"I skipped some of this string, but the first one stated a distribution that worries me. CD yeilds are in the pits. A 5 year ladder is locking in a very low yield. "Duke,5-year CD yields are the pits, I agree. But find me an alternative in the low-risk-to-principle category (assuming low enough tax bracket to rule out tax-exempt). EE-bonds would be my choice with 20-years until the money is needed, but otherwise, what's going to do better? You can get slightly better yields in some intermediate bond funds, but then you have to deal with interest rate risk, and even a slight nudge up in interest rates makes the total return lower than the CDs. Treasuries are worse, unless you want to lock in low rates a lot longer than 5 years. Going for short term options means sitting on even lower yields waiting for rates to go up, and it doesn't take a lot of waiting until you're better off with the 5-year CDs.
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