SMART MONEY: Extra monthly income should be enjoyed
September 22, 2013 1:50 AM

DEAR BRUCE: I am 66 years old. My friends tell me to start opening up, to spend a little and enjoy it.

My house has been remodeled and is ready to sell. It’s valued at $170,000. My only debt is a home equity loan of $14,000. My investments and cash are $210,000. My Social Security is $1,760 a month; my pension is $1,557 and I’m drawing $800 a month from investments. So I deposit $4,117 in my checking directly each month.

My budget allowance (including taxes and insurance) is $3,104 monthly. I also have a part-time job that pays me $10,000 a year.

Should I have a more free-wheeling attitude about money? I have physicals twice a year, and feel only the loss of my great wife of 43 years. — Steve, via email

DEAR STEVE: I am with your friends. Go out and enjoy your life. Who are you saving it for? At 66 years old, you are a very young man. I am not suggesting you go out and spend more than what is coming in, but you have close to $1,000 a month plus the part-time job over and above your monthly expenses. By all means, take a cruise, get a hobby, do something that pleases you. You can’t take it with you.

DEAR BRUCE: Is it necessary to have a child as executor? We are 70 years old with three adult children. We asked our oldest son to be executor and have given him power of attorney, as well. We have an issue with one of the others. She is very upset about him being chosen, plus she does not get along with the other two. Our son says he doesn’t want to do this, but will anyway.

Would it be wise to have an attorney as executor? We would like to relieve the stress in our family over this issue and do not know which way to go. I can imagine that an attorney might say it’s OK, but is it prudent in your opinion? Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. — Alvin, via email

DEAR ALVIN: The direct answer is you could have anyone you choose be your executor. The fact that your daughter doesn’t get along with the other two siblings is lamentable, but that’s the way life is. If your oldest son doesn’t want to do it, don’t force him. On the other side of that, it would be a lot cheaper if he did because he won’t charge you. An attorney certainly will charge you to be the executor.

I don’t think you are going to relieve the stress in your family very much. Maybe the other son would be executor, but I don’t see any reason to pay an attorney to try to avoid stress. It’s going to be there no matter what.


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