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That's why you have to re-frame the question correctly. In retirement, the question is how much you can with safely withdraw. Prior to retirement the question is what is the best use of funds. Note that "locking in gains" really doesn't apply to either of those questions.


In retirement, the question is: How much can I afford to lose? And will I have enough time to get it back so that I can live above the poverty level?

If you are not retired with no income coming in other than Social Security and what little dividends and cap gains you can manage, you have NO idea how frightening it is to watch as your portfolio goes crashing down.

When your timeframe for recovery is short, it's best to be out of the market (or mostly out of the market) when that crash comes.

The problem is, you don't know when it will come. But you can bet your sweet bippy that it will come - and most likely when the market indexes are at all-time highs. Otherwise, it will come when a terrorist blows up New York or Los Angeles. :(

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