Pharos-Tribune

Business

May 11, 2014

Smart Money: Low interest rates put squeeze on CD holders

DEAR BRUCE: I currently have four IRAs and CDs invested with a local bank. They pay next to nothing. I am over 59½. Do you have any suggestions for reinvesting these? — T.T.

DEAR T.T.: If you are concerned about bank rates, take a look at what money market funds are paying these days: nothing. Unless you are prepared to get almost no return on your money, you’re forced to take some risk and that means entering the marketplace. I still maintain achieving a decent return is possible if you invest in a variety of solid American companies. You will do far better in the marketplace than you will with any bank, money market and most bonds.

DEAR BRUCE: We love reading your column and would appreciate your advice on a sticky problem our son is in. Against our advice, he purchased a used vehicle that is more expensive than he can handle financially. The financing was through the dealer — 7 percent for five years.

He’d like to sell it to get cheaper transportation, but would probably not be able to cover the balance on the loan. Also, privately selling a car with a lien is pretty complicated.

Other than losing the car to repossession (and he still might be liable for the financial gap), do you see any other options? Possibly trading it in for a less-expensive vehicle just to get a more reasonable monthly payment? ­— N.S.

DEAR N.S.: Where do you go from here? The best resolution for your son is to increase his income. I think he’s going to have to consider getting a part-time job. If he were to work just on Sundays bagging groceries, that would give him an extra $300 a month.

This is not a happy response, but he has to pay for his bad choices, and this is what it comes down to.

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