Question on pledge and payment addresses

In anticipation of mainnet there is just one remaining piece of the puzzle that I’d like to clear up.

We currently have our personal ADA sat in our safe wallets. When it comes time to pledge our ADA for our pool setup will we be transferring our ADA from our safe wallets to the payment.addr we have created? Does this mean that the ADA has physically left our safe wallet, or is it similar to staking in that we just set it aside for our pool but it does not leave the wallet?

The worry I have is around the retrieval of those funds in the event we retire our pool or it is accidentally deleted… the whole thing goes up in flames! Do we just need to be super careful and back up the entire wallet dir we create?

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