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Ken I am of the opinion everybody with a few exceptions needs stocks/equities. The exceptions are people who have short expectations and people who have so much money relative to their needs they could bury their money in the backyard and still not be broke when they die.

On the theory you don't find into the second group, I think the real question is what allocation do you want/need. For a person who is retired, 50/50 is not unreasonable. But someone who is 15 years from retirement, I say be a bit more aggressive. Interest rates are low - they will go up when the Fed stops holding them down -- and I can't accept the idea that time is 10 or 15 years in the future.

You are at a point in time where you can do some planning about your retirement. First step is to determine how much you need to continue your current life style. For me that is a record of spending. Somethings will cease in retirement -- like saving for retirement. Others may go up. But if you don't know what you are spending on food, insurance, donations, taxes, gifts, etc. -- how can you predict/estimate retirement expenses.

Once you have spending expectations, look at expected income. Social Security will be there - undoubtedly retirement age for full benefits will be be raised. Maybe 2 or 3 years over a period of time. France proposed increasing from 65 to 68. A lot of people use the 4% withdraw rate idea for investments -- I take a more conservative 3% number.

When you have expected expenses and expected income, if you have enough money great. If you don't you have 3 levels to pull. Spend less in retirement, save more while working or work longer. Most people use all three.

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