Do you have a money dilemma? Each week the Moral Money column will try to solve one of our readers’ burning financial quandaries. Send your questions and comments to moralmoney@telegraph.co.uk

Dear Moral Money

I need help, I’ve made a horrible mistake and I’m starting to realise there is no way to put it right. About 12 years ago I invested all my pension into two projects that I was told were fast-growing but they’ve both failed. I had a “defined benefit” pension and was persuaded by a family friend to cash it in for £640,000 and invest it. One of the investments was in property and another was in forestry. It has been confirmed I won’t be getting any money back. 

I feel incredibly stupid and gullible for trusting these schemes. I’m now stressed out of my mind about what I’m going to do when I retire. I’m so ashamed that I haven’t been able to tell my husband. It took so long for me to realise the money was gone and then I was denied it because I thought there must be some way of getting it back. 

He occasionally asks how the investment is doing and I always tell him that I haven’t checked in a while because it’s supposed to be long term. We are nearly 60 and hope to retire in five years or so but I know I can’t afford it. I feel like I have let him down, we’ve worked so hard all our lives and I’ve gone and thrown away our savings. He always says I’m terrible with money and it hurts that it’s true. I’m trying to put as much aside as I…

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