Spending income and capital

We are a retired couple in our early 70s. We plan to sell our home and move to a rented apartment. We own about $225,000 in certificates of deposit, plus Treasury notes. With no heirs, we would like to spend more than our social security and interest income; that is, we would like to spend all income plus a portion of our capital. How can we plan for the gradual liquidation of our estate? R.S.

Rather than sell your house and rent an apartment, I recommend that you consider buying a condominium from the proceeds of your house sale. This way, you avoid the rapidly rising rents expected -- up to double within six years. You can plan systematic withdrawals of capital along with interest and dividends from investments with a "Capital Withdrawal Plan" available from the Writing Works Inc., Box 752, Mercer island, WA 98040. Send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope with 50 cents enclosed for the tables and explanations.

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