Monday, April 28, 2014

Newly Retired? Fresh Ideas for Managing Your Retirement Income

As a new retiree, you may be wondering how to manage your retirement income.  Last month, president of Charles Schwab, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, published an article titled “Newly Retired?  Fresh Ideas for Managing Your Retirement Income”.  This article hits key points of 1) Which accounts and investments you could draw from first, 2) Options for rebalancing your portfolio once you start to withdraw, and 3) Considering taking your required minimum distributions to avoid penalties (if 70 ½ or older).  Click here to read the entire article, or continue reading for a summary below.
 
Before jumping into the discussion of possibile ways to manage your retirement income, keep in mind the following essentials:
 
  • At the point of retirement, you may want give very careful thought to your asset allocation.  Mainly, you may not want to take on as much risk in your investments as you did when you were younger and still working.
  • Aside from your Social Security, a pension, real estate investments, or other sources of income, you may want to figure out how much money you could need to withdraw from your retirement accounts.
  • Your most tax-efficient investments may need to be kept in taxable accounts, and your least tax-efficient investments may need to be be kept in tax-deferred accounts.
  • Maintaining well-diversified portfolios of many types of investments including stocks and bonds could possibly help protect against inflation over your many years of retirement.

Listed below are the strategies outlined in the article “Newly Retired? Fresh Ideas for Managing Your Retirement Income”, in order of which you could consider first.  Please read the full article for more complete descriptions of each strategy:

  1. Draw Down Principal from Maturing Bonds and CDs:  The first strategy you could use would be to create a short-term ladder of bonds or CDs, and then you could tap the principal of each bond as it matures.
  2. Take Your RMDs if You’re 70 ½ or Older:  Once you reach 70 ½, the IRS requires you to take a yearly distribution from many retirement accounts, known as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
  3. Sell Overweighted and Lower-Rated Investments from Your Taxable Accounts:  Since withdrawals from taxable accounts are taxed as capital gains rather than ordinary income, these could be the next accounts from which to draw retirement funds.
  4. Sell Overweighted and Lower-Rated Investments from Your Tax-Deferred Accounts:  Generally, your tax-deferred accounts could be the last place to look for retirement income.

Please note:  This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as advice.  Since everyone's situation is different, please consult a professional before changing your portfolio.

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