Weekend Reading: In Retirement, Many Crucial Questions Start with the Word ‘When’

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading retirement planning crucial questionsjpg Weekend reading retirement planning crucial questionsjpg
Weekend Reading

Your most important retirement planning decisions rely on timing. While long-term performance is certainly front of mind for your investments, before anything else, you must pay attention to the “when” questions, including:


📌 What will you do when Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) hit? When you reach age 73, you must withdraw a certain percentage (your RMD) from tax-deferred retirement accounts on a yearly basis, regardless if you need the money or not. One way to avoid this is by converting those accounts to a Roth account prior, where savings can grow tax-free.

📌 When should you tap your different types of assets? Beyond long-term performance, having a strategy for when to utilize your retirement assets and tap withdrawals is vital for tax efficiency.

📌 When should you claim Social Security? The “when” behind your Social Security decision determines the amount in benefits you receive. While you can begin taking reduced monthly checks as early as age 62, waiting until your full retirement age, or further, age 70, will increase your benefits.

📌 When should you start passing your wealth on to heirs? Timing plays a crucial role in your estate plan when it comes to minimizing the taxes your heirs pay on inheritances. If you pass on wealth while still living, you can utilize the gift tax exclusion to eliminate taxes entirely.

Your “when’s” will largely circle around milestone ages. As such, paying attention to these “when’s” can be a great starting point in your planning process.