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I am really ignorant on this stuff including the basics so I realize my questions are pretty basic.

Here's my suggested course of action.

Step 1. As others have noted, you're under strict time limits to complete the rollover. I suggest you go to your bank and establish an IRA to receive the proceeds. (Don't forget to make up the 20% that was withheld.) Do not let the bank talk you into investing in anything beyond a 6 month CD. You just want to park the money while you figure out what you want to invest it in.

Step 2. Learn about IRAs. An excellent starting point is All About IRAs:

Step 3. Figure out what you want to invest in. If you haven't done so already, the 13 Foolish steps, available through the homepage, are an excellent tutorial.

Step 4. Once you figure out what you want to invest in, choose your IRA custodian and, when the CD at the bank matures, roll the money to your new custodian and invest away.

Phil Marti
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