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"I got a $4500 year pension, and got $51,000 in dividends and cap gains distribution last about $15K in regular income (interest)...."

Well, I guess it's water over the dam now, but you lost BIG by not investing the bulk of your funds in tax-sheltered vehicles such as IRA's and 401(k)'s when you had the chance. I maxed out all available tax-sheltered options before I invested dollar 1 in a taxable account. The bulk of my investments have yet to be taxed.

The vast majority of Americans have not maxed out their tax-sheltered options. That's why the cap gains and dividend tax cuts significally benefitted only the very top earners.
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