It’s a whole different ballgame when you quit work to retire. Instead of a monthly paycheck coming in, you’re taking money out of savings for your living expenses. And if the bulk of your savings are held in tax-deferred accounts like 401(k), TSP, 403(b) or 457(b)s, you will owe ordinary income tax on the amounts you withdraw. Withdraw that money you must, because starting at age 72, you are mandated by the IRS to take an RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) of a certain percentage of your tax-deferred accounts each year by midnight on December 31st or owe taxes plus a 50% penalty.
This is why just having a lot of money saved up in a retirement account is not enough, you need a complete retirement plan—and we recommend you start seriously planning around age 50-55 or so, in advance of retirement, when you can potentially take action to mitigate income taxes for the long-term. There are other strategies you can use to convert assets into a reliable income stream. Every retiree needs a custom retirement plan based on their lifestyle, goals and unique situation.
Retirement Income Analysis—Be strategic about how much and where you pull your income from.
Cash-Flow Analysis, Budget Planning and Retirement Projections—Knowing what you want to do in retirement can help you know how much money you will need in order to retire. Start early—by at least your 50s—in order to create a solid retirement plan.
Tax Planning for Retirement—Before you retire, consider that all the money you have saved in qualified, pre-tax accounts like traditional 401(k)s will be taxable at ordinary income tax rates upon withdrawal—and you will have to start withdrawing annually starting at age 72.
Planning for Elder Care—Be prepared for evolving situations which involve potential incapacity for yourself, your spouse and your elderly parents.