I am only a couple of years away from retirement. Should I still invest in ELSS to save taxes under Section 80C? Wouldn't it be better to opt for a fixed-income-based alternative?
It entirely depends on your situation. If you receive pension after retirement which is sufficient enough to meet essential expenses, then you should continue to invest in ELSS with a long-term perspective.
On the other hand, if you are not likely to receive pension and plan to consolidate all your savings at one place and then work on a withdrawal plan of 4-6 per cent to meet your essential expenses. In that case, do not invest in ELSS. It has a lock-in period of three years but three years anyway is a very small duration for investing in equity. So, it depends on your situation.
But when you work on a withdrawal plan, remember that equity is important even after retirement and one must allocate at least one-third of the corpus to it in order to get inflation-beating returns in the long term.