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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter's Party Plans Won't Cure Mom's Birthday Blues

DEAR ABBY: I recently inherited some money. The amount is enough to allow me to leave a job I find stifling and set up my own business without having to worry about money for the first year.

I am excited about it, but I'm getting nothing but doom and disapproval from my family. My husband says he supports me, but has confided that he's afraid I'm going to plunge us into poverty. My parents and siblings tell me I'm being irresponsible and wasting money I could be investing for retirement. They remind me of how many small businesses fail and tell me I'm "crazy" to leave a secure job.

I want to take advantage of this opportunity, but my family's attitude is starting to make me doubt myself. Am I naive and irresponsible? -- AMBITIOUS IN AUSTRALIA

DEAR AMBITIOUS: No, you're a woman with a dream. And that's OK. Until a century ago, nobody thought man could fly, and now we've struck water on the moon.

HOWEVER, just to cover your bases and see if your dream is practical, write a business plan and take it to a bank to see if they would be willing to lend you money to start your business. If the answer is yes, I see no reason why you shouldn't invest in yourself (at zero interest).