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If you had a 'paid for' house, you could easily get a home equity loan for a considerable portion of the house, worse come to worse.

Not so! If you don't have a source of income (e.g., if downsized or too ill to work), it could be hard to impossible to get a home equity loan.

On the other hand, if I need to liquidate a portion of my mutual funds, I can call or get on the web and request redemption of a certain dollar amount, and they don't do any income verification.

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