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My overall point is that the purpose of retirement savings is to have money to live on in retirement, not to save on taxes. He should be using what he needs, taxes be damned, within the constraints of future needs and assets.

Well said Phil and I agree. I will know more after I speak with him this weekend. As I said in my post he is 68 and will be 69 this month so RMD's are about a year away. He is retired, very conservative and does have a budget which he monitors very closely. He is carefully drawing down his "substantial" retirement funds at a 3~4% yearly rate to help meet his yearly expenses. However, he may be missing a good tax saving opportunity in the way he is making his withdrawals. I will know more later this week. Thanks again Phil.

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