Contributed by: Nick Defenthaler, CFP®
One of most common questions I hear from clients as they approach retirement is, “How do I actually get paid when I’m no longer working?” It’s a question that I feel we as planners can sometimes take for granted. Because we are helping hundreds of clients throughout the year with their retirement income strategy, we can sometimes forget that this simple question is often the cause of many sleepless nights for soon-to-be retirees.
Saving money throughout your career can be simple, but certainly not easy. Prudent and consistent saving requires a tremendous amount of discipline. However, if you elect the proper asset allocation in your 401k and you’re a quality saver, in most cases, accumulating really doesn’t have to be all that difficult. However, when it comes time to take money out of the various accounts you’ve accumulated over time or have to make monumental financial decisions surrounding items such as Social Security or which pension option to elect, the conversation changes. In many cases, this is a stage in life where we frequently see those who have been “do it yourselfers” reach out to us for professional guidance.
The first step in crafting a retirement income strategy is having a firm grip on your own personal spending goal in retirement. From there, we’ll sit down together and evaluate the fixed income sources that you have at your disposal. Most often these sources include your pension, Social Security, annuity income or even part-time employment income. Once we have a better sense of the fixed payments you’ll be receiving throughout the year, we’ll take a look at the various investable assets you’ve accumulated to determine where the “gap” needs to be filled from an income standpoint and determine if that figure is reasonable considering your own projected retirement time horizon. Finally, we need to dive into the tax ramifications of your income sources and portfolio income. If you have multiple investment or retirement accounts, it’s critical to evaluate the tax ramifications each account possesses.
Make sure you listen to the replay of our webinar “Retirement Income Planning: How Much Will You Get Paid In Retirement?” for additional tips and information on how you might consider structuring your own tax-efficient retirement income strategy.
Nick Defenthaler, CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Nick works closely with Center clients and is also the Director of The Center’s Financial Planning Department. He is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s blogs and educational webinars.
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