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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75641  
Subject: Re: Suggestions for my situation Date: 3/25/2014 10:03 PM
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Your first consideration is your traditional IRA, which is taxable (except for any after tax contributions). You will want to decide when best to pay these taxes. That probably means when your tax rate is lowest. One way to reduce your tax rate would be to defer collecting Social Security and live off the IRA for a while.

Most find that their income tax rate is lowest in retirement before they begin collecting Social Security and highest after age 70-1/2 when you must take required distributions from your 401k and IRAs.

As to saving taxes, first choice is living off of savings. This incurs no tax liability.

Second is Roth when you qualify.

Third is living off the dividends from your brokerage account. These are taxable whether you spend them or not. Spending them first reduces your tax burden.

Fourth is long term capital gains.

Last is IRA, which is fully taxable at ordinary income rates. But taxes must be paid some time. So pick the best time.

Another consideration is growth potential. Equity investments have the best chance to grow and keep up with inflation. You may well expect to be retired 30 years or longer. Whatever you decide to do, maintain your overall balance. Do not deplete equities. Spread it out evenly for best results over the long term.
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