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I am 56 and just retired with enought money to live on with my pension. The TDA (variable annuity) isn't growing as fast as I think it can (obviously a relative statement). I have been reading Tyson's book on Mutual Funds for Dummies and just started to read the Fool. I would like to see this money grow, but middle of the road. Perhaps in five years I would like to use this money to buy another home on Cap Cod, MA. I would maintain residency in NY with the no state tax on pensions (unless I find that Mass. does not tax my pension). It appears that I should buy no-load mutual funds and not pay for loaded funds. Is this sound strategy and how do I proceed next.
Is a financial advisor useful for initial guidance in making these decisions?
Should I just look and try to find the house on the Cape soon and that will be an investment as well as something extra for my wife if I die; since she is not part of my pension? We do own our home totally. My wife will work another 8 years.

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