Smart Money

DEAR BRUCE: Is it smart to have GAP insurance on my new vehicle, or do you think it's a waste of money? Also, if I am in an accident, does the credit union pay the whole balance of my loan or a certain portion? I heard they only pay up to $20,000. -- John

DEAR JOHN: Whether you should have GAP depends upon other things. For example: How much exposure are you giving to this situation? In other words, if you're only driving 6,000 to 7,000 miles a year, that's an expensive cost per mile of exposure. On the other hand, if you drive a great deal, then it would be worth it.

As to whether your credit union will pay only a certain portion if the car is in an accident, the answer is for you to review your policy. Some policies will pay 100 percent, and others will pay a portion. You're going to have to ask this important question before you consider the GAP, too.

DEAR BRUCE: I would like to leave all my money to animals. I am trying to find a charity or fund that helps all animals, wild and domestic, and habitats. Can you advise where I might find such a charity/fund? -- J.K.

DEAR J.K.: What a nice thought. I also contribute money to animal organizations. Though I am concerned more with domestic animals.

There should be no problem researching this on the internet. You should be able to find many organizations that care for the welfare of animals. You can narrow it down by specific species, etc., and when you find two or three that you find intriguing, do some research into how much money actually goes to the animals and what the organization's expenses are. You might be surprised or disappointed to find that some have extremely large expenses. You want most of your donation to go to the animals, and the organization should be able to demonstrate that's the case.

(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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