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My guess is that they're calling a return of capital tax-free "income".

Wright tells his financial advisor he needs $117,000/yr to live on.

Advisor sells $77,000 worth of stock with a cost basis of $33,000, netting a capital gain of $44,000.

The $77,000, plus pension, IRA distribution and his part-time H&R Block job bring his income to $117,000/yr.


This.

An amusing anecdote. Not 10 minutes ago the wife was filling out some sort of internet survey and she asked me, "What income range are we in -- 50K-100K, 100K-300K? Or what?"
My answer, probably typical for retired, financially independent retirees, was "Whatever we want it to be. It's just a matter of how much we choose to withdraw from our accounts."

People like the author of this piece whose, income is a W-2 paycheck, really think that "income" means a paycheck. That's all they have experienced, so that's all they know.
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