Retirement accounts are designed to help make the transition between working and retiring easier. They provide a steady stream of income for retirees who are suddenly without take-home pay for the first time in their lives. These accounts require extra planning and consideration since, unlike other assets your clients may have, retirement account distributions are subject to income tax for the account owner and the designated beneficiary after the owner’s death.
It is important that any plans for retirement match up with the plans a person has for their estate. Of course, planning for retirement assets is often motivated by different goals than estate planning because of income taxes. It is critical that financial advisors take the opportunity to talk with their clients about the differences when meeting for a review of their plans.