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Three Steps to Retirement Income Planning

Three Steps to Retirement Income Planning

November 23, 2020

Retirement income planning is an important part of preparing for retirement. The amount of income you will need, as well as when and where to withdraw it, can be one of the hardest tasks in financial planning.

For simplicity, we will examine three key steps to retirement income planning.

Retirement Income Planning and Social Security

The first step in retirement income planning is to understand social security. You need to determine how much social security you are eligible for, and when to "turn it on."

Most of the time it is beneficial to wait until you are at full retirement age, which is typically age 66 or age 67.

To receive a detailed report of your social security, simply go to the Social Security Administration link below and sign up to get an update of your options:

Create Your Own Personal Social Security Account Today

If you would like to visit the Social Security Administration offices in your city such as Wilmington, Raleigh, or Charlotte, NC, visit the link below for their location and hours of operation.

North Carolina Social Security Administration

Retirement Income Planning and your IRA/401(k)

The second step in retirement income planning is to determine withdrawal options on your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). 

You cannot draw on these accounts without a penalty until 59 1/2.  The Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age is 73 for individuals who turn 72 on or after January 1, 2023.

If you do not withdrawal by that time, you will be penalized substantially by the IRS. So, there are a lot of rules that you need to be aware of.

Determining when and how to begin withdrawals is best discussed with a financial advisor. If you are a Wilmington, NC resident and have concerns about your wealth management in Wilmington, NC, feel free to contact us at 910.448.1450. Likewise, if you are a Raleigh, NC resident with concerns about your wealth management in Raleigh, NC, you may call us at the same number. Retirement income planning 


Once you are up to speed on your social security and IRA options, it's time to determine how much money you will need per month.

Many experts say that 80% of your pre-retirement income is a place to start, however, I have found that the actual amount is usually less than this.

The best thing you can do is to simply create a budget (and trust me--Everyone Needs a Budget). This is probably the first step to retirement income planning, but since most folks hate to do it--we made it last!

Retirement Income Planning Summary

Retirement income planning is not easy.

There are many variables and in some cases variables within the variables!

However, we believe that by following these three core steps, you will be able to execute your retirement income planning with confidence and peace of mind.

About the Author

Jeff Headrick is a private wealth advisor with Inspire Financial Planning, LLC.

Jeff lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife and two children. He spends most of his spare time just across the Intracoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach, enjoying the beauty of the NC Coast.

Charts and graphs contained herein should not serve as the sole determining factor for making investment decisions. All hypothetical scenarios are for illustrative purposes only. Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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