D EAR HARRY: I am a childless widow, age 82. Back in December, I was notified that a 91-year-old uncle had just died and left me a $7 million fortune in three stocks that he apparently held for many years. After taxes and fees, it still comes to more than $5 million. The lawyer for the estate suggested that I visit with a financial adviser whom he knew who holds periodic seminars. This man apparently has a fine reputation. I attended one of his sessions and met with him on a one-on-one basis. Harry, because of you, I have some serious doubts about him. He is recommending that I sell almost all the stock and buy cash-value (he called it whole-life) insurance. I remember your saying that whole-life insurance is usually better for the agent than for the family. Further, why in God's earth do I need life insurance? I have no near relatives nor favorite charities. I have every intention of using it all up. What's going on here?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: I'm very surprised. In your circumstances, I would have expected a recommendation of an annuity for part of the funds. I agree with you regarding your need for life insurance. I suggest that you visit with two "Registered Financial Advisers." These people are competent and have SEC oversight. Choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable, and don't take any advice that is not clearly in your best interest.