Moving for better schools

Question: I am 62 years old and have very little retirement saving, totaling $65,000. I have two (10 and 8 years old) kids and three adults. The school district is performing very poorly and, as I can't afford a private education for my kids, I want to move out to a better school district when the kids start their middle school education. Fortunately, I will be having soon about $40,000 which I want to use it for both retirement and to buy a house in a better school district area. Can you suggest the best investment advice that will offer a substantial and quick return? With many thanks in advance, Fatima, Atlanta, GA

Answer: There is no investment out there that will offer you "a substantial and quick return." The more risk you take in an attempt to make extra money the greater the danger that you'll lose your money. And if anyone tries to sell you an investment guaranteed to return big bucks fast, run. Don't walk. Run.

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I would stay conservative with your savings. This way you'll keep the money safe until you use it.

A good education is critical and I admire your goal of moving to another neighborhood with better schools. However, I would make sure that your finances don't get too stretched.

I would use this time to see what kinds of homes are available and at what price. How will owning affect your finances? Will the other adults be able to help you out financially?

I would also consider whether it make more financial sense for you to rent in the neighborhood rather than buy. Your kids would still get to go to the better schools, but you would have savings to tap when you needed the money--especially in your retirement years.

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.

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