There are only 2 ways to invest in stock markets:
1. Learn the art of buy low and hold, for quality DG stocks; when time is still on your side.
2. If you did not do #1 above for your own self, just do it for your kids $25K across 10-25 stocks; and then do what you need to do to get the SWAN (Sleep Well At Night) income stream, for whatever time horizon you have left.
3. If you cannot do #1 above, than follow DCA (Dollar Cost Averaging) i.e. $100, or $500 or whatever to invest in stock markets ETFs.
4. Do not chase yield. Stocks with dividend > 6% are for a reason. Stocks with a "sweet spot" dividend yield of 2-4% perform the best. We have all heard of these statements. But each of our situation is different.
5. Always know that there is a cost to getting the money "now" vs. "later". Something like IRR (Internal Rate of Return) calculations in Real Estate market.