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Another option to having 5 CDs in the ladder is to have 8. You begin by buying a 3mo, 6mo, 9mo, 1yr, 2yr,3yr, 4,yr, & a 5yr.

Hmm...I'm not sure the incremental benefit would be worth the hassle, but ok. Another trick is to buy 5 year CDs where the early withdrawal penalty isn't too bad (3-6 months). Then you get the 5 year rate and liquidity at a reasonable cost.

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