Conventional financial wisdom: Move your money into dividend-paying stocks and bonds with decent yields to create income in retirement.
Instead: Look to maximize total return -- interest plus dividends plus unrealized gains plus realized gains, Barton says.
Why: Looking only at dividends can place an unnecessary constraint on your portfolio and lead to subpar performance, Barton says. You can always raise cash by selling securities -- you don't necessarily need to pick securities based on their ability to produce cash, he says. This gives you and your planner the freedom to select securities that maximize the total amount earned.