Retirement income planning

Whether you're already retired or getting close to it, we can help you create a plan to manage your money in retirement.

Make the move from saving to living

Creating a straightforward retirement income plan

Fidelity can help you build a plan to generate income—a plan that gives you the opportunity to grow your savings and create a cash flow that lasts. These are the key pieces of a retirement income plan:

Predictable income

To cover your essential expenses


To help meet your long-term goals


To adjust as your needs change


Maximizing your Social Security benefit

When to claim may be one of the most important retirement decisions you can make. If you can claim, you can start as early as age 62, wait until the full retirement age of 67, or collect the maximum benefit at age 70.

Learn more and estimate your benefit

Investments that can help you generate income

As you retire, think about whether your investment goals and risk tolerance have changed. There are many income-investment options available to help meet your needs.

  • Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) seek to generate income as well as potential for long-term growth.
  • Individual bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) offer the potential for regular income payments.
  • Annuities are insurance contracts that make guaranteed payments now or in the future.1
Explore investment options

Knowing how much you'll need to cover your lifestyle

It's important to plan for the essentials but also leave some room for discretionary or "fun" spending. Creating a realistic spending plan is an essential building block of retirement, and generally a reasonable estimate is between 55%–80% of your preretirement income, not including taxes.


Essential expenses

Essentials include your must-have priorities, like housing, utilities, health care, transportation, and food. These come first.

Discretionary expenses

Discretionary expenses include your nice-to-have spending, such as travel, hobbies, entertainment, and the things you never had time for when you were working.

Read about creating a spending plan that works for you

Plan ahead for health care costs

Your health can be hard to plan for, but we can help you understand Medicare and how to plan for potential health care costs down the road. Assume that you'll spend 15% of your monthly expenses on health care, and that figure will vary from person to person.

Read about planning for rising health care costs

What to consider when drawing down your savings

Now is the time to put your money to work. A rule of thumb is that you can safely withdraw no more than 4% to 5% of your savings in your first year of retirement, and you should adjust for inflation.


Withdrawals & required minimum distributions (RMDs)

You can withdraw from your IRA or individual retirement accounts without penalty starting at age 59½. You can take the money when you need to or set up automatic distributions from your retirement savings to your spending account.

At age 72,3 you need to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), or there may be a 50% penalty on the amount not taken. Don't forget the December 31st deadline.

Learn more about RMD rules

Applying tax-smart strategies2

Choosing which type of account to withdraw from and when can be complicated when you are trying to manage your tax bill. Knowing the tax rules can help you avoid surprises:

1    Taxable brokerage account: Dividends, interest, and realized gains on investments are generally taxed in the year they are generated, and this income may be taxed at ordinary income or long-term capital gains rates.

2    Traditional IRA or 401(k): Withdrawals of pre-tax contributions and earnings are taxed at the same rate as your other earned income.

3    Roth IRA or Roth 401(k): Withdrawals are generally tax-free, as long as certain requirements are followed.4

Read about 2 tax-savvy approaches to withdrawals

Let our Fidelity advisors help you

We can help you generate income from your investments, provide tax-smart strategies,2 and help you build a flexible plan to adapt to your changing needs.

Find an advisor

Create a retirement income plan

Our Planning & Guidance Center can help you build or update your investment strategy, estimate expenses, explore how much income you may have, and see how long your money may last in retirement.

Create or modify your plan

Additional retirement resources

Retirement checklist

Navigate important retirement decisions with an easy-to-follow planning checklist.

Life Events

Learn what to consider as you prepare for, transition to, and live in retirement.

5 key factors

Discover some rules of thumb for protecting your income in retirement.

Invest in your retirement today

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