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We built a bond ladder for the next 3-5 years. It guarantees living expenses will be available when you need them.

Using an approach that is a cousin to this, I have my brother's account in 80% dividend paying equities: utility companies, pipeline partnerships, big pharmas, etc. The other 20% we reserve for more growth oriented approaches so that (hopefully) we can "juice" the overall total portfolio return. The account I'm talking about is a non-qualified account, he also participates in a TIAA-CREF plan as a profeesor and, within that a Roth as well.

So, his retirement stool will consist of Social Security (which he is already collecting), when he stops working his TIAA_CREF annuity, then a dividend stream from the above mentioned account.

In addition to that, he has a much younger wife who is also a professor at the same university, and she will still be working for quite some time.

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