Formulate a strategy for retirement portfolio withdrawals

The precisely right withdrawal rate is elusive, but taking these steps can keep yours on track.

Christine Benz 9 February, 2018 | 6:00PM

The following is part of our Financial Planning To-Do List special report.

If you're investing money in the years leading up to retirement, your savings rate is the make-or-break number: Save too little too late and you'll be hard-pressed to make up ground with savvy investment selections.

When you're retired, your withdrawal rate is the equivalent make-or-break figure. Withdraw too much from your portfolio too early and you'll run the risk of liquidating your retirement assets prematurely. Once the damage is done -- especially if those outsize withdrawals coincided with a lousy market environment -- you may have few choices but to dramatically rein in spending.

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About Author

Christine Benz

Christine Benz  Christine Benz is Morningstar's director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. Follow Christine on Twitter: @christine_benz.

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