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Welcome! Sorry to hear about your wife's accident. I'll give some thoughts, but my first is that you might also want to post your question on the Inheritance Strategies board. That one gets pretty good traffic, and they deal with lump sum issues.

First, don't do any rash right away. Make sure you are comfortable before diving into any investments.

Paying off high interest rate consumer debt is a good idea. One question - is this credit card debt? If so, I'd also suggest some time on the credit card boards to see how to stay out of debt in the future. If not (like student loans or whatever), then ignore my soapbox speech.

I'd suggest looking into opening an account with Vanguard (or Fidelity or T Rowe Price), and investing in low cost mutual funds. At a minimum, put money in a Total Stock Market Index and a Total Bond Market Index (mix will depend on your age, risk tolerance, years to retirement etc). Or, alternatively, buy a Target Retirement Fund (sort of a "set it and forget it" investment that is becoming more popular.

Maximize your Roths every year.

If you want a book, the Four Pillars of Investing is a good start. I'm sure others can suggest other things as well.

Hope this helps a little - hope to see you on the Inheritance Strategies board!


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