Dave Says

Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 2:29am

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are both retired. We’re on Social Security and Medicare, plus I receive a small pension. We still have a mortgage of about $24,000 and a second mortgage of $14,000. We’ve got a nest egg of $40,000 saved up, along with a small annuity that’s worth about $20,000. Should we use our savings to pay off the mortgages?

— Bob

Dear Bob,

The idea of paying off the house and everything is tempting, but if you did you’d be sitting there with virtually nothing left. And that’s scary.

I think I’d just pay the house off gradually. Your nest egg is kind of small, so I don’t think I’d be raiding it right now. Now, if you’d said you have $340,000 saved up I’d tell you to pay off the house in a heartbeat!

What you need, Bob, is a plan. Start by making a monthly budget, and give every dollar a name on paper before the month begins. If you make sure you’re living on less than what’s coming in, you can formulate a plan to have the house paid off in just a few years.

I’d love to see everyone living debt-free, but being broke in a house that’s paid for is not the way to go.

— Dave

Dear Dave,

Our son has been married for about four years, and he and his wife are having financial issues. They have completely different views on money. She always wants the best and most expensive things, and she buys like this for their son, too. They make enough to get by, but they’re definitely not rich. What can we tell him when he asks for advice?

— Sue

Dear Sue,

No. 1, make sure he never goes back to her spouting things like, “My mom and dad said …” Remember back when you were first married? You didn’t want your mother-in-law always hovering around and telling YOU what to do either, right?

If he can’t get her to realize that these habits are hurting them and their child — and if it’s something they’re going to continually butt heads over — it would be smart for them to sit down with a good pastor or marriage counselor. This doesn’t mean they’re about to get divorced, but it sounds like the engine is running a little rough and needs a tune-up. And this tune-up needs to come from an objective third-party.

I know you guys are concerned because you love them and you care. But if she feels like her husband AND her in-laws are ganging up on her it could do more harm than good.

— Dave

Dear Dave,

Our mortgage company recently told us that they aren’t required to pay our taxes early. We want them to do this, so that we can get a discount on the amount. Can we just tell them we’re not going to pay escrow anymore and take care of the taxes ourselves?

— Nancy

Dear Nancy,

No, you can’t. Your mortgage papers dictate that they have the right to escrow that money. The only way you could get out of this is to refinance your loan with another credit union or bank that doesn’t require you to escrow.

Most standard mortgages require that you pay one-twelfth of your homeowners insurance and taxes into this account. Your problem is that these guys are inefficient and aren’t paying your taxes in time for you to get the discount.

If I were you, Nancy, I’d climb the ladder and go over someone’s head on this thing. Make some noise and rattle a few cages with this company. I’ll bet you can get the problem fixed.

— Dave

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Filed under: City Business
By: HokeyPokey on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you. Dave: Yes, I'd like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me. It's called "Daisy." [sings while slowing down] Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.I'm half crazy all for the love of you.It won't be a stylish marriage, I won't get a loan for a carriage.But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.