Other options for how to handle your retirement account assets may be right for your financial situation.
For assistance in reviewing your options and identifying the strategy that’s right for you, please consult a financial professional.
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Don and Jean Butler are both age 65 and ready to retire. Before they actually do, however, they should weigh the distribution options of their retirement savings plans with a view toward making their money last.
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Because the Butlers are both older than 59 ½ and fully vested, once they retire, they can withdraw all the money in their employer-sponsored retirement accounts whenever they wish, subject to the terms of their retirement plans. The downside: If they choose to withdraw their money as a lump-sum distribution they will be subject to regular income taxes plus federal withholding of 20 percent of the distribution. And having that money readily at hand makes it too easy for the Butlers to run through their savings prematurely. Luckily for them, their retirement plans may have other distribution options.
- One option may be to leave the money in their retirement plans, keeping in mind that at age 70 ½ distributions must begin and federal and possibly state income tax withholding applies. This is a sensible choice for the Butlers because fees charged for retirement plan investment choices are usually lower than fees for investments outside of an employer’s plan. The plans would need to provide investment choices appropriate for their needs in retirement, however.