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Checklist for Smart Retirement Planning

Smart retirement planning requires an understanding of the tax-related options available to you and their benefits and implications. It's a financial strategy for life that extends from how you save in your working years to how you spend in retirement. Armed with information­—and help from your tax or financial professional, you can make wise choices that yield tax benefits at every stage of your financial life cycle.

It's never too late to get started on a retirement plan that works for you. Here are some pointers and key questions to help you evaluate yours:


Saving for Retirement Facts and Pointers
Are you contributing as much as you can to individual and employer-sponsored retirement plans? Check the retirement plan contribution limits set by the IRS.
If you're 50 or older, are you taking advantage of catch-up provisions?

The deadline for making a catch-up contribution
is the April tax deadline with these exceptions:

  • Employer-sponsored plans: December 31
  • SIMPLE IRAs: Varies according to the employer's tax year
If you're a small business owner, are you aware of the many tax-deferred savings vehicles available to you? Read up on SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.
Have you considered the Roth feature that may be available through your employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b) plan? The Roth feature, if available through your employer's plan, allows you to save on a post-tax basis and withdraw funds tax-free at retirement.1
Did you know that starting in 2010, you can convert a regular IRA to a Roth IRA without the previous $100,000 income limit? Learn more about Roth conversions
Drawing from Your Retirement Savings Facts and Pointers
Are you aware of retirement income "trigger ages," such as age 59½, 62 and 70½?
  • Before age 59½, qualified plan distributions may be subject to early withdrawal penalties.1
  • At age 62, you may become eligible for Social Security at a reduced rate. 
  • At age 70½, minimum distributions are required from qualified plans such as IRAs.
If you're near age 62, do you know when you will start taking Social Security and how it might affect your tax picture?
  • Social Security income could be subject to federal income taxes.
  • Taking benefits early could reduce your monthly benefit.
What is the optimum order for drawing on your retirement assets to maximize income and minimize taxes? Learn more about strategies for withdrawing from these sources:
  • Private savings
  • Tax-advantaged retirement plans
  • Pensions and Social Security

Speak to a qualified tax advisor or financial professional to ensure your strategy for retirement takes best advantage of the tax options available to you. Explore our web site for retirement plan options and information.

1Distributions of earnings eligible for tax-free treatment if made after five years following the first Roth 401(k) contribution, and due to death, disability or attainment of age 59 ½.

Retirement Planning

Financial planning can be complex. We provide information and strategies to help you navigate the world of investing.

Learn more >

"The Hartford" is The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.. and its subsidiaries.

Hartford Securities Distribution Company (member FINRA and SIPC), a registered broker/dealer affiliate of The Hartford, has established certain service programs for retirement plans, including defined contribution employee retirement benefit plans, through which a sponsor or administrator of a Plan may invest in mutual funds on behalf of Plan Participants.

Current tax planning strategies emphasize the deferral of current income taxes, on the basis that your federal income tax rate may be lower at retirement. As you decide how much to defer, please keep in mind that federal income tax rates are unpredictable and subject to significant fluctuation. It is possible that federal income tax rates at the time you take a distribution (e.g., at retirement) may be higher than tax rates at the time of deferral. Other factors, including any other sources of income and state income tax rates, may also change the tax bracket and overall tax rate to which you may be subject in the future. Please consult with your tax advisor for an individualized tax planning strategy and advice. The Hartford does not predict or in any way guarantee favorable tax results.

This information is written in connection with the promotion or marketing of the matter(s) addressed in this material.  The information cannot be used or relied upon for the purpose of avoiding IRS penalties.  These materials are not intended to provide tax, accounting or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, you should consult your own tax or legal counsel for advice.