What bucket of money do I tap into first when I retire?

I am 63 years old. I have a 401(k), another savings account, Social Security ( which I haven't yet collected), and a pension which I haven't tapped into. Is there a general rule or recommendation of which account to draw from first? Which account should I distribute from first?

Financial Planning, Retirement Savings
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April 2017
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That sounds like a simple question, but the answer is complicated. It depends a lot on how much your total income varies from year to year. As a general rule, you will pay the lowest overall taxes if your income is exactly the same each year; they used to have a form called Schedule G where you could smooth out your income, but that was abolished in 1986. Therefore, you should attempt to do that yourself; when your income is lower than usual as you get into November and December, increase it by filling out your marginal tax bracket. For example, if you can withstand another 20 thousand in income in 2017 before you jump from the 15% to the 25% federal tax bracket, take 17 or 18 thousand out of your 401(k) or any other non-Roth retirement account during 2017. On the other hand, if your income is higher in a particular year and you are already in the 25% tax bracket, don't withdraw any money from a retirement account (you won't have to until you're 70-1/2).

By smoothing out your income and using up the lower tax brackets, you will save money on taxes in the long run, even if you pay more in any given year.

April 2017
April 2017
April 2017
April 2017