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Recommended software to plan withdrawal streams?
Old 03-23-2018, 09:23 AM   #1
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Recommended software to plan withdrawal streams?

What do you recommend for planning software to minimize tax consequences when taking out money from tax advantaged plans? I'm looking to pull the plug next year so I'd like to start playing around with some what ifs and see what would be the best sequencing under different scenarios.

My preference highly leans towards software to download and use on my computer, versus a cloud application where I'm putting all my information out there.

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:27 AM   #2
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There's not much out there in that niche. I-orp is popular around here but it often recommends much more in Roth conversions than people are comfortable doing. Earlier this week I learned of LifeYield Portfolio Advantage that looks interesting. ESPlanner may meet your needs as well.

A lot also depends on your situation... give a broad outline and we can share our experience.

I retired at 56, have been living on taxable funds and a small pension and doing Roth conversions since ER. In the 6 years I have been retired, I have Roth converted about 1/4 of our retirement date tax-deferred balance and paid, on average, 7.4% of the amounts converted in federal income tax... unfortunately, growth of the portfolio has resulted in our tax-deferred portfolio today being 130% of the balance when we retired despite the withdrawals for Roth conversions. Definitely a first world problem.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Earlier this week I learned of LifeYield Portfolio Advantage that looks interesting.
Coincidentally I ran a LifeYield analysis for the first time earlier this week. I was able to access it through Quicken. This analysts was about asset allocation and correcting allocation drift and location drift for optimal tax advantage. Is anyone familiar with this analysis and willing to provide some insight into what is a reasonable amount of location drift? I ask because it recommends we incur a lot of capital gains this year, primarily to relocate international equities from taxable to tax advantaged. If I lock that down it provides other advice but with a significant higher location drift of course.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:54 AM   #4
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I prefer international equities in taxable rather than tax-deferred... in our case the foreign tax credit is much larger than the small ordinary tax on unqualified dividends.

In 2018, for every $100 of total dividends received, $67 was qualified (tax-free) and $33 was non-qualified and attracted $5 in tax at 15% ordinary marginal tax rate. For each $100 of total dividends our foreign taxes paid/foreign tax credit was $6.... so my net tax on that $100 of income was MINUS $1.10... a net tax benefit that offsets taxes on other ordinary income. In 2017, the net benefit was better.... $2.43.

YMMV, but I prefer to hold international equitiee in our taxable accounts.... in fact, as I rebalance I am reducing domestic equities in our taxable account rather than international because of this minor tax rate... 0% vs -1-3% difference... it allows me to do slightly more Roth conversions and pay no tax.

With international equitie in tax-deferred or tax-free the foreign taxes paid/foreign tax credit totally goes to waste.

Of course, YMMV.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:57 AM   #5
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Not software, but I follow Retirement Manifesto, and he discusses this topic frequently in his blog. Here are a couple that may give you something to ponder:


Our Retirement Investment Drawdown Strategy - The Retirement Manifesto


The Retirement Manifesto Money Map - The Retirement Manifesto


How to Build A Retirement Paycheck From Your Investments - The Retirement Manifesto


May be a bit rudimentary for many on this board, but I ain't one of 'em.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:04 PM   #6
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Coincidentally I ran a LifeYield analysis for the first time earlier this week. I was able to access it through Quicken. ....
I've tried a couple times to run it through Quicken in the past week but it doesn't work for me. I can get to the LifeYield screen in Quicken and click on the Get Started button but nothing happens.

Oops ... spoke too soon... I was able to get it to work. My laptop has an odd thing where some programs will not work with the touchscreen but will work with the trackpad... and this seems to be one of them.

The results for me are odd... it is suggesting that I put sell total stock in our HSAs and buy domestic bond funds.... sell international at a taxable gain (even though I indicated that the tax rate on LTCG is 0%) and buy large cap equities.

Interesting, but suboptimal IMO... especially the part on international equities.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:21 AM   #7
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Interesting, but suboptimal IMO... especially the part on international equities.
Yes, I am perplexed at the guidance of moving equities form taxable to tax-deferred.

I may be missing something, but that seems backward to me (assuming the equities would be replaced w/ fixed income).
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:59 AM   #8
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Yes, I am perplexed at the guidance of moving equities form taxable to tax-deferred. I may be missing something, but that seems backward to me (assuming the equities would be replaced w/ fixed income).
What we've been talking about is moving international equities from taxable to tax-deferred.

The target allocation LifeYield recommended to me was as follows. The Target column is the target asset allocation by asset class. The second and third columns show how much of our taxable and tax-deferred holdings should be devoted to which asset class.
Code:
                     Target             Taxable        Tax-Deferred
Cash                  5.00%              13.72%               0.00%
Domestic Bond        25.00%               0.00%              39.34%
Global Bonds          0.00%               0.00%               0.00%
International Equity 20.00%               0.00%              31.47%
Large Cap Equity     35.00%              86.28%               5.58%
Others                0.00%               0.00%               0.00%
Small Cap Equity     15.00%               0.00%              23.60%
Unclassified          0.00%               0.00%               0.00%
If I followed that advice I'd end up with a 6.79% asset class allocation drift (which is good according to the analysis, but I thought we should be redistributing when asset class allocation drift exceeds 5%), and a 11.77% location drift.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:05 AM   #9
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Now, if I were to lock the one account within which I have that mess of International Equities in taxable, the revised analysis is as follows.
Code:
                     Target             Taxable        Tax-Deferred
Cash                  5.00%              13.72%               0.00%
Domestic Bond        25.00%               0.73%              39.90%
Global Bonds          0.00%               0.02%               0.00%
International Equity 20.00%               28.90%              14.90%
Large Cap Equity     35.00%              55.10%              23.47%
Others                0.00%               0.03%               0.00%
Small Cap Equity     15.00%               1.51%              22.74%
Unclassified          0.00%               0.00%               0.00%
If I followed that advice I'd end up with a 1.92% asset class allocation drift (which really is pretty good), and a 25.27% location drift (which obviously LifeYield considers too high).
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:34 AM   #10
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Incidentally, for comparison purposes, I put in some fake transactions and re-ran the analysis, just to get the actual drift numbers for what I started out with last week. (I didn't mention this before, but all this is being prompted by rolling about 1/6 of our entire portfolio out of my previous-employer 401k and into an IRA. As such, since the money is currently in transit, it appeared to all be cash in tax-deferred, when in reality what it was before the rollover was bonds and small cap.)

My original asset class allocation drift was 5.22% and my original location drift was 24.12%. So LifeYield's initial recommendation actually bumped up my asset class allocation drift a bit, but of course slashed my location drift. Locking that one International Equities holding that has too much unrealized capital gains right now to sell (afaic) basically means that I'm locking in my current rate of location drift.

Which leaves me scratching my head about what to do. If I'm not going to sell that one International Equities fund, then I'm not going to really improve location drift. I'm basically left with a simple asset class reallocation and considering whether it is worth paying the tax on a significant but not overwhelming amount of capital gains to get my asset class allocation drift down from 5% to 2%.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:08 AM   #11
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What we've been talking about is moving international equities from taxable to tax-deferred.
Yes, I understand that. However, assuming index funds, the difference between US equities and ex-US equities is minimal.

I don't understand why either would be moved to tax-deferred.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:21 PM   #12
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I had not heard the term "asset allocation drift" before. Turns out, according to Investopedia, that is another phrase for the condition where one needs to re-balance to the desired allocation. "Location Drift," means your percentage of assets in each type of account, also needs re-balancing.

Over time, if you set an allocation and a location (taxable, tax-deferred, tax-free) and don't do anything, the balances will drift. Most people set a band (a range +/- a set percentage) and when an investment type exceeds the band, they re-balance by either selling or adding $ to the investment. As for asset location, there are specific rules about which type goes where: bonds in tax-deferred or tax-free, equities in taxable or tax-free, etc.

So, the recommendation is 30% bonds/70% equities with 20% of equities in International. The software you are using is supposed to provide guidance for optimal tax advantage (the location part). Taking equities which can provide profits or losses and putting them into tax-deferred accounts (i.e., 401K, Traditional IRA), immediately eliminates any tax-savings because (1) any losses don't count, (2) all gains and dividends are taxed at regular rates, and (3) in the case of International you lose the ability to claim any pass-through taxation. So this software is recommending a tax-inefficient asset location.

If however, you are several years away from using the money, and your current tax-deferred is a Traditional IRA, consider partial conversions to a Roth. Specifically, equities excluding International should go into the Roth, same for bonds: all earnings, profits come out tax free. Alas, losses are losses and you get no credit for them.

International should stay in taxable: to take advantage of dividends taxation, and claim the international taxes as an offset to the Income Taxes that are due.

See Rick Ferri, All About Asset Allocation.

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Old 03-24-2018, 12:56 PM   #13
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Okay then LifeYield is bunk. (I was coming to that conclusion myself, already. Confirmation greatly appreciated.)
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Old 03-24-2018, 01:14 PM   #14
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I had not heard the term "asset allocation drift" before. Turns out, according to Investopedia, that is another phrase for the condition where one needs to re-balance to the desired allocation. "Location Drift," means your percentage of assets in each type of account, also needs re-balancing.
I hadn't heard those terms either.

As for "location drift", there is no such thing if you treat all accounts as a single portfolio. There's no need to have an AA for individual accounts; doing so will likely cause tax inefficiencies.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:18 PM   #15
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I hadn't heard those terms either. As for "location drift", there is no such thing if you treat all accounts as a single portfolio. There's no need to have an AA for individual accounts; doing so will likely cause tax inefficiencies.
The "location drift" problem is real. Certain asset classes belong in tax-advantaged accounts and certain asset classes don't, and when that drifts out of the proper balance it should be remedied. The point pb4uski and Gotadimple made clear is that the way LifeYield determined it was flawed (specifically, presuming that international equities should be in tax-advantaged accounts).
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:03 PM   #16
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The "location drift" problem is real. Certain asset classes belong in tax-advantaged accounts and certain asset classes don't
Why? The only reason I can think of is tax efficiency, and that consideration prescribes equities should be in taxable accounts.
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:53 PM   #17
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Okay then LifeYield is bunk. (I was coming to that conclusion myself, already. Confirmation greatly appreciated.)
That's where I came out... but it does make some nice, fancy, good-looking reports and those not familiar with tax-efficient placement will likely be led to poor placement decisions by this software.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:54 PM   #18
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This is a very informative thread & will be helpful to many on this board.
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:19 AM   #19
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I leaned about Flexible Retirement Planner from this ER forum. Although it takes a bit of time to load this free downloaded desktop software with your data, FRP shows a graphic of investment (taxable, tax deferred, tax free) withdrawals over time.
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:33 AM   #20
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Why? The only reason I can think of is tax efficiency, ...
That's why.

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... and that consideration prescribes equities should be in taxable accounts.
It seems to me that you're not actually following the thread's discussion. Go back and read through the posts in order and I think you'll understand how we got to this point.

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That's where I came out... but it does make some nice, fancy, good-looking reports and those not familiar with tax-efficient placement will likely be led to poor placement decisions by this software.
Yup. Style over substance.
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