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Your mother has several options. If she does not need access to the money, my best advice would be to invest it in a manner to recieve potentially profound tax benefits. This could be done by investing in a ROTH IRA account (depending on her time horizon). An individual, so long as they have earned income, can contribute up to $2000 per year into a ROTH IRA. So long as withdrawals do not violate any rules (see all about IRAs), none of her preciously invested account will be taxable!

I recognize that $2,000 may be only a small portion of the money that she has to immediately invest. Also, you said that she wants to have access to some of the money. She could open a standard Money Market/Brokerage account in addition to her IRA. Whatever amount that she absolutely needs access to at any time could stay in the money market, which is a liquid account that still yields a decent return (better than a savings account).

Schwab is a broker, rather than a type of account. Both of the accounts that I mentioned in this post can be opened at Schwab. As far as Schwab's reputation and services are concerned, I beleive that they are decent. I cannot speak from first-hand experience, as I invest at Vanguard.

Understand that the IRA is simply a shelter...the IRA in itself is not the investment...the funds contributed need be invested (stocks, mutual funds, etc.)

I strongly recommend reading the educational material on this site. It will fill in the gaps of information that I have presented.

Also, I am a [VERY] newbie investor, so other fools, please post your advice and criticisms of my recommendations.

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