During your working years, your employer may have provided you with a regular paycheck. After retirement, it is an adjustment to manage your retirement income and expenses. Here are some ways to manage your monthly income in retirement.

Determine your sources of retirement income

Before you retire, think about where your money will come from when you stop working. Start by assessing your stable sources of income.

Social Security provides a stable source of benefits for eligible retired workers. The amount you receive each month depends on your eligibility, the number of years you paid Social Security taxes, and when you begin collecting benefits.

Some retirees have a pension from a past employer. You can choose to take pension benefits as a lump sum, in payments, or a combination of both. Pension funds can also be rolled into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

Consider annuities as an option

An annuity can provide you with guaranteed lifetime income and help you increase tax-deferred savings as part of your overall retirement savings plan. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Immediate annuities are funded with a single premium, and payments can begin as soon as 30 days. With a deferred annuity , assets have the potential to grow on a tax-deferred basis until you’re ready to withdraw the money.

Annuities are either fixed or variable. With a fixed annuity, your payments have a fixed rate of return guaranteed by the insurance company. If you choose a variable annuity, benefits paid will be dependent on the underlying investments.

Choose your withdrawal methods

After you’ve identified your income streams, decide how and when you’d like to receive your money. Because your needs will likely change, flexibility and variety will help you adjust when the unexpected happens. You can:

  • Receive fixed payments from Social Security, pensions, and many annuities at regular intervals. You can also choose this approach for withdrawing from an investment account.
  • Withdraw a percentage of your invested assets’ total value at scheduled intervals (monthly or quarterly). The amount will vary due to market volatility.
  • Plan to withdraw interest and dividends only, leaving the principal amount untouched. The principal can continue to produce income and will be available to you in later life or to your beneficiaries.
  • Rebalance your assets systematically to maintain your desired asset allocation as you withdraw regular payments.

Revisit your decisions regularly to ensure they’re meeting your needs. A Financial Advisor can help make sure you are firmly in control of your retirement income.

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