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Ask Dave

Take Time To Cry

Mildred needs to take some time to cry and grieve the loss of her husband, then she can make plans for the 403b retirement plan.

QUESTION: Mildred’s husband died a few weeks ago at age 43 from cancer. He had $19,000 in a 403b retirement plan, and she has no idea how to get started on collecting that. Also, how should she use his life insurance money?

ANSWER: The normal advice I’d give is to do nothing with the money for six months. If you don’t need the 403b money to live, you simply need to roll it to an IRA in some growth stock mutual fund in your name. Just set the insurance money in a certificate of deposit for six months and just cry. Get the grief out of the way, then you can think more clearly. You can take it out later if you need it. Set $20,000 aside for your emergency fund and use the rest to pay on the mortgage.