Tell wifey to take the money out of CDs. That's stupid. Inflation and college costs go up every year more then CDs. Buy preferred stocks of mortgage reits instead, then dont move and will pay unless the company is bankrupt. 7.75% or more depending on prices and what u buy.
I would stay with big Dividend Blue chips and Utilities and prehaps a big bank Preferred bought at Parr. And you may need to trade on a run up and buy back on a pull back. Also you could take a investment cource at a Community College. For $25-$50 you can learn a few basics from a pro. They pro is looking for a future business contact. I took one and it broke the fear of the unknown and got me started.
I'm waiting till after earnings to see if I want to get back in.They may be adjusting the dividend amount,once I see that it's stable,I'll buy back in(MTGE and AGNC).I'm in PSEC at least for January's monthly dividend.The other thing is feb-march may see more market turmoil due to Gov.spending limits being reached.