DEAR BRUCE: I have an insurance policy that I took out on my son when he was a baby. He borrows (takes) money against it without my permission.
They tell me the reason he can do this is that he is the owner of the policy.
He has never made one payment toward this policy. He hasn’t paid any money back on the loan. I want to cash it in, but I cannot get hold of him to do this.
I want to know what my option is for this kind of behavior. He is now 42 years old and into drugs. — Reader, via email
DEAR READER: Unfortunately, I have bad news for you. Your son is the owner of the policy now. Even though you paid for it all, he is the owner and can do as he chooses. Whether he pays back the money or spends it is entirely up to him.
The fact that he is 42 and into drugs is a sad situation, but it doesn’t affect the fact that the policy became his when he reached the age of majority.
He can do as he wishes without any approbation from you.
DEAR BRUCE: My wife and I are in our 60s. We have been retired for many years, and we do our own financial planning.
When planning, we look at 10-year increments and determine how much money we will have for each decade until the age of 90-plus.
Since there is roughly a 50/50 chance my wife and I are going to live to 80, it doesn’t seem right that we need to keep more than one-third of our savings for this last decade. I would like to find a less expensive product. Do you have any suggestions? — Frank, via email
DEAR FRANK: While I understand your situation, the alternative is to spend the money and then have no means of support should you or your wife — or both of you — live well into your 90s.
I don’t know what you mean by “a less expensive product,” but I do think it’s absolutely essential that you provide in your thinking for living to age 90 or beyond. While it seems like a long way off, all of a sudden it will be upon you, and you’ll be far more comfortable knowing that you provided money so you can continue to maintain your lifestyle.
Send questions to email@example.com or to Smart Money, P.O. Box 7150, Hudson, FL 34674. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.
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