Getting the instruments of your retirement to work in concert may go far in realizing the retirement you imagine.

An orchestra is merely a collection of instruments, each creating a unique sound. It is only when a conductor leads them that they produce the beautiful music imagined by the composer.

The same can be said about your retirement strategy.

The typical retirement strategy is built on the pillars of your 401(k) plan, your Traditional IRA, and taxable savings. Getting the instruments of your retirement to work in concert has the potential to help you realize the retirement you imagine.1

Hierarchy of Savings

Maximizing the effectiveness of your retirement strategy begins with understanding the hierarchy of savings.

If you’re like most Americans, the amount you can save for retirement is not unlimited. Consequently, you may want to make sure that your savings are directed to the highest priority retirement funding options first. For many, that hierarchy begins with the 401(k), is followed by a Traditional IRA and, after that, put toward taxable savings.

You will then want to consider how to invest each of these savings pools. One strategy is to simply mirror your desired asset allocation in all retirement accounts.2

Another approach is to put the income-generating portion of the allocation, such as bonds, into tax-deferred accounts, while using taxable accounts to invest in assets whose gains come from capital appreciation, like stocks.3

Withdrawal Strategy

When it comes to living off your savings, you’ll want to coordinate your withdrawals. One school of thought recommends that you tap your taxable accounts first so that your tax-deferred savings will be afforded more time for potential growth.

Another school of thought suggests taking distributions first from your poorer performing retirement accounts, since this money is not working as hard for you.

Finally, because many individuals have both traditional and Roth IRA accounts, your expectations about future tax rates may affect what account you withdraw from first. (If you think tax rates are going higher, then you might want to withdraw from the traditional before the Roth). If you’re uncertain, you may want to consider withdrawing from the traditional up to the lowest tax bracket, then withdrawing from the Roth after that.4

In any case, each person’s circumstances are unique and any strategy ought to reflect your particular risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals.

1. “Under the SECURE Act, in most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k), Traditional IRA, or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k), Traditional IRA or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. 401(k) plans and IRAs have exceptions to avoid the 10% withdrawal penalty, including death and disability. Contributions to a traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your individual circumstances.
2. Asset allocation is an approach to help manage investment risk. Asset allocation does not guarantee against investment loss.
3. The market value of a bond will fluctuate with changes in interest rates. As rates rise, the value of existing bonds typically falls. If an investor sells a bond before maturity, it may be worth more or less than the initial purchase price. By holding a bond to maturity an investor will receive the interest payments due plus his or her original principal, barring default by the issuer. Investments seeking to achieve higher yields also involve a higher degree of risk. The return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. And shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
4. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal can also be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

One or the other? Perhaps both traditional and Roth IRAs can play a part in your retirement plans.

Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), which were created in 1974, are owned by roughly 41 million U.S. households. And Roth IRAs, created as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act in 1997, are owned by nearly 32 million households.1

Both are IRAs. And yet, each is quite different.

Up to certain limits, traditional IRAs allow individuals to make tax-deductible contributions to their account(s). Distributions from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.2,3

For individuals covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction for a traditional IRA in 2024 is phased out for incomes between $123,000 and $143,000 for married couples filing jointly and between $77,000 and $87,000 for single filers.4

Also, within certain limits, individuals can make contributions to a Roth IRA with after-tax dollars. To qualify for a tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½.

Like a traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are limited based on income. For 2024, contributions to a Roth IRA are phased out between $230,000 and $240,000 for married couples filing jointly and between $146,000 and $161,000 for single filers.4

In addition to contribution and distribution rules, there are limits on how much can be contributed each year to either IRA. In fact, these limits apply to any combination of IRAs; that is, workers cannot put more than $7,000 per year into their Roth and traditional IRAs combined. So, if a worker contributed $4,000 in a given year into a traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA would be limited to $3,000 in that same year.4

Individuals who reach age 50 or older by the end of the tax year can qualify for “catch-up” contributions. The combined limit for these is $8,000.4

Both traditional and Roth IRAs can play a part in your retirement plans. And once you’ve figured out which will work better for you, only one task remains: open an account.5

Features of Traditional and Roth IRAs

Traditional v Roth IRA

* Up to certain limits
** Distributions from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
*** To qualify, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½.

1. ICI.org, February 2023
2. IRS.gov, 2024. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.
3. Up to certain limits, traditional IRAs allow individuals to make tax-deductible contributions into their account(s). Distributions from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
4. IRS.gov, 2024
5. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the ability to “undo” a Roth conversion.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Retirement income may come from a variety of sources. Here’s an overview of the six main sources.

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience. For many people, retirement income may come from a variety of sources. Here’s a quick review of the six main sources:

Social Security

Social Security is the government-administered retirement income program. Workers become eligible after paying Social Security taxes for 10 years. Benefits are based on each worker’s 35 highest earning years. If there are fewer than 35 years of earnings, non-earning years are averaged in as zero. In 2023, the average monthly benefit is estimated at $1,827.1,2

Personal Savings and Investments

Personal savings and investments outside of retirement plans can provide income during retirement. Retirees often prefer to go for investments that offer monthly guaranteed income over potential returns.

Individual Retirement Account

Traditional IRAs have been around since 1974. Contributions you make to a traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your individual circumstances. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.

Roth IRAs were created in 1997. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals also can be taken under certain other circumstances, including as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.

Defined Contribution Plans

Many workers are eligible to participate in a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan. Eligible workers can set aside a portion of their pre-tax income into an account, which then accumulates, tax-deferred.

In most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Defined Benefit Plans

Defined benefit plans are “traditional” pensions—employer–sponsored plans under which benefits, rather than contributions, are defined. Benefits are normally based on factors such as salary history and duration of employment. The number of traditional pension plans has dropped dramatically during the past 30 years.3

Continued Employment

In a recent survey, 73% of workers stated that they planned to keep working in retirement. In contrast, only 23% of retirees reported that continued employment was a major or minor source of retirement income.4

Expected Vs. Actual Sources of Income in Retirement

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience.

1. SSA.gov, 2023
2. SSA.gov, 2023
3. Investopedia.com, December 30, 2022
4. EBRI.org, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.
css.php