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One would hope that your father will be getting pension and social security payments in addition to his IRA. Then as ZZFly pointed out, he should arrive at some goal for his IRA funds. Does he need income from the IRA for living expenses? Is it for some optional extras like travel? Is it just for future emergencies?

The usually Foolish recommendation no matter is that he should put most of the money into stocks--to provide inflation protection. The recent volatility of the stock market and weak performance makes you wonder if now would be a good time to do this. Perhaps put the money in money markets for now until things stablize a bit.

An S&P Index fund such as Vanguard Index 500 is the usual basic recommendation. If he is comfortable with stocks then Foolish Four or the Rule Maker stocks with a long term buy and hold strategy could be best. Take a look at the Foolish sources beginning with Fool School from the fool.com homepage before you decide.

Best of luck to you.
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