Chapter 6. Bulletproofing Your Investments: A Recipe for Setting Up Your Tangent Portfolios

Here is the sort of heartbreaking e-mail that routinely lands in your authors' inbox:

Dear Ben/Phil,

If you guys think you're so smart then riddle me this. I took early retirement four years ago when American Widget downsized. Then Jess (my husband) got sick and we didn't have insurance and so we spent $37,234 on hospital bills that wiped out most of our savings, unfortunately.Jess is okay now except his medicine costs $983.47 a month and all he does is stare out the window. Then again he never was the talkative type. Then Clementine (our cat) got leukemia and that cost another $1,500 and then she died anyway—can you believe it? But I still had about $90,000 in my IRA but now its worth more like $50,000(?) depending on which statement I read. It's not doing so good. With all my expenses it seems to go down about $5,000–$10,000 every month although I use coupons on Wednesdays. The good news is we own our house outright, which we bought for $250,000 in 2006. Our mortgage is $250,000 also. I was going to sell it to raise money but the realtor says wait. Meantime our new development is completely deserted except for these young hooligans using the house across the street at all hours plus I don't think they even own it! I called the police but nothing. Bill is a fine boy why did he have to hold up that liquor store? I bet Crystal put him up to it. That girl is trouble, trouble, trouble. So anyway ...

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