How to tap your retirement funds
Saving for retirement is half the battle. Withdrawing from your retirement funds so they provide a steady income after you stop working presents a whole other set of challenges.
"As much as 70 percent of your hard-earned retirement funds can be eaten up by income, estate and state taxes," says individual retirement account guru Ed Slott, author of the retirement-planning books, "Fund Your Future: A Tax-Smart Savings Plan in Your 20s and 30s" and "The Retirement Savings Time Bomb ... and How to Defuse It."
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To avoid costly traps, Slott and other experts urge consumers to know the rules, plan carefully and maximize opportunity whenever possible.