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  • Dec 15, 2010, 07:14 PM
    591/2 and retired already
    What's the best way to get my money now for my 4o1 without paying high taxes on it.
  • Dec 16, 2010, 07:01 AM

    First, please do not type in all caps - it makes it seem like you are shouting.

    No matter what you do any withdrawal from a qualified retirement plan like a 401(k) is taxed as ordinary income, unless it's rolled over to another qualified plan. So the way to minimize the tax bite is to minimize the amount of wiahdrawals you take. One option you may want to consider is to use the proceeds of your 401(k) to purchase a one-time purchasefixed annuity. This is the old fashioned type of anniuty, which pays you a fixed amount per month for as long as you live in exchange for a single lump sum purchase by you. You can actually buy the annuity using a direct roll over from your 401(k), so there is no immediate tax consequence. Now as you receive monthly checks they will count as ordinary income to you, and hence the payments are taxable, but at least it smooths things out so that you don't get one big lump sum that would knock you into a higher tax bracket. A word of caution - I woiuld not advise purchasing any of the fancier, more complicated annuity instruments such as variable annuities - the more complicated these things get the less transparent they are and the more you lose in fees being sucked out of your account.
  • Jan 26, 2011, 01:57 PM
    You could go with the annuity suggestion above. However, there are other options. You could simply roll the 401k into an IRA and take withdrawals as needed to supplement your living expenses. The same is true in that the withdrawals are treated as taxable income. The major difference it with the IRA account you have more flexibility in that the assets can continue to be invested and potentially grow. Once you do the immediate annuity the payments are what they are for life with a slight adjustments for inflation. With interest rates as low as they currently are the lifetime payout is significantly lower.

    It really depends on your situation. I would recommend working with a professional financial advisor and doing a financial plan. A Monte Carlo analysis will be helpful in determining your probablity of success in your money outliving you.

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