Dear Readers —
I have great news for those of you who wrote me explaining why you thought you should receive a complimentary copy of "Last Chance to Get It Right," a new book by J. Thomas Moore.

As many of you know, the first batch of winners were announced last week . Because of the tremendous response we had, Tom has graciously offered to personally provide an additional 10 copies, for a total of 30. This means books will be sent to nearly one in ten "Your $ Matters" readers who took the time to write. Many of these extra copies will go to members of our military.

Some of you who were not selected to receive a copy of "Last Chance," will receive the next best thing: Tom Moore has agreed to answer your questions in an upcoming column, so keep checking!

Take care, folks,

Gail

 

P.S. If you are selected to receive a copy of "Last Chance to Get It right," please be patient. In some cases we can't send you a book until you give us your post office mailing address.

 

Aloha Gail,

This book will surely be valuable to me and my family. My girlfriend came from a very poor, financially deprived family. Father and mother who are in their 70s had no background in investing. They still rent and the father is living off of Social Security and some pension. His wife is living off of her social security from him, since she never worked.

Their children of four were never taught how to save or invest. My girlfriend is the youngest and she's 48 years old. She has worked for a company for 27 years, and they just started a 401(k) last year. Her pension when she reaches 55 from this company will be $550.00 a month. Anyway, as for me I just got laid off from my company in 4/2002. After 20 years, I was able to walk away with more in my 401(k) than in my cash pension... At least we have something to start with...

So, by being one of the lucky winners, not only will I benefit, but my family will benefit, and hopefully attain Moore's goal of getting to that $100,000.

Mahalo,

Kim

 

Dear Gail,

This is my desperate plea for a copy of Thomas Moore's "Last Chance to Get It Right!." I retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service in 2001, without a cent in a retirement plan... I'm 39 and need a second chance, desperately! I am finally receiving a decent salary as a civilian. What should I do with my money? Please help me if you can.

Sincerely,

Dave

 

I'm 53 years old, married with grown kids. I had to have both knee joints artificially replaced last year and though they are working pretty well I have the feeling that they may not serve me well enough to keep working the 50 hours a week that my job with a major chemical company typically requires. I have a company retirement and a 401(k) that I can control to some extent but I am not sure what to do with them in the current economic times. Hence I need some guidance and maybe the book is it.

Thanks for the consideration,

Harry

 

Gail,

Aloha!

I recently retired from the US Navy after 24 years and I am currently living in Hawaii. I have 3 children: The oldest is currently attending Law school, the middle child starts college this September, and my youngest graduates high school next summer and also plans on attending college.

I only mention this because as I go through the process of trying to finance my second child's college education it becomes very clear that having only $500 in savings and living paycheck to paycheck is not the way to go. Also since joining civilian life I am also finding that my military retirement check, even though it is nice, there is no way I will be able to survive later in life with just that.

As I start my new career path in life I would love to have a good plan so that my wife and I will be taken care of later in life. I missed out on the first half of my life in making smart financial decisions, I don't want to do it twice! That is why I could really use a copy of "Last Chance to Get it Right!"

Thank you for you time, and even if I don't get a copy of the book I will continue to read your articles and hope you have a great day!!

Mike

 

Gail --

What is there about me that indicates I should I receive a copy of this book?

1. I am within five years of retirement.

2. I need help figuring out how to manage the savings and investments I already have which are admittedly somewhat thin.

3. I am going through a divorce which is leaving me with custody of a child but also reducing my share of my government retirement funds by half due to state law.

4. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing regarding saving money except that I am saving, just don't think I have a good plan.

William

 

I am approaching 60 and have done a very poor job of taking retirement seriously. Though I have put some money into IRAs for both my wife and myself, I have this nagging feeling that we will be working at the local supermarket well into our 80s! (Not that I would mind doing this, it's a great way to keep active).

We have both been self-employed throughout our working lives and made a living wage -- just not enough to establish what I feel is an adequate base for retirement. Any help would be helpful.

Thank you.

Phil

 

Dear Gail,

We could really use the retirement book right now. My husband is retiring from the Air Force after 24 years of military service. Our income will be cut in half until he finds a new job. I have begun a new career in Occupational Therapy. We are fortunate and blessed in many ways, but should be smarter in our retirement planning. He is 50 and I am 47. We have two young children, so we could really use this book now to be as smart as we can with retirement planning for the next 12 to 15 years.

We are nervous and excited about our future. Any help is appreciated.

We love Fox News. I often read your articles and find them timely and informative. Keep up the good work!

We hope we win one of the books, but if not, you'll have 20 lucky winners.

Bonnie

 

For 32 years I have devoted my professional and personal life to a career with people with mental retardation, earning little in money but great sums of personal pride and pleasure. My key duties have been development of homes and quality services for my constituents.

However, at age 58, I realize that I must now look towards planning for security in my own life, since I am a single lady. My main goal for me is the same as for those I have served for all these years: independence, a secure lifestyle, and the ability to follow my dreams.

For me, that is travel, enjoyment of family and friends all over our country. My father gave me good training in money management, and I believe I have done a decent job of saving for 'the future'. Now that the future is becoming a reality, I would like some assistance in reviewing my plans, maximizing my investments, and help with assuring I am on the right track. I don't have anyone to really give me support in this process, so your book would be a GREAT help to me.

Thanks for your consideration, and please know that we single folks who are not part of a family unit need help too!

Brenda

 

Hi, Gail!

We have had two years of financial disasters and need this book! My mother suffered a long illness resulting in her death, which in turn resulted in a 55-percent downturn in my business due to its neglect. We are 56 and 49 and now have massive debt (which we are paying off through Consumer Credit Counseling) and have gone through our savings. Thankfully, we are both employed.

We are starting over after losing $100,000 in retirement savings. It seems that we have a "Last Chance to Get it Right". We hope we are one of the lucky 20 and receive this valuable guide!

Sincerely,

John and Sinara

 

For all my adult life I have taken care of everyone else -- daughters, husbands, brothers, parents, stepkids and current partner of 7 years. I'm 52 years old and have nothing saved for retirement. I don't regret what I did, but it's now time to take care of me. I need help and advice ASAP. I could elaborate, but you asked for a short explanation. I hope you will consider me for the book.

Thanks for helping everyone.

Terry

 

Dear Gail --

I need the book to make sure I'm not missing something. I'm absolutely scared to death that I'm not doing enough, even though for the last 10 years both my wife and I have maxed out our contributions to our 401(k) (or SEPs), and have zero debt. We are scared that we are missing something major and will end up losing big time.

Also, my brother's financial situation is a horrible mess. He's in debt up to his eyeballs, and is lucky to be saving a nickel a month. He needs some serious help and re-education on how to deal with finances. This book would do it for him... after I read it first.

Thanks, love your columns.

Eric

 

Gail,

I'm 44 years old and am 12 months into a new career, after spending 21 years in the United States Navy. Because we moved so frequently while I was in the service we built up little home equity, and with the prices of homes in southeastern Michigan, had to assume a 30-year mortgage. My wife and I have two teenage children, and the first college tuition bill is about 18 months away.

If I'm ever going to be able to retire, I'm going to have to carefully plan and execute my financial strategy for the next 15 years or so. I'm hoping that a free copy of "Last Chance to Get it Right" is the answer I need.

Joel

 

Dear Gail,

I was a single mother of three children for 16 years. Even though I worked, I still needed financial assistance. This came in the form of public assistance; food stamps, Medicaid... these programs dictate that you cannot have a combined value of assets totaling $5,000. Thus, I could not participate in any 401(k) programs or invest in any retirement accounts. I recently married, and turned 38 years old. Finally, I can plan for my retirement, but have no clue where to start, or how aggressively to invest.

Please help.

Lori

 

I'm writing in hopes of receiving one of the free copies of "last Chance to Get It Right."

I am 46 years old and, along with my husband, am currently working overseas in Iraq for the sole purpose of building up our retirement account, however, I have no idea how to invest the money once I come home with it!

My husband and I both have small 401(k) accounts with previous employers and we plan to open up Roth IRA accounts with some of the tax-free income we will receive, but we are hoping to save and properly invest a large amount of retirement money over the next couple of years.

Please select me to receive a copy of Thomas Moore's new book.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sue

 

Hello Gail,

I am a victim of what can happen to a defined benefit pension plan when your corporation sells your company at my age, 50. That recently happened to me, and my "defined" benefit pension turned into something very "undefined" when our company was purchased by another corporation, and the first corporation kept our retirement plan. They also used some rather obscure language in the "modified" plan to allow them to "recalculate" the remaining benefit. As a result, a huge portion of my pension went down the toilet, along with any hope of a comfortable retirement.

This has happened at a time in my life when I simply don't have the years remaining to recover. I am certainly not the only victim, but one of many, and if you choose me to receive one of your free books, I promise to share it with others at my location who were equally impacted.

I could tell you of many horror stories pertaining to this situation, but shall keep this as brief as possible.

Thank you for your consideration.

David

 

Hi Gail,

I am 55 years old and have been 100% disabled since I was 46. My income is Social Security and VA benefits. I have no personal saving, but am now in the position that I might be able to set aside $150 a month for long-range planning. I have a small pension plan sitting with my company that I can touch at 65.

It is worth about $40,000 right now. I have about $400,000 in life insurance on waiver and am in the process of buying another $100,000 if the company will really issue it without any ratings. I have a wife who is disabled but not receiving any benefits. I would like the book if it would give me some ideas on what to do with $150 a month. Because of my situation I find I am not able to sit down with a professional one-on-one anymore.

Thank You,

Michael

P.S. I was an insurance salesman and investment advisor before becoming disabled in 1995. Can't think clearly now.

 

Why could I use this book? As a divorced mother with three boys that I have raised single-handedly the last 15 years, the bulk of my time and resources have gone into my kids; in other words, I haven't had enough finances to be in need of a financial adviser.

I'm now at the point in my life where my kids are getting to be on their own (two in college, one finishing up high school), but I really need to play catch-up if I'm going to ever be able to retire. I look at the lives they have, and I know I was instrumental in that, but now I need to create a life for myself, including financial security. So, you see, this is sort of my last chance to get it right! I would also like to be able to pass along some "mom advice" to them, to ensure their financial security in the future.

Thanks. Love your column!

Christa

 

I would love a copy of the above mentioned book, especially if it's free. My husband was permanently disabled in a motor vehicle accident a year and a half ago, and we just signed papers for a settlement. It's nothing like the multi-million dollar checks that the TV ads portray (at least here in upstate NY), but it's still up there as far as I'm concerned — approximately $300,000 after lawyer fees, and I would like to protect as much as possible from taxes and divide it up among our four adult children, while being able to derive an income from interest as long as my husband and myself are alive. We can survive on SSI and his disability benefits from NY State, but you certainly don't throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into a checking or savings account. What do we do with it???

Catherine

 

Dear Catherine,

Please read this book and then make an appointment with a financial planner. It sounds as if this settlement represents your entire retirement nest egg. You will certainly need the income it can provide, and you will likely have to dip into the principal, as well, in order to meet your retirement needs.

Leaving some of this money to your children is a nice thought, but it should not be your main concern. The biggest gift you can give your children is the knowledge that mom and dad can take care of themselves financially.

Take care,

Gail

 

Good Morning Ma'am,

I am currently deployed to Iraq serving our great country. I read your recent article and was intrigued by the book. Yes, I definitely need the book. I have six wonderful children and a very lovely, supportive wife. Being in the Marines had been extremely challenging especially having six children. I love my family and I look forward to spending more time with them. My youngest is Peter, my four-year-old son.

This is my second tour in Iraq, I was here last year from Jan-Oct. I was able to spend the Christmas Holidays with them. Then February of this year I am back again serving proudly. My biggest fear was that upon my return, Peter would not be able to recognize me. It happened to me with my oldest daughter. Like I said, I love my family and I would love to have an opportunity to spend quality time with each of them. I figure this is an opportunity for me to gain the knowledge to that goal. I thank you in advance for your support.

Semper Fi,

Pepe

Thank you for your sacrifice. It must be terribly difficult to be apart from your family so long. Please share what you learn from this book with others who are serving with you.

Come home safely.

Gail

I am a severely disabled retired veteran and, although we enjoy a reasonably good monthly retirement check from the military, if I die before my wife, she has only our investments and a small social security check to live on. She gets none of my retirement check!

She would have approximately $350,000 to live out the remainder of her life. She is 70 years old now. About 80 percent of the money is invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. This amounts to $280,000 which, if it generated approximately a 5-percent return, amounts to $14,000 which she cannot live on. If she were alone we estimated that she will need about $50,000 annually. That leaves a $36,000 shortfall. If she withdrew 10 percent a year, her nest egg would last a little over 10 years. What is she to do short of moving in with her daughter? Would the book help her rearrange our investments so that those years could be stretched out?

Stedeley

 

Dear Stedeley,

I strongly suggest you have a family meeting and honestly express your concerns. Let your daughter know about the situation. Then find an experienced financial advisor who can help you and your wife come up with a plan.

All the best,

Gail

 

Dear Gail,

I believe that I could really use the book "Last Chance to Get it Right" by Thomas Moore. I am currently 25 years old and deployed to Iraq, in support of OIF II, where I am serving as a Corporal with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in the Marine Corps. A lot of the guys out here, including myself, will have saved up some money (~10K) and I believe this would be a good book for the Marines in my unit to read about something to do with their earned money.

A lot of the Marines when they get back just blow the money, cars, women, electronics, etc. and don't realize how they could start saving for the future now. Like what was stated in the article about buying a used $15,000 car rather than a new $30,000 car -- over 35 years a quarter of a million dollars could be made with investing! These Marines could benefit so much!

Right now we have some down time that it would be possible to give them work time to read the book. I believe that in combination with this book and talking with them about their financial future it would be possible to change maybe just one Marine's future and have them save rather than spend.

Thank you for your consideration.

Cpl Brian H., USMC

 

I'm counting on you sharing this book with the other Marines in your unit!

Be safe,

Gail

 

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