Retirement Income Guide

How to Create Income with a Retirement ‘Paycheck’

How to Create Income with a Retirement ‘Paycheck’

By portioning your savings, you can create that income stream that you got so used to as an employee. Here are some tips to help you create income from your retirement savings.

Stephanie Faris

Published August 3rd, 2021

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • When you retire, you’ll no longer have a steady paycheck, but you will have your retirement savings to supplement your Social Security payments.
  • With a little careful planning, you can set up a steady stream of income that will give you the security you need.
  • Annuities and pensions can provide the peace of mind that a paycheck gave when you were working.

You’ve gotten used to that paycheck dropping into your bank account every two weeks. But after retirement, that steady income stream will go away. Even if you’ve worked hard to set aside enough money, not having funds reliably deposited into your account can be an adjustment.

That’s where a retirement paycheck comes in handy. By portioning your savings, you can create that income stream that you got so used to as an employee. Here are some tips to help you create income from your retirement savings.

Maximize Social Security

When you’re looking at how to structure retirement income, your first stop should be your Social Security check. That will serve as a monthly paycheck, but you’ll probably need to supplement it with your retirement savings.

The best thing you can do for a solid monthly income is to optimize your Social Security. Look at how much you’ll make if you wait until full retirement age, likely 67. You’ll completely max out your benefits by waiting until age 70 to start taking Social Security.

Utilize Guaranteed Income Where Possible

Social Security isn’t the only method of creating income for retirement. If you have a pension, you’ll likely have a steady check each month. Both of those can serve as your base income, and then you can supplement them with your other retirement income sources.

Another option for creating a steady income stream is an annuity. With an annuity, you put a lump sum of money into a fund that issues you a regular payment at a certain agreed-upon future date. This will divide your money into fixed payments that give you the security you need as you ease into retirement.

Consider the 4% Withdrawal Rule to Sustain Your Portfolio

When you’re trying to decide how to create an income stream in retirement, there’s one long-held principle to consider. The 4 percent rule dictates that you withdraw 4 percent the first year, then reassess that and adjust for inflation the next. So if you’re withdrawing 4 percent, you’d just figure out what that is for the entire year and divide it into the payments you need to get a regular income stream.

But there are experts who feel that 4 percent might be a bit high for current inflation rates. Before you start withdrawing, take a look at your overall nest egg and determine how much you could reasonably withdraw each year, given current life expectancies. You can then create a withdrawal plan that matches.

Keep Investing

When you’re trying to make your retirement savings last, many experts recommend moving all your investments into less risky assets. But creating retirement income might mean taking a little risk. Instead of shifting all your investments over, try to build a diversified portfolio that’s a combination of risky and more reliable investments.

Final Thoughts

If you like a steady paycheck, shifting into retirement can be stressful. But there are things you can do to create that stream of income that gave you a sense of security while you were working. Working with a certified financial planner, you can set up a plan that will help you ensure your retirement savings will last throughout your retirement.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris has written about finance for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2013. She spent nearly a year as a writer for a credit card processing service and has written about finance for numerous marketing firms and entrepreneurs. Her work has appeared on Money Under 30, The Motley Fool, MoneyGeek, E-commerce Insiders, and GoBankingRates.

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