Smart Money: Income sets stage for happy retirement


DEAR BRUCE >> I have what, on the surface, may be a simple question. I have a 401(k) currently at $420,000 and nonretirement investments of around $60,000. I will have a pension of $330 a month for life. My home will be paid off in eight months and I have no credit card debt. Our cars are paid for.

My wife is collecting Social Security and nets $798 after Medicare deductions. I will begin collecting Social Security in July 2017 and my estimated benefit will be $3,300 a month. I estimate our expenses for utilities, property tax and insurance to be $900 to $1,000 a month.

With all this being considered, do you foresee us being comfortably able to travel and generally enjoy retirement?

— S.Z.

DEAR S.Z. >> There isn't anything I need to add. You have a great handle on your expenses, and you have done well with your savings. You have reduced your overhead, and your income will exceed $4,300 a month. You can have a wonderful time traveling the world and generally enjoying your retirement, not having a thing to worry about. Congratulations.

DEAR BRUCE >> I need to file a small claims action against a New York City company. I cannot find the name of an individual to place in the claim. The company is owned by another company with no identifying person. How can I find the name of a person to bring the small claims action against? Can I just name the New York City company?

— Reader

DEAR READER >> What you'll have to do is contact the small claims court in New York City and find out what it suggests you do. I suspect that you will just list the company, but the only way to find out is to call with your specific questions and the names of the companies that you wish to start a claim against.

DEAR BRUCE >> My mother passed away last week. After five days of looking for her will, I finally located it. What should be my first step?

— Reader

DEAR READER >> It's a simple procedure. Take your mother's will down to the surrogate's office or its equivalent in the county where she passed away. You then ask for the will to be filed for probate.

I am assuming you are named the executor. This will give you the responsibility to do the things that have to be done, such as paying for funeral expenses, advertising your mother's passing, paying remaining credit card debts, etc.

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