Dear Dr. Don,
At 78 years of age, I just sold some commercial property and will receive an estimated $900,000. Where do you suggest investing to get a return of at least 5 percent per month?
— Gina Greatrate

Dear Gina,
Five percent a month is about 80 percent annually, assuming monthly compounding. Investments with that type of expected return aren’t readily available to investors.

Five percent of $900,000 is $45,000. Twelve times that number is $540,000. A $900,000 investment isn’t going to throw off $540,000 a year in returns. You need to dial down your expectations as to what this money can do for you.

I suggest working with a financial planning professional to invest this wealth. The planner will look at your overall financial picture and financial goals and develop a plan to help you accomplish those goals.

The Bankrate feature “Financial planners: Not just for millionaires anymore” will help you get comfortable with that decision, as will the CFP Board of Standards Web page “How to Choose a Planner.”

Using a fee-only financial planner and retaining him or her on an hourly basis can limit the costs of developing and implementing a comprehensive financial plan. If you can’t get comfortable with a planner’s recommendations, get a second opinion.

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