Retired in 2009 after 35 years as Registered Professional Engineer (Radar, Electronic Warfare, and RF/Microwave Design). Went back to school to study some art and have fun. In October 2011, looked at the results of rolling my 401K and Pension into Vanguard IRA. Felt I could research and teach myself to do much better than what Vanguard index funds have paid me. I have 3 tiers of dividend stocks ... core (keepers), 1-5 year (good, so far), 0-2 year (we'll see). 50-60 stocks ranging from 0.5% - 5% of total portfolio depending on my trust in them. Half of the holdings are paying over 8.5% yield to quickly catch my wife's salary and then slowly move toward core in the next 6 years. Total tax-deferred portfolio is 8.4% yield on computed cost/share. All dividends to cash where I buy the best deals of the month. How carefully I watch them is inversely proportional to their yield.