One of the big advantages of Traditional IRAs over 401 ks and the like is you have pretty much a free hand when it comes to options. You may need to use different institutions as your custodians to optimize the options (which means making sure you choose brokerages and banks that don't charge to dump them), but as long as you can come up with capital in units of $1000 (sometimes $500 for CDs), you should be able to build a good ladder of bonds and CDs that will get you all the liquidity you will need without the interest rate risk worries of bond funds. Without enough capital, commissions of bonds bought not at auction can make them too expensive, but CDs and Treasuries at auction are easy and cheap, and the only time the added yield from corporates makes sense through a fund, if you can't do it yourself, is when interest rates are sky high, which they aren't and there is no sign they will get there in the near future.
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