Protecting Yourself, Your Assets & Your Heirs

A retirement distribution strategy can make all the difference.

After a lifetime of planning and saving for retirement, the big moment has finally arrived – the day you can start doing all of the things you’ve always wanted to do like spending time with family, traveling strictly for pleasure, or maybe even building that patio out back.  And because you had the foresight to tuck money away in IRAs, annuities, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans, you’re feeling pretty good about your overall financial situation.

That’s great. But you’re not done yet.

Now that you’ve reached retirement, you want to ensure that the funds you’ve set aside will not only last for the rest of your life, but that at your death, whatever amounts remain unspent will be passed on to your heirs quickly, privately, and as tax efficiently as possible. In other words, now that you’ve been successful in saving for retirement, you’ll want to be equally as successful in developing, and implementing, a retirement distribution strategy.

A carefully thought out retirement distribution strategy will not only help ensure that you don’t outlive your assets, but it will also help you avoid paying unnecessary taxes and/or penalties in the event you don’t get around to spending them. There are a number of regulations governing when you can (or must!) begin taking distributions from your qualified retirement accounts, and failure to abide by these regulations can result in hefty tax penalties.

As you put together a retirement distribution strategy, there are many things to consider. What will your ongoing expenses be? How will inflation affect your spending power? Will you be able to afford ever-increasing property taxes and home maintenance costs? What about potential health-related or long-term care expenses? And finally, what about leaving something behind for your heirs or providing for a favorite charity?

Of course there’s no way of knowing what will happen with the economy, with your personal health, or how long you will live, but it is nevertheless very important that all of these factors be incorporated into your strategy.   

If your big day has finally arrived - congratulations. You’re about to embark on what could be the finest years of your life. But remember, maintaining your financial security doesn’t happen by accident. It requires examining your current circumstances; identifying your goals and objectives; developing a plan to achieve those goals and objectives; and taking action to implement your plan.