Personal Finance

Is Your Portfolio in Sync with Your Retirement Withdrawal Strategy?

Head of Wealth Planning, Martin Schamis, discusses syncing your portfolio with your retirement withdrawal strategies.



When planning your retirement withdrawal strategy, it is very important to make sure the critical components of your portfolio are in sync. These components include your tax bracket, the tax treatment of your assets, and the specific goals for which assets are earmarked.

A basic approach to withdrawing assets would include liquidating bank accounts, non-qualified brokerage accounts, non-qualified variable annuities, IRA accounts, and Roth IRA accounts, in that order.

However, this general rule is usually outperformed by a tailored approach that simply requires a bit more attention paid to the order of your withdrawals. Here are a few examples of how your portfolio can be synched to specific withdrawal strategies.

Syncing Withdrawals to Changes in Your Tax Rate

Will you be in a lower tax bracket once you retire?
Synching your portfolio to your withdrawal strategy might require determining if it still make sense to hold municipal bonds to the same degree. Many retirees do not change their portfolio when they retire because there is so much going on during that time.

Will you be in a higher tax bracket when you retire?
If you are currently in the 10%–5% tax bracket, you may find that once Social Security, pension, and required minimum distributions begin you will be permanently in the 25% (or higher) tax bracket. If so, synching your portfolio to your withdrawal strategy might mean using the 10% spread between the 15% and 25% brackets to your advantage. Determine whether you have large, long-term capital gains or losses. If so, then put a 3–5 year plan in place, to use losses or realize gains in a smart way that works with your other assets. It’s possible that taking gains while in the 10%–15% bracket could legally prevent the payment of capital gains taxes altogether.

Syncing Accounts of Varying Tax Qualifications

Some clients may be able to let IRA accounts defer as long as possible without needing the income. Using a stretch-IRA strategy, these assets could be passed on to your heirs in the form of inherited IRAs—which can be a very beneficial estate planning strategy. Syncing from a portfolio standpoint might mean holding more long-term, growth-oriented assets in your IRA than in other accounts, which will be used for income during your retirement.

Syncing Accounts and Asset Categories to Specific Goals

Many people do not have a plan in place for long-term care. For some clients, there could be a smart way to reposition the cash value of life insurance to cover long-term care. In the case of annuities purchased for income, where the income is no longer needed, this could also be repurposed. Also, if not needed for income, your taxable required distributions (RMDs) from an IRA could be leveraged into a larger, tax-free legacy for your beneficiaries. We have the expertise, resources, and knowledge to help you sync your portfolio to the retirement withdrawal strategy that best fits your needs.

Contact your Janney Financial Advisor for a retirement income evaluation.


Martin Schamis, CFP
Head of Wealth Planning
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Martin Schamis is Head of Wealth Planning in the firm’s Wealth Management division. In this role, Martin is responsible for the strategic direction of the Planning Solutions Group that supports more than 740 Financial Advisors who advise Janney’s retail client base.

Martin joined Janney from The Vanguard Group, where he spent the majority of his 11-year tenure as Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Advice Services. During his time there, he helped launch several successful financial planning initiatives, including redesigning Vanguard’s comprehensive financial planning offering as well as developing a solution connecting clients with Vanguard’s CFP® professionals for situational advice. Prior to Vanguard, Martin worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley. He is a Certified Financial Planner® professional and holds FINRA Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses. Martin graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Art from the University of Delaware and received an MBA in Finance from St. Joseph’s University.


Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax, regulatory, accounting, or legal advice. These materials and any tax-related statements are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

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