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Investing Specialists

A Year-End To-Do List for Bucket Investors

A step-by-step guide to 'bucket maintenance' as the year winds down.

A Bucket strategy for retirement looks incredibly simple in the abstract. Just set up your three buckets--cash (1), bonds (2), and stock (3)--then happily spend your way through a long retirement.

Alas, real-life bucket portfolios can get a little messy. For one thing, most of us don’t bring a single mega-portfolio into retirement. Thanks to the tax laws, we’re managing our money across various silos: tax-deferred, taxable, and Roth. You can’t just merge all of those accounts together in retirement, and nor would you necessarily want to, because some of them receive more-favorable tax treatment than others.