Barbara Kelly’s husband, Martin Kelly, died of Covid in July. Now the 53-year-old from Phoenix needs a financial road map to get through the next few years and, ultimately, plan for retirement.
Ms. Kelly currently lives with her three sons, ages 22, 20 and 17. For 16 years, she stayed home to care for them. In 2013, she began working at a real-estate investment trust and now earns $66,000 annually.
Ms. Kelly has three separate individual retirement accounts: $12,000 in her own IRA, and $94,000 and $48,000 in two that used to belong to her husband. Currently, she isn’t contributing to her IRA. She also has $45,000 in a 401(k) as well as a tax-deferred annuity worth $52,000. In addition, she has $77,000 in an investment account—mostly containing individual stocks—and $200,000 in cash.
A significant expense she faces right now is her sons’ college bills. Her late husband’s friends raised $15,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs. In addition, she has two UGMA college-savings accounts.
The account for her youngest son—who graduates from high school in 2022—has $25,000. The one for her middle son, a student at the University of Arizona, has $15,000. That sum, along with a $3,000 academic scholarship and $2,500 in tuition assistance he hopes to receive from his employer, should be enough to pay for his final year at the school, she says. Her oldest son currently attends community college and works 25 hours a week. But he hopes to return to the University of Arizona next year, and Ms. Kelly is considering paying part of the tuition.