Latest Insights

Tax Diversification in Retirement Planning

Cash Flow and Retirement

Tax diversification, as it relates to investing, refers to the strategic allocation of assets among multiple investment accounts with varying taxation. In retirement, you’ll want the flexibility to decide which account to pull funds from to create the most tax-advantageous cash flow. The best application of tax diversification may require using all three accounts.

The tax triangle below shows how various vehicles may be taxed:

Why is tax diversification important, and how does it work?

What if you created another tax-free bucket of assets utilizing tax-free distributions during your lifetime? Let’s assume a married couple withdraws $200,000 from their 401(k). They would be left with $150,000 (assuming a 25 percent tax rate). Instead, if they took funds from each of the three alternatives – $125,000 from their 401(k), $75,000 from a mutual fund, and $50,000 from either a permanent life insurance policy, Roth IRA, or Muni Bonds – they could potentially receive a net income of $213,750 (assuming a 25 percent income tax bracket and 15 percent in capital gains taxes). As you can see, diversifying taxes is an important part of retirement planning.

Get Diversified 

Tax diversification can help provide flexibility and sustainability for retirement savings. While tax codes may be complex and ever-changing, the solution doesn’t have to be. Talk to your Lenox Advisor about how tax diversification can play a part in your long-term retirement goals.

(1) Distributions from a life insurance policy through withdrawals of certain policy values (up to cost basis) and loans are generally not taxed as income provided you follow certain premium limits which prevent your policy from becoming a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC). Distributions taken during the first fifteen years may be subject to tax. Loans and withdrawals will generally reduce the cash value available and death benefit payable. If policy loans are taken, there may be income tax consequences if you permit the policy to lapse or if the policy is surrendered or exchanged. (2) Traditional IRA contributions may be deducted if certain criteria are met. (3) Assuming the funds have been held in the account for at least five years and owner has reached age 59 ½ at the time withdrawals are taken. (4) Municipal bond interest is generally tax-free for federal  regular income tax purposes. Lenox Advisors, Inc. (Lenox) is a wholly owned subsidiary of NFP Corp. (NFP), a financial services holding company, New York, NY. Securities and investment advisory services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC and NFP Corp. Member SIPC. 90 Park Ave, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016, 212.536.6000. Services will be referred by qualified representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC (MMLIS).