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Old 10-30-2011, 10:26 AM   #41
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At 10% on cash - about 18 months living expenses
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:45 AM   #42
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I have approx. 2 years of living expenses in cash. Retired, wife still working.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:52 AM   #43
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2% cash from an AA viewpoint.

However, in terms of emergency cash, family needs, etc., we have a CD ladder with CD's coming due periodically that would cover our spending needs for several years if that situation manifested itself.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:29 AM   #44
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Clearly there is a spectrum of goals, risk tolerance, and at least in my case, timing. I'm trying for 100% equities, but because the market peaked above my retirement projections I was able to move into cash a bit this year. I've reinvested some in the following dip, but still have a lot left. So the timing of the question caught me with some cash.


Maybe a poll would be in order? Maybe in terms of long-term allocation instead of current holdings? We might find a popular or median allocation. Retirement status probably makes a gigantic difference as well.
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:04 PM   #45
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Maybe a poll would be in order?
Something like this?
  1. still working and prefer to keep lots of cash
  2. still working and prefer to keep a minimum of cash
  3. retired and prefer to keep lots of cash
  4. retired and prefer to keep a minimum of cash
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:07 PM   #46
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I have too much cash, 26% but I thought we were buying a 2nd home this past summer, hence the cash.
Have 49% in CD's yielding from 4.3% to 5.5%.
Have 25% between equities and bond funds.

Will be deploying some of that cash to equities and bonds soon. Should have done it a month ago. Will wait for the next debt crisis.

I prefer cash and/or cash equivalents like CD's for a ten year period of time while letting the equities and other investments function for the longer term horizons...

That said...it is likely I won't need to tap any of it but...as we all know....there are no guarantees.

I can always change my "philosophy". And probably will.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #47
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I'm 39 with 4 years living expenses in cash. Smart? Probably not. Do I like to sleep well at night? You betcha.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:21 PM   #48
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I'm 39 with 4 years living expenses in cash. Smart? Probably not. Do I like to sleep well at night? You betcha.
I love learning what others do. One person would say, only four years?? and another will say, four months is too much for me. Our cash sleep meters are unique, like those sleep number beds.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:06 PM   #49
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Our cash sleep meters are unique, like those sleep number beds.
Absolutely ! My sleep number is 2 1/2 years .
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:08 PM   #50
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I am now at about 5%.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #51
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Way too much cash -- over 15+ years of living expenses.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #52
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8.6%. Was over 10%. The Vanguard adviser wants us at 0% cash. I am slowly moving it out of the banks and into the market. I am also trying to shift our AA more into bonds as we approach retirement so I am putting most of the cash into bonds. I don't think this is a particularly good time to be buying bonds so I am dragging my feet.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:16 PM   #53
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I don't think this is a particularly good time to be buying bonds so I am dragging my feet.
It may be a good time to buy equities.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:29 PM   #54
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I'm at about 30% in cash equivalents. I don't know of any other way to be in a position to buy stocks if they all of a sudden become cheap other than to not be in them in the first place. I have bonds too, of course. I'm running at about 30-35% total stock (foreign + domestic). Nothing like a good ole 30/70 portfolio for being a bear, but still keeping in mind the efficient frontier.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:46 PM   #55
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I'm 39 with 4 years living expenses in cash. Smart? Probably not. Do I like to sleep well at night? You betcha.
I'm never quite sure how to take this kind of statement. I think you're implying that you have lots of cash. That is, 4 years living expenses = lotsa cash.

But for many folks, 4 yrs of living expenses wouldn't be a lot of cash. In retirement, for example, I'm finding that pensions and SS make up about half of my spending money. Interest and Dividends (forecast very conservatively) make up another 25% or so. So the cash to make up 4 years of living expenses isn't all that much. And because we're talking 4 years, most of that is in CD's that would mature over the 4 years.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #56
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About 2-3% which is enough to satisfy minimum balance requirements at my local bank's checking account while keeping a little extra as a buffer or cushion. I add about 2% more per month from bond fund dividends to cover my expenses and that gets worked down over the month.

I have another 5% in an intermediate-term muni bond fund which is my next layer of funds I can tap into. I don't like having a lot of money in stuff which generates nothing or next to nothing in interest.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:09 PM   #57
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I think I'm a little weird because I lump my I-Bonds and CD's in the "bond: category as they seem to me to be "fixed income" investments much like bonds. So up until very recently I had about 5% in cash (that is, in MM, checking, etc. accounts). I recently bought a new car and paid cash for it, so I am down to about 3.6% cash. I plan to replenish that as SS checks arrive and as CDs mature. (I've been fortunate that my military pension covers most of our living expenses so most of the SS checks go into savings.)
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #58
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35% cash....retired
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:18 PM   #59
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I'm at 13% cash at the time.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:07 PM   #60
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I'm the OP. Thanks for all of the responses. I didn't think I'd see a range of cash allocation responses from "all to nothing". I guess it just shows how different people's situations are, and their level of comfortable risk. I also learned how difficult it is to define "cash".

No right or wrong answers. I see how difficult it would be to be a financial planner. Or then again, how easy - since no AA is effectively right or wrong!
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