itsmutualman -Like a couple others in this thread, I urge you to pay for some time with an experienced fee-only financial planner. Both for the actual learning that will occur, and for the peace of mind that comes from having made use of an unbiased professional.When you (or you and your relative) begin meeting with a planner, you will want to have already assembled all pertinent documents including a budget and a copy of the most recent monthly portfolio status report from the bank. This report will show the cost basis and current market value for each of the individual assets the bank is administering in trust for your relative. (If it doesn't, that's a big warning flag about the quality of service from this particular institution.) As mentioned in this thread, the capital gain / tax circumstances are sometimes an overwhelming factor when deciding whether to keep money where it is, or how best to go about shifting it to elsewhere, if you decide to do that.In a similar thread you began here in July, at http://boards.fool.com/in-danger-of-running-out-of-money-286...you wrote: "I don't know how to help her. I find it difficult to calculate a budget." This speaks directly to why you should not accept a leading role as a financial adviser, nor should your relative be keen to have you as a sole financial adviser. In the specific circumstances you have described, I believe that without professional involvement, you are "hunting bear with a popgun".There is some possibility that a relative, at 78, has unwittingly begun losing some of their previous capacity for handling their financial affairs in a coherent way. This was the subject of a recent article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/health/healthspecial/31fin... . Thus, your greatest service to your relative may be somewhat broader in scope than a simple one-time setup of a portfolio, it may include health-related planning and assistance .It has been a few years since I checked, but it may still be possible to purchase long-term-care insurance for someone who is 78 years old. This might or might not be a sensible choice for your relative. It was a great choice for one of my aunts, who suffered a stroke very shortly after her children took out an LTC policy for her. They needed every penny of the benefits.hirundo
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