Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 0
The standard from what I've read seems to be this:

Retirees should withdraw funds as follows:

-- From their taxable accounts (investment and others)

-- From tax-deferred accounts (401(k), 403(b), 457, SIMPLE IRA plans, etc.)

-- From tax-exempt retirement accounts (Roth IRA, or Roth-optioned accounts)

In other words, it seems to be the opposite of the order of investing, if you are in the [pre-retirement] accumulation phase.

The only exception, during accumulation, would be to contribute to the 401(k) first, but only up to the limit of matching funds. But in my own case, I have no matching funds, so your one-two-three list for spending in retirement is just the mirror-image of the accumulation-phase order. Also, I'm not looking to leave any inheritance; nor will I "retire early." So, the one-two-three list makes sense for me (and probably for many other people), but I can see that different situations might call for some different order.

As for RMDs, these are often thought to be huge (and maybe in some cases they actually are huge), but in general they seem to me to be much smaller than people believe. Have you checked out what they would be in your own case? In the final analysis, it's best to do what fits your own case the best. I don't think there is a "one size fits all" here.

Print the post  


The Retirement Investing Board
This is the board for all discussions related to Investing for and during retirement. To keep the board relevant and Foolish to everyone, please avoid making any posts pertaining to political partisanship. Fool on and Retire on!
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.