A sound retirement income plan takes into account several financial risks, including the potential for the retiree to outlive his or her assets, the effects of inflation on future income, rising health care costs, and the uncertain future of the Social Security system.
Tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs and 401(k) plans are excellent vehicles for saving for retirement. But the IRS imposes a number of distribution requirements that, if not met, can result in penalties.
Whether an investor benefits from converting assets within a traditional IRA to a Roth account may depend on the amount of time he or she plans to leave the assets invested, estate planning strategies, and his or her willingness to pay the federal income tax bill that a conversion is likely to trigger.
For those in or near retirement, the age of 70½ is a key transition point: Retirees need to begin planning for required minimum distributions (RMDs) that are taken annually from employer-sponsored retirement plans and traditional IRAs.
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