DEAR BRUCE: I am 75 years old, owe nothing and have some money available to invest. But I’m leery because the market is so high. What is your suggestion? — J.E.

DEAR J.E.: Seems to me that you’re doing quite well! You’re debt-free and you have extra money to invest. Not a bad problem to have.

I wouldn’t be so leery just because the market is high. I would go with my standard advice. That is, investing in well-established, large firms that have continuously been paying dividends for a good many years and showing 2 percent to 4 percent growth a year on average. It won’t get you rich, but it should provide a decent return and you can sleep at night.

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DEAR BRUCE: Is it better to try and negotiate on one’s own with the IRS when settling back tax debt (approximately $10,000) or is it better to go through a tax attorney? An attorney is not really affordable, however, if it is a better solution, how does one go about finding a reputable one? A Google search produces overwhelming results. — G.M.

DEAR G.M.: Google might provide a lot of results, but you should be able to pick a few attorneys and investigate the differences. There are many companies that will negotiate for you, and they may be worth your attention.

The company will make a proposal to partially offset the moneys that you owe the IRS. It won’t get rid of the debt altogether, but depending on your circumstances, a good part of the debt can be washed away. You have nothing to lose, but be sure the company charges you nothing unless it negotiates successfully to reduce all or part of your debt.

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