Dear Harry:

My mother-in-law is living with us in a separate apartment we created a few years ago. She and her husband came here because they were having financial difficulties. My father-in-law died shortly afterward. He was getting worker's comp at the time of his death. She will shortly receive $100,000 as a final lump-sum payout from worker's comp. This is after all expenses including some stiff lawyer's fees. She is still working, but not making much money. She is 62, and she has Social Security. She also hopes to build a nest egg for her retirement. She has been advised to buy life insurance, but we're not sure that's the right way to go. She is also considering long-term-care insurance. None of her children is looking to inherit any of her money. We hope to meet as a family soon to discuss her financial situation. She urged me to write to you before we meet. Please help.

What Harry says: I'm very pleased that none of you is "looking to inherit any of her money." That definitely excludes the life insurance choice. She has no need for it in any event. Life insurance has as its primary purpose making sure that dependents are cared for after a death. She has no dependents, so that would rule it out on other grounds. Long-term-care insurance, on the other hand, will help to provide for her needs if she ever needs skilled care. Decent policies are not inexpensive, so you may have to settle for limited benefits. As to the $100,000: I would like to see it in four CDs at six-month intervals. Shop around, particularly in credit unions. Taking care of her is setting a super example for your own children. Good luck!

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-GIVE LIFE.