By Terry Savage on February 20, 2015 |

Hi Terry –
I saw your article in the Washington Post this past Sunday and thought I would see if you can help me.
I feel like I have no one I can trust to give me solid financial advice.
I am a 72 year-old widow. I sold my home last year and would like to invest the profit from the sale. ($25,000).
I am currently renting, but would hope to be able to purchase another home by the end of the year.
I also would like to build up a nest egg.
I have a retirement income of approx. $3600.00 per month.
What would you recommend I invest in to give me the best return for my money?
Also, I need some type of investment that I can get redeem immediately if necessary.(i.e. downpayment on a
Also, what are your thoughts on Long Term Care Insurance?
Hope I have not made this too confusing.
Any help that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
What are your thoughts on Apple and Microsoft?
Many thanks.
Debbie Martin

Terry Says:  OK, let’s take this one step at a time.  I am happy to be your trusted resource, but you might also need some additional help, as I will describe below.  First, I’m assuming that you don’t want to lose a penny of that money!  I call that “chicken money” and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, I just posted a column on my website at, explaining that despite low interest rates, your chicken money belongs in an insured money market deposit account in the bank.

You cannot afford the risk of investing at this stage of life, assuming this is all of your money!  (If you have a retirement account such as a 40l(k) or IRA, that might be a different situation, so please write back if you left that out.  but don’t start investing in individual stocks at this stage — especially if you are thinking about buying another place.  (But why are you thinking about buying now?  Perhaps you might want to consider renting in a senior living community — especially if you are a widow and living alone.)

It’s a little late to consider buying long term care insurance, although I do recommend it for those in their fifties and sixties.  Without knowing more about your entire financial picture, it’s hard to advise you on how to deal with your money — except that you need to keep it safe.  Fortunately, you have a monthly income that should cover your basic expenses, and now you have a “rainy day” fund to deal with emergencies.  Make sure you have a current will, healthcare power of attorney, and a living will (when to pull the plug document).  Then I hope you have some younger relatives who are not greedy —  but will be willing to be of assistance should you need it.

Please write back if I’ve made wrong assumptions, or if you need more direction.

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