In the next few months a sewer project will be constructed in my neighborhood. Should I pay my $2,000 portion in cash or sign for a bond assessment to pay over 40 years at 5 percent? I could withdraw funds currently paying 8.5 percent from my credit union. I would plan to repay the credit union at $20 a month. I don't plan to sell, but 40 years is a long time, and I'm retired. -- B.B.
I advise not paying cash and paying off the assessment over 40 years. The 5 percent interest is less than the 8 1/2 percent your money gets in the credit union. You'd be ahead by 3 1/2 percent. As for the 40 years, whoever inherits your house and then sells it will have to clear the title (pay off the bond), but that can be taken from what will likely be far cheaper dollars. Your cost of postponing payment is so small that you shouldn't pay out those dollars today.