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I do think she should be getting some dividend/interest income from the portfolio.

Of course she should.

There are a number of equities paying well over what a bank would pay. AT&T (symbol T), for example, pays about 6.4%, last time I looked, and there are many others that pay in the 4 to 6% range or more. One need not invest in "fly-by-night" companies to realize a decent return.

An average return of just 5% on $800,000 = $40,000. When added to $22,000 SS income, she should have more than $60,000/year income. Barring a serious medical condition, I would think that would be a very good income.

Besides, even if she eats into the basic amount somewhat, so what? I say enjoy that money and don't worry about struggling to "leave it to the kids"!

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