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Given that there are health issues, you might look into senior housing options that have services available, from rental apartments with linen & maid service and 15 dinners provided per month in a central dining room, all the way up to assisted living. BTW, are you much younger or older than your husband? Do you both have health issues? Does one of you work some of the time or do both of you--and do you need to be near certain types of employment? What kind of community do you need or prefer--urban? small town? Friends or relatives you'd like to live close to--that saves on travel expenses?

I would spend no more than half of the $500k on a home/condo/coop/sr housing purchase (less if possible) OR no more than $1k/month on a rental. If the pension has a COLA (annual cost of living adjustment), you can invest less aggressively. I would invest $50-100k in a 5-year CD ladder. It'll provide a little income, plus you could cash out a maturing "rung" if you need extra cash for health care, car replacement, or whatever without having to sell stock in a down market (like this one!). I would invest the rest in diversified index funds. Seems like a reasonable time to get into the market.

Learn about staging your house for sale. Take care of any deferred maintenance, repaint any rooms that look dark, declutter and clean thoroughly, take care of any odors such as from pets or mildew. Set the kitchen/dining table(s) with your best china and a small vase of fresh flowers when the house is being shown. This worked for me even in a previous buyer's market (San Francisco 2002).

Good luck!
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