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Tossin' and turnin' all night long

Dear Dave,

I cashed out my portfolio several months ago, because I just couldn’t sleep at night with all the market swings that were happening. What do I do now that I have the cash?


Dear Max,

That’s a tough one. Personally, I wouldn’t have cashed out. The good thing is that you cashed out high and now you can buy low. The bad thing is the market may go even lower after you jump back in the mix!

But your biggest problem isn’t your sleeping habits. It sounds to me like you got caught up in the doomsday talk and forgot to think about things from a long-term perspective.

I recommend that you go back to what I’ve been teaching for years. When it comes to investing, take the long road. Don’t worry about what’s happening today. Don’t worry about what may happen next week, next month or even six months from now. An investment is something you leave alone at least for five years.

If you look back over the history of the stock market, 97 percent of the five-year periods have made money, and ALL of the 10-year periods have made money.

We’re going to be OK. The American economy will prosper in the long run!


Long-term care insurance: Vital

Dear Dave,

My wife and I bought long-term care insurance 17 years ago. We’re now in our 80s. We’ve never had to use this insurance, and we were wondering if buying it was the right thing to do.


Dear Ken,

You bet you did the right thing! A nursing home costs $30,000 to $50,000 a year. That kind of money will crack and scramble a nest egg in no time flat.

I strongly recommend buying long-term care insurance by age 60 that will cover in-home care or nursing home care if needed. It’s absolutely vital!

The fact that you haven’t had to use the insurance is a blessing and a wonderful testament to the way you’ve lived your lives. God bless you both, Ken.


Sell the ring to pay off debt?

Dear Dave,

My wife and I have about $20,000 in credit card bills. We’re very serious about getting out of debt, and we’ve been thinking about selling her wedding ring we bought back in our big-spending days. It’s not the original ring, but it’s made up of diamonds from the original. We’ve been told it’s worth about $30,000. Should we sell the ring to pay off our debt?


Dear Everett,

You need to hang on to that ring. I understand how badly you guys want to get out of debt, but a wedding ring is more than just a piece of jewelry – even if it’s not the exact original.

A wedding ring – whether it cost $30 or $30,000 – is a symbol of love and commitment, hopes and dreams, and the promises you made to each other and God on your wedding day.

You can pay off your debt by delivering pizzas part-time for a year and a half. It’ll be tough, but remember it’s only temporary.

Take any extra, honest work you can find. But don’t ask your wife to give up her wedding ring! She may say OK now, but you’ll both regret it later.