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Online banks (HSBC, Emigrant, ING) are a good place to put money that you might need within, say, 6 months - 1 year. They're liquid, insured to $100,000 by the FDIC, and are earning 4% - 4.5%, depending on where you place the deposits. They're high-interest savings accounts, just like a local bank would have, but there's no brick & mortar location where you can deposit monies.

For money you're not needing for 5+ years, generally stocks/mutual funds are the proper vehicle for those funds. Some may suggest bonds, i'm no stock expert and my retirement funds at 22 will have significantly more risk than yours may.

You may need to set some goals to help answer your questions and pave the road. Example: I'd like to recieve $xxx/mo to live comfortably after xx age.

Inflation, medical bills, house payments, car payments, living expenses, and such need to be a part of the equation. See what you're comfortable with and how you can save in today's dollars to better yourself in later years.
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