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Regarding investing the money, what's wrong with leaving the money in the 401K? What is your mother currently invested in? If she has the money invested in a money-market, guaranteed income, or fixed income fund, have her move it to an S&P500 index fund, if one is provided by the 401K plan. If not, put it into an Equity Income fund, Dividend Growth fund, or a Growth and Income fund. If none of these exist, you may consider rolling the the 401k money into a mutual fund IRA, where you could invest in the above suggestions. If you roll the money, I do know that your mother would be required to start withdrawing part of the money immediately from the IRA, since she will be over 70 1/2 when she retires. I don't know if the same applies for a 401k.

One more thing, don't let me or anyone else tell you how to invest, unless you understand what the suggestions are. It's your mother's money and you & her are responsible for its investment.

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