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Dear Fellow Fools,

Without going into great detail, just let me state that I wish I had pressed my Mom more over the years about her financial situation, but I didn't beyond offering to pay for a financial planner about 5 years ago. She did not want that, but has recently laid all in my lap and I am determined to do my best for her.

This is a huge burden, and I want to do right by her. I therefore request your comments on the strategy I have put together.

She has recently at 67 retired. She can no longer take the long hours on her feet. Her husband, 71, is still working and when he retires they can no longer afford to keep their house. Not necessary to know, but establishes the background. Both were/are earning minimum wage (Florida).

My mom has $78,000. left to her name and currently needs $400/mo income to supplement her social security (SS). I need to get her out of the high front load & back load funds her broker has put her into, not to mention the annuties he sold her. She does not have any funds (outside the annuties) in a tax deferred account. The annuties are 7 year fixed annuties at 6.10% with 2 1/2 years to go.

She and her husband, not having an emergency fund, have over the years of their marriage used her monies to buy cars, replace washing machines & roofs, etc. They still do not have an emergency fund but I have told her NOT to spend any more of her money, no matter what.

My strategy - 40% in fixed income (money market & bonds) & 60% in stocks. Since she has nothing to fall back upon, my thought is to have two years ($400/$9,600) of the monthly funds needed in a money market & short-term bond fund as a hedge should the market tank. She in not comfortable with much risk. The remainder of the 40% to be in a interim-term bond fund.

Of the 60% stock funds, my thought is that 2/3 should be in value funds (since she needs the income) and 1/3 in a growth fund.

I would have her take the $400. per month from the money market. All dividends and capital gains from all the funds to be diverted to the money market, which would be used for income and to rebalance the portfolio.

Using 6% for the fixed income portion given recent numbers, and 11% for (long-term) stocks I have figured this portfolio would return 8.5% over the long-term. Of course I can only hope that the market continues as it has been until we can get my Mom's finances in order.

Please poke any and all holes you can in my plan. I do not wish to make any mistakes and welcome your comments and suggestions.

Sorry for the long post. Kathy

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