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Subject:  Unique situation - thoughts? Date:  8/16/2005  3:44 PM
Author:  Marxtacy Number:  47249 of 90110

My wife has a good friend that has come to me for some investing advice. However, his situation is so unique I thought I would offer it up to this board for some additional insights.

He is in his mid 30s and has multiple sclerosis (MS). He is single and has no children. He is also a talented chef and has just been hired to work full-time for a wealthy older couple. He will be making close to 80,000 a year, and they will pay his health insurance. He will also have his own suite in each of their homes. In other words, he will be making an excellent salary and have virtually no expenses. The couple is aware of his medical condition, and the fact that there are some days when he is simply unable to work. (Being an older couple, they are probably taking the chance that his good health will outlast their need for his services.)

I'm under the impression that he has not saved much money for "retirement" so far. He also doesn't know much about investing, and is weary of the stock market.

His primary concern, however, is that he will become completely unable to work long before typical retirement age. He says he would rather just save his (substantial) positive cash flow in cash (e.g., money market accounts and CDs). I suppose he figures he will have enough between his savings and disability (SSI) to live comfortably.

Do you think a traditional or Roth IRA would be better?

Regardless, he will have much more available to invest than what he can even contribute to an IRA. To me, it seems to be a bit extreme to keep all of his funds in cash. (I told him he can even include bond funds to decrease his risk exposure, and he will be able to withdraw the money in the event that he can no longer work due to disability.)

Since he will easily be able to max out his IRA, what would you suggest he do with the rest of the money to help ensure a comfortable lifestyle as possible when/if he is permanently disabled by MS? The difficulty comes from not knowing when this could happen.

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