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IMO you do need bonds. As you approach retirement your bond allocation should grow to 50%.

Well, I sort of understand the concept but I am limited to the Leaman Bros Index. I would prefer being able to own an actual bond as it could always be held to maturity and be worth a fixed value, probably more than the rate for Govt securities. At one half to one percent less than the bond fund I can have a virtually no risk Govt securities fund. So I am wondering if I am better off getting a bond outside of my retirement plan since I only have that fund and its risk doesn't seem to equal the reward. Maybe my question should have been not "do I need bonds" but "should I put anything into this bond index fund?"

I really don't know much about bonds and I wonder if a bond index fund is as desirable as a stock index fund? It seems to me that a bond is not to a bond index fund as a stock is to a stock index fund. There are distinct advantages to holding an actual bond. Mostly I don't understand the bond/bond index and would like to see how this fits into my retirement planning.
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