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How would you contrast your Bond Ladder to using a bond mutual fund investing in short term issues (3-10yr. maturities). Pros/Cons for the 5 yr reserve?

I retired last year at age 55 and am using a system similar to your 5 year plan for my TAXABLE portfolio. Cash (money market) and bonds are in my Taxable portfolio with a few stocks. Most of my equity holdings (with some bonds) are in my Tax Deferred portfolio where they will remain till I am 59 1/2 unless I need to annuitize them prior to the age cut off.
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