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You might consider a modest amount of rising dividend stocks for your mother. For example, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE, WRE) is paying a dividend of 7.6% and has increased these dividends for 28 years. This means that they increased the dividends right through the bear market years of 1973-1974 and the recessions since. REITS are depressed right now so the PE is low (12) and the price modest ($15.5/sh). It concentrates its holdings in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area with some expansion into Pennsylvania. Another one of these that concentrates on apartments in the southeast and Texas with some expansion westward is United Dominion Real Estate (NYSE, UDR) that pays a 9.6% dividend but sells at a PE of 22. It has raised its dividend 23 years in a row and currently sells for about $11/sh. I don't know of your mother's situation but she could conceivably live off the dividends if REITS tank further.

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