Slow Down To Grieve

JoAnne recently lost her husband to cancer. She will have $125,000 left after paying off everything and $36,000 a year in Social Security benefits. What should she do now?

QUESTION: JoAnne in Indiana recently lost her husband to cancer. She is in her 40s and will have $125,000 left after paying off everything. She'll receive $36,000 a year in Social Security benefits. What should she do now? Dave tells her to sit on the money for a while and grieve.

ANSWER: I'm going to stick with what I always tell people. I'm going to tell you to do nothing. You need to slow down. I don't give a crap what everybody says. Everybody's an idiot. They're all broke. They're trying to be helpful, but you've already made one mistake. You bought a $30,000 brand-new car. I would not have coached you to do that. I'm not picking on you, but you had a transmission go out, and it became a $30,000 expenditure right in the middle of the apex of your grief. You need to slow down. You need to put this money away, and you need to forget you've got it. In six months, sit down with somebody and then we can talk about putting the money in some mutual funds and letting it grow, and separating out some of it as your three to six months of expenses as an emergency fund.

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