I am a 76-year-old guy who is retiring in June. I have never married, and I have no near relatives whom I would like to favor with a windfall inheritance. Any remaining estate will go to three charities with which I've been involved. I am sitting on a very good pension that will give me $4,200 a month in addition to Social Security of about $2,100. Beyond that, I have more than $150,000 in short-term CDs and a condo apartment worth about $250,000. I know I have been blessed. That income is twice what I'm now spending. I am being solicited by a salesman to put that $150,000 into a deferred fixed annuity to start at age 81. What's your view?
What Harry says: Before you do anything else, I want you to make sure you have a sufficient amount of health insurance and long-term-care insurance. Then I would like you to stop saving. (It's very rare for me to say that.) Do whatever pleases you. Travel. Go to the theater, the opera, the Phillies games . . . Visit family or friends who live a distance away from Philadelphia. Buy virtually anything that you may have wanted. Make substantial contributions to causes or organizations that are important to you. I do not think you need the annuity, and I see no reason to tie up that $150,000. Enjoy what time you have left!
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 1-800-Red Cross.