Do you fear you will run out of money before you die? Most of us do. When we were gainfully employed there was always the possibility of a raise, a bonus, a better-paying job. Once we retire, we believe that what we have, is what we will have, for the rest of our lives, as short or as long as it will be. Not so fast.
In planning what income you will take from the assets you’ve gathered, the timing of that distribution is as critical as the amount. For instance, taking Social Security at your normal retirement age (which for Baby Boomers is getting later and later) or taking it early at age 62 can have a HUGE impact on what your other assets are doing. For some, taking it earlier and allowing your other assets to grow and remain untouched is a great idea. For others, who can earn income in the early 60s, have a younger working spouse, taking Social Security at a later age is probably a better idea. And if you gather up all those small IRAs you started when you were working at other employers which you probably forgot about, you might want to consider “burning them out” (depleting) them to allow you to defer taking Social Security.
In all, don’t make the assumption there is one size to fit all circumstances. Get some advice when you turn 60 to know how to do this to maximize your benefits and make your money last.