Observations on life

A disastrous mistake in retirement

Your 401k or IRA has one purpose only (or should); to generate income in retirement. Income is the key word. It is not a savings account.

If you have $1,000,000 entering retirement, you should able to generate about $40,000 in annual income without running out of money. That assumes the entire balance in your account still works for you over the years of retirement.

You can screw your future up royally by thinking that million dollars is there for other purposes as tempting as it may be.  Take out $25,000 to buy a car or $75,000 for home remodeling and your future security is in jeopardy.

For more than one reason you must have savings beyond your retirement plan when you enter retirement. The first is to cover crisis expenses, and large purchases as mentioned above. The second is to smooth out stock market ups and downs.  Extra savings will give you flexibility when the stock market declines and allow you to minimize withdrawals from your retirement account (beyond required distributions).

There is another reason to stick with a retirement plan; taxes‼️ Take a large withdrawal from your retirement account and you may find yourself in a higher tax bracket for all your income.🤑

Also, a large distribution can increase your Medicare premiums considerably (unless you have had the foresight to use a Roth account which does not add to your MAGI.

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2 replies »

  1. You could also mention that taking a large chunk of cash from a tax deferred plan may also put you in the position of having to pay a greater Medicare premium. This wouldn’t apply though if you were in a Roth IRA.

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