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If he rolls over to Vanguard, he can get a Vanguard brokerage account within his IRA, which means he can get CDs, Treasuries, etc., instead of a bond fund. It really isn't any harder to do a ladder, and a lot safer during low interest rate periods. If he really can't handle anything as "difficult" as a ladder and must have a fund, go with the Intermediate Index bond fund instead of the Total Bond fund, for reasons that have been discussed here, and on the index fund board, before (and John Bogle agrees).

Ok, there are a couple things here, so I'm going to step through them:

1) So you are saying CD's and Treasuries are better than a bond fund now because of interest rate risk? I can get that...

2) How would you structure them before / after withdrawal phases? ie, just set up a 5yr CD ladder and just buy a new 5yr every year?

3) I know you are 100% bonds, so I won't even ask what % bonds you suggest. :-)

4) Can he handle anything as "difficult" as a ladder? -- Left to himself, no. He can't/won't. Now, I would be happy to do the research and call him once per year. I enjoy finance stuff. BUT, I'm really not sure that it would be a realistic arrangement.

5) So, if a ladder doesn't make sense, then are you suggesting he buy VBIIX, not VBMFX?

Thank you for the clarifications...
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