62 year old gets windfall inheritance how to invest?!

Linda marshall

Level 2 Member
Hello Investment People!

I'm hoping you can help me help a friend of mine with some suggestions on investment strategies given her recent inheritance and her age.

Last month her father passed away. Although she did expect to receive some portion of his estate, she and her 6 siblings had no idea of his worth and were surprised to learn that they would each be inheriting close to 100K! She has frankly been living very close to the edge for years and so naturally she is quite overwhelmed by her new circumstances and doesn't have any idea where to begin. She asked me for help and, having no idea myself where she should begin, I am turning to you all!

Here are some details that may be relevant.
She is 62 years old and in a lesbian relationship with her long-term partner who is 68 years old. She has no children of her own but helped raise her partner's 3 children. They have no significant debts and they do own their home (in a retirement mobile home park). Because of the financial penalties involved, they have elected to remain unmarried and file taxes separately. She has not worked (due to physical health issues) for the past 2-3 years and they have been surviving on the little bit of money she gets from social security disability ($1700/month) and her partner's social security.

She has been given around 14K so far, and sometime in the coming months, once her father's house is sold and the estate is liquidated (is that the word?) she has been told that she will receive an addition 80-85K.

Obviously, she wants to make the best possible choice regarding how to invest this money. She was given the name of a financial advisor but is uncomfortable trusting someone she doesn't know who may stand to benefit from the advice he gives (advice that is in his interest rather than hers). A related question would be what to ask a potential financial advisor if she were to meet with one.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions you can offer. I am grateful to have access to a group of experts!


Level 2 Member
I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, however if they have any debts the best return would be to pay off all (or as many) debts first. anything leftover given the relatively-advanced age I would recommend that most of that money be kept in liquid, conservative instruments such as an online FDIC-insured high-yield savings account (e.g. ally bank which gives 1.25% at the moment). and maybe take a few thousand of those dollars and have her and her wife live a little - life is short and you can't take it with you, but the happiness and memories will do wonders!


Level 2 Member
Not a pro either but my thought is to put 90% of the money in a 3-6 month cd to make it not readily available while she thinks and investigates.

The question of How to invest the money comes as part of the question of how to best structure her life with the extra $100k. Off the top of my head, these are some things to consider:

With the Obamacare deadline nearby, does her health insurance need to be looked at. Uninsured Sickness can burn through the money quickly.

How is the mobile home titled or do they rent? Given their age and being that they are not married, are things structured where her home is secure if her partners health fails? Or her partner, if hers does.

Does she have a will and does it need updating? Health directive?

It varies by state but she should look at how to protect her assets from nursing home or hospital expenses.

Sorry for adding questions rather than answers but a full consideration of her life structure will help her make the best investment decision.


Level 2 Member
The first question to ask a financial advisor is if they have a fiduciary duty. If the answer is no I would leave.

I think the best realistic outcome of investing is an extra $500/month so keep expectations in check

BEFORE she get the cash payout research how that will effect her any government benefits she may be receiving

I would be cautious about investing right now. I *feel* like the market is about to turn but that is just my feelings

if she doesnt have one have her write a Will to give everything to her partner or whoever


Level 2 Member
Questions similar to this come up on the /r/personalfinance subreddit pretty often. You'll probably find some good info on there with a brief search of the sub. Good luck!


Level 2 Member
I would throw it in a CD. I don't know what the real estate looks like in your area - Another option would be buying a property and renting it out.
Reactions: RRD

El Ingeniero

Level 2 Member
I will be in almost the same boat someday: a small windfall, not enough to retire on, but enough to change your life for the better.

If your friend is working, and her employment offers a 401k benefit, consider taking some of the money to live on while maxing out the 401K for a couple of years. She will be able to save somewhat more money in the 401k than she takes out of the stash due to not paying taxes on her savings, and possibly a 401k match.

If self employed and paying taxes, can do more or less the same with a SEP IRA.

Downside is that she will have to take required minimum distributions at age 70-1/2.


New Member
Here is what I would suggest:
-pay off all debts, unless the debt interest is less than 2%.
-keep a 6 months emergency fund in high yield checking.
-put the rest in S&P 500 index fund with low management fee. Fidelity might be a good option. I would divide this money into 6 portions to invest in every 6 months, so you get an average price within the 3 years.