With just $2.5 million at her disposal as her husband heads to jail, Ruth Madoff won't exactly be sentenced to penury, but she'll have to cut her annual expenses to the low six figures if she wants it to last her lifetime, reports Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal. She should start by trading the two Mercedes in for a SmartCar, and finding a $3,500-a-month rental apartment—modest by Manhattan standards. Or, better, she could move to Florida—farther inland than the Palm Beach spread she's lost—where her dollars will go farther.
Fortunately, Arends notes, “there's an Ikea nearby. And lots of factory outlets. And in Florida she will be able to survive without her $36,000 Russian sable coat.” She might look into investing in corporate debt and closed-end mutual funds, and maybe stocks, which could yield 4.5% a year. Too bad Bernie, whose sentencing is today, can't help; she'll have to find another financial adviser—one "she can trust."