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It is with an immense amount of thankfulness and a sense of disbelief, that I can say this - I am now able to retire. I have grown my IRA to where i can make annual SEPP withdrawals and support my family with a slightly higher after-tax income than i currently have, while also using the first year's lump sum to pay off nearly all non- mortgage debt. I am well under 50 years old, and understand that i will have to continue the plan until i reach 59.5, and I am comfortable with the ins and outs of my overall plan. However, I have a question, and additionally am looking for a bit of advice.

My question is, if i get an annual lump sum as my SEPP distribution, can i change the distribution date? Fidelity has given a recommendation against doing so - saying it's a gray area, and i should talk to a tax professional - but i have read in several places that it is allowed. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge in this area?

The advice I'm looking for relates to asset allocation. I plan on keeping 3 to 5 years worth of living expenses in a very safe vehicle that would be protected in a recession. Obviously cash is safest, but what other possibilities are out there for very safe investments?

With the remainder of my IRA, I'm toying with different ideas, but the current most likely plan would be to take half the remainder and put it in a S&P index fund, and actively invest the other half in high growth companies as I have been over the last several years. My thinking is that I want to make sure in a recession, I would first obviously use my cash, then if it is an extended recession, i could still fall back on the S&P index as my second line of defense. I'll start drawing roughly 3.5% of the balance annually, so if I can average 6-8% return on the S&P portion over the long term, then any returns I make in the actively managed portion are just gravy.

I know that exact asset allocation is very personalized and only i know my risk tolerance, etc... but does that general plan I've laid out have any glaring red flags? My main priority is to preserve the current balance, but obviously would like to grow it further if possible, while not taking on too much risk. I'm relatively bullish on the current market, and am not trying to time things, but I am very well aware that a recession or pullback is overdue (even if it's not as severe a recession as we've seen in the recent 20 years). I appreciate any input and welcome any criticism or holes you could poke into my plan. Thanks,

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