if going the CD route, I would suggest 5 yr CD's. You will get a higher rate and the penalty is only can be pretty low. With Ally, it's the last 2 month's interest. You can do the calculation based on current rates, but the ones I just checked, you'll break even @ about 3.5 months. So, if you keep the money in the bank longer than 3.5 months, you come out ahead, even with the penalty.
I would like to point out, you can also break into several accounts of smaller amounts. If you have $10k, you can do 5 $2k accounts. If you need $2k, you take the hit on just $2k, not the entire $10k. This is really simple to setup on Ally. This does not effect your FDIC coverage.
I don't work for Ally or get paid by them (but I should). I just believe in their product and am a satisfied customer.
"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."
Good to see you back, I was starting to miss your incisive commentary!