C.: I sympathize. My home was in the way of this storm too. It's doubtful that I will have any damage covered by insurance because, even though we do have some substantial damage, it's unlikely to exceed the $10,000 deductible by a whole lot.

With that being said, it's a tad early to be looking for assistance. The state of Florida, as well as the state of Texas, is having a tuough time getting its act together because of the tremendous volume of applications for assistance. I think you better sit tight, do your homework and be certain to read the newspaper every day in order to note whenever there is an announcement regarding when assistance is available, then you can get in line. I wouldn't wait to repair the house because it's going to be some time, if ever, until you get any assistance. The home could likely get worse unless it's properly repaired.

(Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at www.taeradio.com. It is also available at www.brucewilliams.com.)

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