I am so torn about what to do~~

phoggieJune 22, 2008

Although I do not have a whole lot of money, what I do have, I want to keep~~ I have a moderate sum in an annuity (which I will need to pay taxes on when cashing), and I am trying to decide if I should cash it out, pay the taxes now and put the money under my mattress~~~~ I get so sick with each and every statement comes that it is going down, down, down. My advisor says that I need to stay in and it has "always" come back. Well, I am 67 and I don't know if I have that much time to wait.

This is my second marriage (first husband was killed 30 years ago) and we have just found out that my present husband's son has been transferring funds out of their business account to his personal account...and telling his dad that they needed more in the business account, and my husband has been funding his son's embezzlement and nothing is left for "dear old dad".

I must protect all of my own monies (I do have everything in my trust for my children), but our retirement has been shot to h---!

Would you advise me to cash out or stay put?....wish I had a chrystal ball....but it worries me to no end.

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Did your husband press charges against his son? Are you involved in the business so that you could press charges? Have papers been drawn up so that step-son agrees to pay back the embezzled funds? Are checks & balances in place to stop it from happening again? I'd be angry as all get out and not very trusting of either party.

Regarding your money, I'd keep it in the annuity so it stays yours, untouchable by the men, and you avoid any potential withdrawal penalties. Pulling it out now might be a knee-jerk reaction to bad markets & a bad family/business situation.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:26AM
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thanks, hilltop~~
No charges or anything have been done yet....just found out about it a few days ago. It is going to take a long time to get to the bottom of this...it has been going on for years and lots of records have been destroyed. He has not been confronted about this yet...other son is still "digging".

It is my assets that I want to protect. No, I am in no way connected to their business (thank heavens), but I get very depressed when I see my accounts "dwindling"...and you are probably right, it might be just a "knee-jerk" reaction on my part to this uncertain market and the situations in this world.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:07AM
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I feel your pain regarding the market and how fast it change. And in this last week it has really been a nightmare (I won't even look at my balance!) But...remember the old (and very wise) saying: "Buy low, sell high". My advice is to hold tight for now. It would really be sad to pull out now...you will really loose more than you think. Try to stand back and take a deep breath. You have a lot going on right now. Why not tell yourself that you'll think about your personal account a month from now? Give yourself some time to process all that's happening to you.

I am 62 and I have been "downsizing" my IRA for a few years now, putting my portofilo into lower risk investments. Since I want to retire next June at 63 I hope I have made the right decisions and I don't lose too much in this recent downturn (that I have to work an extra year.) But I like you wish I had a crystal ball.

The one thing we both have going for us is years of experience...meaning we are old enough to have gone through some tough times and we know that a "knee-jerk" reaction is never the answer. (Unless faced with a life or death decision.)

Good luck to you, and I really hope things work out for you. The family business issue sounds like it might be ugly. I'm glad your husband has another son on his side to help him out. I can't imagine how horrible your husband must feel, to have your own child betray you...


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:17AM
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Hi phoggie,

I'm in a bit of a fog as to what investment you have.

You say that it's an annuity, but in my experience an annuity is a situation where you give an insurance company a pot of money, and they give you a promise that they'll pay you a given amount of money, usually at certain intervals over a period of time. Often made at retirement, and may be made to cover the investor, (usually the one who's retiring), and may be set up to cover a spouse, as well, often at a reduced amount (e.g. 60%), until death of the last of the couple.

Sometimes there's a deal where the insurance company promises to pay for 10 years, 15 years, etc., for on occasion both spouses died within a year or so, and in the ordinary course of things, the insurance company would happily keep all of the remaining amount of money that had been paid in: they'd done as they promised.

Some people were quite unhappy to hear of such events. When I sold mutual funds, one of our staff had client in another city who considered buying an annuity, at age about 80. He cancelled some appointments on the following day and arranged to meet the lady, her relatives who were interested, and the annuity sales person. When the lady and her relatives asked the annuity sales person what residue would be available to the lady's estate were she to die next year (or next month), the sales person said that there was no such provision: the insurance company would keep the rest of money.

The rates of payout that annuity providers are willing to offer usually relate substantially to current interest rates, and are somewhat higher, in that the payment includes some of the principal, as it is gone at the end of the contract. Actually, it was "gone" at the beginning of the contract ... all that the person giving it up had was the insurance companiy's promise to pay the amounts that they'd contracted for. So few people want to agree to an annuity contract when interest rates are low, for once the rate of agreed payout is put into place, it isn't changed.

People who made annuity contracts back in 1981 or so, when Canada Savings Bonds paid 19%, were happy campers, but no such rates have been offered in recent years.

Then ... you speak of the value of your account shrinking as your regular accounting statements appear.

That leads me to feel that you are invested in the stock market, whether through mutual funds or having bought stocks directly.

On the other hand, perhaps you have bought bonds, whose current value fluctuates upward when interest rates drop, and vice versa. While one can sell a bond at any time, usually when interest rates rise, the value that someone is willing to offer to buy one's bond reduces.

The bond will be redeemed at face value if one holds it to maturity (assuming that the issuer is solvent).

So, in my opinion, something doesn't seem to add up, with regard to what you're saying regarding your investment.

If I'm in error, no doubt someone will set me straight.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:13PM
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I don't know enough about these matters to advise you as to the financial steps, but I can tell you one thing; I would get the situation with DH's son sorted - you need to protect yourself. He could influence your DH to sign away what is rightfully yours, or partially yours.
Protect yourself and guard what is still yours; he sounds ruthless.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:15AM
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I'm not sure about the annuities either but I do think that is the least of your worries at this time. I have been married more than once, sonetimes good, sometimes not. I feel strongly that you have to protect yourself from the situation you are in with step son, and what his father might do. I think the least of your worries is the fall in the markets, although that is very upsetting too. Please keep what is yours secure, in your own name. If you withdraw the money ( if you can) how are you going to keep it so that it isn't liquid enough that it would be very hard to refuse your husband if he were to ask you for help.

All the best to you.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:37PM
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I would tell that son to replace the money by a set time or you were going to call the police. It doesn't matter if you have a legal right to do that or not. I would raise the biggest stink that town had ever seen. I know a woman whose son found a woman to impersonate his mom and took all of her money out of her account while she was in the hospital with pneumonia. I would have done the same with him. Her son would have had the money over there by the deadline. The step son might not, but he might not know if she has a right or not. I would sure try it. The bad thing about your situation is that regardless if you have your money in a trust it is still considered half your husbands and you will have to stand good for his debts, care home care, etc..

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:03PM
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Having money in a trust means nothing re ownership, at least in community property states. And, often, in non-community property states, the person who is on the title owns the property and the spouse is not able to get it. If her money is separate from his, she obtained it before her marriage, has not used it for community purposes, it is hers if she lives in a community property state. If she does not live in a community property state, it depends.

See a lawyer. It might cost you a couple hundred dollars but that should be worth the peace of mind.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 4:41PM
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Thanks to all for your kind words of encouragement. I have consulted an attorney and (according to him), my assets that are in my trust's name are safe.....the only common property we have together is our home...and the state has a lien on that because of the son not paying sales tax and withholding tax with the company which my DH ownes 51%....to the tune of $417,000!!!!! DH has put the office/shop and some vehicles on the market....sure hope they sell and perhaps this lien could be settled and we can get off of our house so we can "try" to sell it and move on....but retirement is certainly not what I thought it would be like. I am disabled so can not work anymore...or I would get a job~~ Oh well, I have wonderful kids and grandkids who are doing well, so I do have to think of this and be thankful...that is the only bright star that I cling to.

Since DH will not press charges for embezzlement because he doesn't want to hurt the grandkids by his son having to go to jail and we have nothing to gain from him (everything is mortgaged or has liens), NOTHING more has been done....but the amount of embezzlement that he put in his personal accounts are over $400,000.

Now with yesterday's market fall.....I didn't sleep all night...wondering if I should cash it all in and put somewhere until hopefully this blows over within a year or so...............I am just sick with worry!!!!!! DH keeps telling me not to cash it but then he told me the same thing when I wanted to cash it at 14,000....it just went up too fast to stay there......so I am not too keen in taking his advice anymore~~~

Again....thanks for caring~~

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 1:57PM
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