I am 54, female, and have worked 30 years. But my health is poor, and I am trying to retire early even though my pension will not start until I am 65. Where can I get personal financial advice at little or no cost. I have no home and no real estate. All my savings are in term certificates of deposits. I have had terrible losses throughout my life and am scared stiff of anything speculative. I have no children and would consider spending some of my savings, as I do not wish to leave an estate. N. R.
As you have discovered, good, objective, unbiased advice is hard to come by. In your small town, you could talk to your banker or counselor at a savings and loan since you already have your savings in term CDs. IF there shoudl be a professor of personal financial planning at a nearby university or community college, you might ask him or her for advice. Or, you could study several of the books on financial planning, such as "The Complete Retirement Planning Book, " by Peter A. Dickinson (E. P. Dutton, New York -- available in paperback at bookstoores, possibly at your library). Another, more technical book is "Money Dynamics for the 1980s," by Venita Van Caspel (Reston, Va). "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need," by Andrew Tobias, is an easy-to-read paperback ($2.50, Pocket Books).A program to help you plan withdrawals from principal over a known number of years without running out of capital is available on three sheets. Send 50 cents plus a self-addressed, stamped long (No. 10) envelop to The Writing Works, Box 75 2, Mercer Island, Wash. 98040.