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A tragic and avoidable loss

A retired couple lost $60,000 on the 3rd when they were robbed by young men posing as flower delivery men. $60,000. Their life savings. Their retirement money. All of it.

Why? Because when the men looted their home, they discovered that the couple kept all their money in cash. (They may have even targeted the house because the husband mentioned it to someone.)

This is such a tragedy because it was completely avoidable. If the couple had put their money in the bank–FDIC insured up to $100,000–then the thieves would have only gotten the $20-100 or whatever they had around the house. Their future wouldn’t be in jeopardy. It’s very sad.

(If they’d put it in pretty safe investments, like CDs, they could have also had more money, or if it had been in mutual funds it wouldn’t have been guaranteed safe but it would have earned a lot more money.)

Why did they make this choice? Well, since the wife is 80, she lived during the Great Depression (and even if she’s an immigrant, the Depression was worldwide). Banks weren’t safe, it would make sense for her to be suspicious. The article doesn’t go into their motivations, so we can’t be sure.

The robbery itself wasn’t their fault, of course, the young men are completely responsible. It’s a tragic reminder to the rest of us that while traditional banks may not offer great interest–they’re much safer (if FDIC insured) than cash. If someone you know is keeping their life savings in cash, show them this article. It’s never too late–until the money’s gone.

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Lessons from the Current Market
December 8, 2008 at 7:01 am

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E.C. November 11, 2007 at 11:47 pm

If someone is odd enough to insist on cash instead of a savings account, it might be worth it to try to persuade them to get a safe deposit box at a bank. It would be better to keep the money locked in an insured, fireproof vault than around the house.

mrsmicah November 12, 2007 at 8:36 am

Indeed. Fireproof is another good point. I mean it’s bad enough to lose your stuff in a fire. But to lose all that money because it’s flammable. *shudders*

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