Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Retired couple contemplates buying a new house

DEAR HARRY: My wife and I are in our 70s, and we live in a two-story twin home in Lawndale. Our mortgage is paid off, and our only debt is a few thousand dollars on two credit cards. We are looking for a one-story home in the Far Northeast, maybe Somerton. Our present home would bring about $150,000, and we're looking in the range of $250,000 to $275,000. We have accumulated about $975,000. This includes the value of our home, IRAs, CDs and savings accounts. I get $325 a month in Social Security plus $2,500 in pensions. My wife gets $1,600 in Social Security and no pension. When we find the new house we're looking for, do we pay cash or go for a mortgage? How much mortgage?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Why are you carrying any credit-card debt? You're paying a whopping interest rate. Get rid of that, like, yesterday. At your ages, why go into debt on a mortgage if you can afford not to? You'll still have a substantial "reserve" and be able to live at a level at least equal to the way you live now. I suggest that you make sure you will be near important facilities: your doctors, a good hospital, a place of worship, entertainment and close family. Try to live by wearing out, not rusting out!

 


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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