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Author: CRRAND100 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75800  
Subject: Long: Asset allocation questions Date: 1/8/2002 12:37 AM
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Hello,
I am in need of some advice and opinions wrt my asset allocation. I'm 48 and plan to retire in 4 years. My DH is 48 and plans
to retire in 7 years. We have two children who will be completing
college in 6 years. I've run a number of different retirement
planning calculators and they all have indicated that with only 5% portfolio growth, we will be able to continue
our current life-style until we are 100.
Unfortunately, neither of us have grandparents or parents who have
lived past 85, so we are probably safe.
We are fairly comfortable with the level of risk we have.
I believe we have pretty good diversification. Most of our equities
are in mutual funds. Our portfolio has been growing well and the market
drops haven't been overly painful, (so far). I think of my portfolio
as having 3 categories. Short-term funds, medium-term funds and long-term funds. Each catagory has a different asset allocation.
This is a natural breakout because each catagory represents one or more
brokerage accounts and the timeframes match our life events. Here is
the description and asset allocation for each catagory:

Short-term: 1-6 years. Total portfolio %: 13%. Taxable accounts used for college expenses, extraneous expenses and emergency fund. Cash 70%, Bonds 20%, Small-cap 5%, Large-cap 5%.

Medium-term: 6-11 years. Total portfolio %: 17%. Taxable accounts used for retirement income. Cash 6%, Bonds 5%, Small-cap 31%, Large-cap 58%.

Long-term: 11-52 years Total portfolio %: 70. Tax deferred,
401K/403K/IRAs used for retirement income. Cash 0%, Bonds 15%, Small-cap 15%, Large-cap 70%.

Now, finally my questions: 1) Does the 6-11 year category have too much stock and not enough fixed income investments? 2) Should I start selling equities to build a 5-year CD/bond ladder to be used in years 6-11. I wouldn't want to do it all at once because of tax implications. 3) Should I reduce my 401K contribution to the minimum employer match and funnel that money into fixed income investments to build my 5-year cash/bond ladder? I guess I'd be paying more income tax with this. I currently have 70% of my portfolio in tax deferred accounts. This might be too much. The early part of our retirement may be underfunded because some of our retirement income streams (DHs pension and both social security) will not be available until after we can also start tax-deferred withdrawels. 4) Should I consider using SEPP or early 401K distributions to move some of the money currently in the 11-52 year bucket into the 6-11 year bucket. 5) Should I leave things as they are now because the price of stocks are low and interest rates are low?
At least one of them hopefully will rise in the next 6 years. 6) Should I just pay the $1000 to hire a fee-based financial planner to help me. Will a financial planner be able to give me a clear cost/risk assesment of every option that I could take, or will he just give me the list of possible options.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

CR
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