If you are approaching retirement, or have already arrived, you may depend on a professional's advice for managing your savings.
It's certainly not a bad idea. But a couple of retirement experts have published research that calls into question some of the industry's conventional wisdom.
William Reichenstein and William Meyer, top executives at Retiree Income, have published a paper focusing on tax-efficient retirement withdrawals. They contend there is a better way to create income from retirement savings.
"Through our research, we found there are better strategies for creating retirement income than the ones the industry is currently using," said Meyer. "These strategies provide greater tax efficiency, creating six or more years of income. As an industry, we can do better for clients."
Meyer says the prevailing view in the industry is that investors should pull out retirement funds from one account at a time, only beginning withdrawals from another account when the first one is exhausted.
The accepted way to proceed is to start with tax-deferred accounts, then move on to tax-exempt. Meyer and Reichenstein say that's not the most tax-efficient way to do it.
What investors should do, they contend, is take progressive tax rates into consideration, taking money out of multiple accounts at the same time. They also suggest using Roth conversions – all while taking advantage of years when the investor has lower marginal tax rates.
Meyer and Reichenstein say these might be unconventional strategies but believe they can make money stretch another six years.
Important first step
Personal finance experts say choosing the right financial advisor is the most important step in heading toward a financially-secure retirement. Two of the most important factors are independence and objectivity.
Any financial advisor you select should be in a fiduciary role, meaning he or she has to put your interests ahead of any commissions or fees they might earn on your investments.
Personal finance expert Suze Orman has compiled some helpful do's and don'ts as you begin that process.