Smart Money: You're due money back for extra costs

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DEAR BRUCE >> I bought glasses from a retail optical shop. I had to go back three times to get the glasses fixed due to problems with my prescription lens. I asked the store to pay for my roundtrip transportation, and the manager refused. I sent the cab receipts to the corporate office, and they sent me a check with an apology letter for the poor service.

Please remind your readers that when they incur extra costs due to similar service problems, they are due payment for their costs.

— Reader

DEAR READER >> Congratulations! You underscore the saying that if you don't ask, you don't get. I am happy to pass on your success story to my readers. Hopefully, this will give them hope in succeeding as you did.

DEAR BRUCE >> With a looming recession ahead (because of the current political election), my husband wants us to transfer all of our investments to cash and keep it in a safe deposit box. I'm worried about the taxes we will incur. We have about $350,000 invested with a national investment company.

— C.D.

DEAR C.D. >> I understand that there is a certain amount of unrest because of the election, but why would your husband want to transfer your investments to cash and keep it in a safe? At the very least, you can put your money into non-taxables and get a percentage, which is certainly better than nothing. I see no reason to cash out in today's market. It may be that you want to look at your portfolio and invest a little more conservatively, if that's possible, but certainly not stuff it in a cash box!

DEAR BRUCE >> I want to purchase a home in the next two years. I am trying to get myself prepared for the purchase by learning as much as I can. I keep hearing about programs for first-time homebuyers. How do I find out if the state I live in offers such a program?

— R.T.

DEAR R.T. >> You're very smart to be making your inquiries now as to what benefits are available to you. Write to the state you live in — perhaps through your state representative — and ask if the state offers any such programs. You may need to jump around from one department to another until you get the proper answers, but it's worth pursuing. Congratulations.

Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com.


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