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<In keeping with the principles of diversifying, I am planning on purchasing some bonds or indexed bond funds for my portfolio. I have received advice that with $100K to invest in bonds that you should build a ladder instead of using a mutual fund.>

Welcome new FOOL! You may want to fill in your profile or otherwise provide us with more details so any advice may fit better.

One area you seem to be short on is waiting until you actually retire to set up your portfolio. It should already be in place by the time you retire. Picking individual bonds can be a daunting task requiring a lot of DD. I would be leery of individual bonds with what you have told us so far, though others may disagree. I think Vanguard offers good value for their bond funds. Depending on where you live, you may want to pick one of their state specific funds.

Also, I would hope that you will have enough funds in the pure liquid form of cash/MM. The ladder you talk about could include CD's. At this point your should have a very clear idea of both sides of the ledger. You should know what you have coming in on the income side: Pension, SS, interest, dividends, CG's and IRA's. You should also have clear knowledge of what your expenses are going to be. That list should allow for all anticipated housing, medical, travel, tax and other expenses.

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