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Investing Specialists

Get a Tax-Smart Plan for In-Retirement Withdrawals

Strategies for stretching out your tax savings during your retirement years.

My book, 30-Minute Money Solutions, provides guidance on completing 36 financial-planning tasks, each in a half hour or less, including how to prepare your portfolio for withdrawals in retirement. This was an issue acutely faced by Jack and Catherine, a couple who e-mailed me in 2009 seeking direction on how to invest during their impending retirement.

Both were in the process of stepping back from demanding careers--Jack as an executive at a large pharmaceutical firm and Catherine as a hospital administrator. Although they had amassed more than enough money to retire--their combined portfolio totaled more than $2.5 million--their portfolio was, in Jack's words, "a mess."

Jack, who had been in charge of the couple's investments for most of their lives, used the "all-you-can-eat buffet" approach to portfolio management, meaning that their investment accounts consisted of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. He had sought the advice of advisors for portions of their portfolio and used the DIY method for other accounts. In all, this couple had more than 80 separate holdings, both individual stocks and bonds as well as traditional mutual funds and a few exchange-traded funds thrown in for good measure.

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