The Financial Planning Blog
Your go-to financial planning and wealth management resource, whether you're just getting started or well on your way to a financially secure future.
In his book “Drive,” Daniel Pink summarizes three primary motivators of human behavior – and none of them is money. The first one is autonomy. We want to be able to have the freedom to do as we wish, the way we wish, and independence from needing anything from anybody. The second motivator is mastery. Golfers know there’s only one reason to play the game: to get better. Otherwise, you would have to admit, it is a pretty strange game of hitting and chasing a ball. We all are driven to get better and better – and that includes becoming better human beings. We want to care more about others than ourselves.
When we think of the concept of good stewardship, many of us tie it to our faith, whatever our belief system may be. We come to believe that our money and possessions aren’t really ours. Rather it is all God’s, or it is all part of the greater ethos of the universe, or whatever your beliefs might dictate. We are taught that our role is to be good stewards of what has been entrusted to us for the benefit of others. We are to consider those who will come after us, as we care for and use what we have been provided with.
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Oseola McCarty was a washerwoman with a heart. She grew up in southern Mississippi and never finished school – in sixth grade, she quit so she could take care of an ailing aunt. Her home in Hattiesburg was humble, and she made a meager living. She never married or had children, and she walked wherever she needed to go, often pushing a cart a mile to get groceries. But before she passed away in 1999 at the age of 91, she donated $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi.
70½ Age 70½ is the second important age milestone, when you are required to start taking distributions from your retirement account, even if you don’t want or need to. Even if you are already drawing an income or haven’t started to take distributions from your retirement accounts, you must begin taking a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) at age 70½. At 70½ the IRS gets tired of waiting for its share of your retirement accounts and requires you to start taking money out which will trigger the income tax on the distributions.
A frequently asked financial question is, “Now that I’ve saved up for retirement, when can I access my retirement funds and when do I have to start taking money out?” All too often we spend so much time planning for retirement and accumulating assets that we forget to consider the most efficient way to draw income from retirement accounts.