Hey I don't see how there is any woman specific questions involved in going cruising, but I found myself in a simular situation a few years back, altho I inherited only half as much as you, and so have had to figure out the how to get the dream afloat with out spending a lot of money. At the boat yard where I worked on the run down boat I bought, I met a guy that also inherited some money which he use to have a aluminum boat designed, and welded up in a shop in Port Townsend. He then took the boat to a yard to have the inerior built, where they spent up the rest of the inheritance, but never finished the work. Now that boat is just setting on the hard. He said that one can have an inheritance or a sailboat, but not both. I should also tell about the two women that I met who had built boats with their husbands on which to go cruising. Both thier boat made it to La Paz but neither of the marriages did. These women worked on their boats before I made it to the yard, but all the guys in the yard that were there at the time, said that the women were much better boatwrights and sailor than their partners.
As for my own experience - I took five years and got the boat back on the water last March. All that is left before begining of the cruise is getting the wind vane, the solar panels and the electronics. Up until now I was able to pay for the boat only one gallon of resin at a time, and not have to spend down the inheritance very much, but the next part of the out fitting of the boat will take much larger chunks of money.
There is also the part of cutting the ties to land and casting off the dock lines which is the hardest part of the whole under taking. There is finally a related issue about whether going alone or trying to find someone to go with you. I had thought that I prefered going solo, but am now that the boat is almost ready, and I'm thinking that I need crew.
Good luck on your dream. I think learning to sail on a smaller boat is not only funner but teaches skills that harder to master on the keel boat. Also buying the cruising boat only just before heading out is the best advise that I have.