So far in this program we have focused on the need to save for retirement and to manage risk in the preretirement years. But what happens after retirement? How can we be sure we do not outlive the money we have worked for years to save and protect? The risk of outliving one's assets is widely considered to be the number-one concern of retirees today.

To help clients make the best choices about retirement income distributions, you-and they-need to understand the ins and outs of plan distributions. These rules are extremely tricky and full of pitfalls for the unwary. Retirement plan distribution rules cover when distributions must be taken, the minimum amounts that must be withdrawn, and the period over which distributions can be taken. Distribution errors can result in harsh penalties, which take a large bite out of a retiree's savings. There are also important choices to be made prior to beginning any distribution plan. Is it best to take a lump sum distribution? If it is, what are the tax consequences and the investment alternatives? Is a series of periodic payments over a remaining lifetime more appropriate?

About the Author

David Mannaioni, CFP®, MPASSM is a professor at the College for Financial Planning. Utilizing his 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry, David also maintains a financial planning practice where he works with his clients in all areas of financial planning. In addition to his certifications, David holds life and health insurance licenses in several states, as well as the Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 registrations with FINRA. You can contact David at

Complexity Level: Intermediate