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I like the idea of laddering the CDs once you're 51 and 5 yrs from retirement. DH and I have done something similar.

I do have a question though?? What monthly payments will you have at the that time? Mortgage, auto, home equity loan, credit card??

I retired at 39 (10 yrs ago) and DH is retiring next yr at 53 1/2. We will have a mortgage payment (4.75%) and a small home equity loan. Everything else has been/will be paid off. I find that it is quite easy to set up a budget when you have so few payments each month.

In reference to your "cut back on spending at age 51...I think it's a great idea to "spend" (and save) like you would be doing at 56. We did that in order to see just where we will be upon retirement. We have found that our costs will be 66% of our pensions. (that is after taxes) We will not have to dip into our 457s, Iras, or savings for awhile.

Hope this helps.
Good luck!

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