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"..each year you spend 20% of your CD allocation on a new CD,.."

Another option to having 5 CDs in the ladder is to have 8. You begin by buying a 3mo, 6mo, 9mo, 1yr, 2yr,3yr, 4,yr, & a 5yr. When the 3mo cd matures you replace it with a 1 yr, the same for the 6mo, 9mo. Three months after that when the 1yr CD matures you buy a 5yr and you once again have the same sequence of maturity dates (unless I messed up the numbers). By doing this you are buying a new CD every 3 months which is good to do when interest rates are rising as you keep getting better rates. When rates fall you can consider your options based on what's happening then.

Just a thought,

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