For many, retirement planning is their single most important financial goal. This is easy to understand when you consider that there are ways to borrow for essentially any other significant life event, but not retirement. In most cases, simply participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan is not enough, and we help clients take advantage of alternative investment and planning strategies, such as saving on an after tax basis, contributing to a non-deductible IRA and converting to a Roth, deferring self-employment income, taking advantage of how different types of accounts are taxed, etc.
As clients get closer to retirement, we can work with them to create retirement income models, which take current assets, anticipated savings, projected investment earnings and inflation expectations and different sources of retirement income to create annual cash flow models to estimate what their net income in today’s dollars will be throughout retirement. Using this type of strategy allows us to see potential shortfalls and make adjustments to the plan prior to retiring and beginning to take regular portfolio distributions.
However, comprehensive retirement planning should address not just the accumulation of wealth, but the effective distribution of income, as well. Portfolio distributions are structured to minimize a client’s taxable income, and this often involves taking distributions from both pre-tax and after-tax sources during the course of the year. Careful planning can help keep a client’s taxable distributions consistent year over year, and annual review of changes in a client's tax situation is an important consideration in managing portfolio distributions.