What Order To Withdraw Retirement Funds


Pay Attention To Required Minimum Distributions

Tax Efficiency in Retirement

According to federal tax rules, you must start taking minimum distributions from tax-deferred retirement savings accounts including 401s, 403s, 457s, traditional IRAs and SEP IRAs by April 1 after the year you reach age 72. Failure to do so will result in a penalty charge that can be as high as 50% of the distribution amount. Here are some of the key things to remember about RMDs:

  • The amount that you must take out each year depends on your age, life expectancy and year-end account balance. You may take out more than the minimum.
  • If you have multiple retirement accounts, you must calculate RMDs separately, but you can withdraw the total amount from one or many accounts.
  • Roth IRAs and most non-qualified employee-sponsored plans do not require RMDs.
  • You cant rollover RMDs into another type of tax-advantaged account.
  • If you are still working at 72, you can continue contributing to your traditional 401 or 403 or Roth 401 or 403. You don’t need to take an RMD until you separate from service. However, you will be required to take RMDs from any IRA you may own even if you are still working at 72.

While you are responsible for taking distributions from your account, your retirement plan administrator may be able to help by making RMDs automatic. At TIAA, we offer the Minimum Distribution Option, which calculates and pays out RMDs automatically, helping you satisfy federal requirements while preserving your account balance.

The Sequence Of Withdrawals Strategy For Retirement Before Age :

1. Cash: Have one to two years in total spending in cash then refill it annually. If you dont have the cash, you can move money from your other accounts to have a cash position.

2. Dividends and capital gain distributions from taxable accounts: You are going to get taxed if you spend the money or reinvest it.

3. Combination of accounts: Use a combination of pre-tax accounts, after-tax accounts, and taxable accounts, but try to use more taxable accounts.


  • Taxable accounts are not as tax-efficient as pre-tax accounts and after-tax accounts. You have to pay tax on dividends and realized capital gains in a taxable account, whether you use the money or reinvest it, while you do not have to in the pre-tax accounts and after-tax accounts because it has a tax benefit called tax-deferral.

  • Do partial annual Roth Conversion from pre-tax accounts to after-tax accounts, such as doing a Roth Conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.


What Is A Systematic Withdrawal Plan

In a systematic withdrawal plan, you only withdraw the income created by the underlying investments in your portfolio. Because your principal remains intact, this is designed to prevent you from running out of money and may afford you the potential to grow your investments over time, while still providing retirement income. However, the amount of income you receive in any given year will vary, since it depends on market performance. Theres also the risk that the amount youre able to withdraw wont keep pace with inflation.

Potential advantages: This approach only touches the income not your principal so your portfolio maintains the potential to grow.

Potential disadvantages: You wont withdraw the same amount of money every year, and you might get outpaced by inflation.

For illustrative purposes only.

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What Questions Should You Ask And What Documents Do You Have To Bring

Before you meet with your advisor, make sure you’re prepared. Other than important papersincome tax return, notice of assessment, investment statements, pension fund statementyou must also take some time to think about your retirement.

What will your cost of living be once you retire? What about your monthly expenses? Whats the minimum amount of income youll require? Do you plan to buy a trailer? Will your roof need redoing in the next 10 years? Are you planning to get a new car in 5 years? If you get sick, will you be able to pay for home care?

The more information people give us on their goals and projects, the more meticulously we can plan their withdrawal strategy and theyll be able to take full advantage of their retirement, said Mohamed Wakkak. We’re here to answer all your questions on your personalized withdrawal strategy.

Withdraw From Accounts In The Right Order

6 Smart Ways to Withdraw Retirement Funds and Lower Your Taxes

If you need retirement savings to get by and youre wondering whether to take them from an IRA, 401 or a Roth account, dont be tempted by instant gratification. Sure, a Roth IRA withdrawal will be tax-free, but you may wind up paying more in lost opportunity.

Instead, withdraw from taxable retirement accounts first and leave Roth IRAs alone for as long as possible.

Skeptical? Consider what happens if a 72-year-old person takes $18,000 out of a traditional IRA, while sitting in the 24 percent tax bracket: Theyll owe $4,320 in taxes. If they withdraw the same amount from a Roth, they wont pay a dime. But if this person doesnt have to take an RMD from a Roth IRA, and instead earns 7 percent annually on the account for another 10 years, it would grow to $35,409. Those earnings would also be tax-free when withdrawn from the Roth, whether by the person holding the account or their beneficiary.

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Which Accounts You Should Draw Down First In Retirement

Turn your portfolio into a paycheck

When we meet with near-retirees there is often a single question that cuts right through any discussion on economic outlook or investment strategy: How will I replace my monthly paycheck, so I can pay all my bills in retirement?

Well, we can help turn your portfolio into a paycheck, is typically our answer. Fortunately, strategic income planning not only brings retirees comfort and peace of mind, but it can also result in more assets. In fact, according to Vanguard, retirees working with an advisor can expect around a 3% performance increase per year.


Because financial advisors help you build a plan and stick to it. We draw on the right accounts at the right times. We aim to maximize growth and minimize taxes. That said, in addition to working with an expert, its also important to know why youre doing what youre doing. Read on to understand a few general guidelines for retirement withdrawals.

Social Security And Pension Benefits

The full retirement age for Social Security benefits is 67 years old for those born in 1960 or later. The earliest you can begin taking benefits is age 62, but your monthly benefit amount will be reduced. If you wait until your full retirement age to collect Social Security benefits, you should receive 100% of your monthly benefit. And if you continue to delay your benefits past your full retirement age, you can receive increased benefits until you reach age 70, at which point your benefits stop increasing even if you continue to not take them.

If youre eligible for a pension, your selection strategy is another important retirement factor. Youll need to determine when to start taking your pension, how much to withhold in taxes, and what type of survivorship option to select. Additionally, deciding how to maximize your pension payouts whether through a lump sum or annuities will affect your retirement income.

With these benefits in mind, you can budget appropriately and decide how youll spend your additional savings.

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Whats The Order In Which I Should Tap Into My Retirement Accounts

In this case, the conventional wisdom goes that you should withdraw from your taxable accounts first, then tax-deferred, then tax-free. Thatâs because the money you take from a taxable account is likely to be taxed at the rate for capital gains or qualified dividends, which varies depending on your tax bracket. Itâs generally a lower rate than what youâd pay on ordinary income from 401 plans, traditional IRAs and other tax-deferred savings. Tapping the taxable accounts first gives the other accounts the potential to continue growing, shielded from current taxes.

âTapping taxable accounts first gives the other accounts the potential to continue growing, shielded from current taxes.â

While the guidelines for withdrawing income offer a reasonable starting point, Storey says, youâll also need to look at your unique situation. âItâs helpful to have some flexibility in the way your income might be taxed,â he says. For example, if for some reason you were going to be in a higher than usual tax bracket one year â if you realized a significant gain from selling a business but you still needed additional income, say â you might like to have the option to draw federal tax-free income from a Roth IRA.

âI worked with a couple recently who could have been receiving an additional $1,400 a month in spousal benefits for four years. That adds upâ

How Do I Withdraw Retirement Funds When Retiring

Retirement Account Withdrawal Strategies

When youre retired, you must first figure out how you want to receive your retirement funds. There are a few options available to you, and the best one for you will depend on your circumstances.

If you have 401, 403, or other employer-sponsored retirement plans, you may be able to leave your money in the plan and take advantage of the plans features, such as tax-deferred growth. First, however, you will need to contact your plan administrator to find out what options are available.

If you have an IRA, you can leave your money in the account and take advantage of the tax-deferred growth. However, you may want to consider rolling over your IRA into a Roth IRA to take advantage of the tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

Once youve decided how you want to receive your retirement funds, youll need to figure out how much money youll need to withdraw each month to cover your expenses. This can be a challenge, especially if youre not used to budgeting your money.

An excellent place to start is by creating a budget that includes all of your regular monthly expenses, such as your mortgage or rent, utilities, groceries, and insurance. Once you know your monthly expenses, you can withdraw the appropriate amount from your retirement account each month.

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Follow The Rules For Rmds

RMD stands for required minimum distribution, and once you hit age 72, youll have to start taking this minimum amount of money from many retirement accounts, such as a traditional IRA or 401 plans.

You must take RMDs annually by April 1 of the year after you turn 72 and by Dec. 31 in subsequent years. In other words, if you turn 72 in 2022, you have until April 1, 2023, to take your first RMD.

The penalty for not following the rules is severe. Failure to make on-time RMDs triggers a whopping 50 percent excise tax.

Thats true if you underpay, too. Lets say your RMD for the year is $20,000 but you take only a $5,000 distribution because of a miscalculation. The IRS will levy the 50 percent penalty in this case $7,500, or half of the $15,000 you failed to withdraw.

When you calculate your RMD, be aware that it will change from year to year. Thats because its determined by your age, life expectancy and account balance, which will be the fair market value of the assets in your accounts on Dec. 31 the year before you take a distribution.

Check out the Uniform Life Table in IRS Publication 590-B to help figure what you must withdraw from your account.

How To Withdraw Retirement Savings Plans In Canada

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan can be a powerful investment tool for your money. Canadians contributed over $36.8 billion to their RRSPs per year and that number continues to rise according to Statistics Canada.

Its popularity is based on the fact that the money you contribute to the plan is deducted from your income and remains nontaxable until it is withdrawn.

However, once you decide to withdraw the funds, in most circumstances, the money will be included as part of your annual income and will be subject to income tax.

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Four Factors That Will Impact Your Withdrawal Strategy

When choosing a withdrawal strategy, its important to take factors such as taxes, life expectancy, additional income sources and your investment portfolio into consideration. These factors can influence your savings, so the earlier you plan for them, the more flexibility youll have during retirement.

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Is there a tax efficient order to withdraw your retirement funds ...

Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.

Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.

Our reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most how to save for retirement, understanding the types of accounts, how to choose investments and more so you can feel confident when planning for your future.

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How To Withdraw Retirement Money The Right Way

When and how you withdraw money from your retirement accounts is a tricky business. Do it the wrong way and you might get slapped with extra taxes. AdviceIQ Network member Rick Kahler, president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.. sketches out what to do:

Last year I reached a milestone age: 59½, old enough to withdraw money from my individual retirement accounts with no penalty. While this felt bittersweet, it did remind me of the importance of timing when taking money out of retirement accounts. Withdrawing at the wrong time can create serious tax consequences.

The basic concept of retirement accounts such as individual retirement accounts and 401s: While you work, you put money in when you retire, you take money out. For maximum benefit from your retirement income, though, you need a withdrawal strategy.

The standard approach to withdrawing retirement funds usually follows this progression:

1. If you are older than 70½, take any required minimum distributions from your traditional IRA or 401s. Calculate your RMD using your age, the year you turned 70½ and the value of your account.

2. Spend down funds from any investment portfolio that isnt part of a qualified retirement plan or tax-deferred annuity. Tapping these accounts first reduces the total tax liability than if you receive funds from a retirement account or annuity. Note: Do this entire step first if youre younger than 70½.

How Much Can I Spend Each Year Without Jeopardizing My Savings

According to one oft-quoted rule of thumb, retirees should look at tapping into about 4% of their wealth annually. But thatâs just a rough guideline, and one that doesnât take into account variables such as the age at which youâre retiring and whether your income needs will change as you age, Storey says. âThe younger you are, the lower the percentage youâll be able to spend each year if you want your savings to last throughout your lifetime,â he says.

âThe younger you are, the lower the percentage youâll be able to spend each year if you want your savings to last throughout your lifetime.â

Because the likelihood of your money lasting depends on a delicate balance between the rate at which your investments appreciate and the rate at which you withdraw income from them â to say nothing of inflation â your withdrawal rate is in some ways a reflection of your confidence that your investments will continue to grow, or at least not shrink relative to your withdrawals. If you think your money might not last, and you’re comfortable investing more aggressively, you might decide to take a little more income each year. On the other hand, if you desire less risk, you might opt for a lower withdrawal rate. It is important to remember that investing involves risk, and there is always the potential for losing money when investing in securities.

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Rmds Smaller For Some Married Couples

If you have a significantly younger spouse who is expected to inherit your IRA, you may be able to reduce your required distributions, thereby trimming taxes and making your retirement funds last longer.

Remember that RMDs are calculated using factors that include your life expectancy as determined by the IRS. But if youve named a spouse as the sole beneficiary of your IRA and he or she is at least 10 years younger than you, then your RMD is computed using a joint-life expectancy table. That will reduce the amount you need to distribute in any given year.

For example, a single retiree who turns age 72 in the current year and who would have to take their first RMD by April 1 of the following year would have a life expectancy of 27.4 more years in the eyes of the IRS. So if that persons IRA was worth $200,000, their first RMD would be $7,299.27 .

But lets say this person designates their 56-year-old married partner to be the sole beneficiary of that retirement account. In that case, their joint life expectancy would be 31.9 years. So the first RMD would be trimmed to $6,269.59. The IRS provides a table for this situation in its Publication 590-B.

Registered Retirement Income Fund

Which accounts should you withdraw funds from first in retirement?

By the end of the year in which you turn age 71, all RRSP contributions must cease. At this time, CRA requires that the RRSP be used as retirement income. The vehicle to accomplish this is a Registered Retirement Income Fund, which provides you with a steady flow of retirement income.

At 71 you can go to your financial institution and transfer your money from your RRSP to a RRIF, explains France Tisi, Bank Manager with the National Bank Financial Group.

At that time, you decide what monthly payment you want from the RRIF. It can be as high or as low as you like, as long as it is at least the minimum set out by the government. You can also change the monthly amount anytime you wish.

Tisi notes that minimum payments vary and are based on a calculation that uses your age. They are considered income and are subject to annual income tax.

If you choose, you can withdraw the entire amount in one lump sum. However, you may want to consider the effect this could have on your income tax bracket for the year.

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