Trying to open a Vanguard Target Acct

I am trying to help a young widow open a Vanguard Target Retirement Account. The only income she has is monthly payout of $280 pension from her deceased husbands job at an elevator company. When she tried to open an account, they guided her to a Roth IRA but that doesn’t sound right. Can’t she just open a brokerage account and buy a low risk Target Retirement Account?

She could, I guess, but target funds are a poor choice for non-retirement accounts.

A better question, which I don’t really expect you to answer, is why she is opening an investment account when she doesn’t even have enough income to buy groceries?

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Did she inherit any money or have any existing money with her spouse that can generate an income?

Is she on social security? Is she on public assistance or receiving help from others? If so, does she have or does she need a trust to retain these benefits?

Also does she work or is she able and expect to work? A Roth IRA is only appropriate if she has or anticipates having earned income. Otherwise it’s terrible advice

Fidelity is a better choice. No minimums and you can choose between CDs, individual bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, or just leave it in a money market account.

Yes it’s not clear what type of support she might have or what assets she had when she was married

I’m doubtful her only income is $280/mo because she’s likely eligible for social security as a survivor (don’t know what age) for age (62-70), or for disability (any age but a condition that prevents you from working). And if so, I’m assuming she’s living with relatives, getting public assistance, or has assets that can generate income.