Fahlund recommends people consolidate their retirement accounts well before they turn 70½. “That way, you’ll have it all in one place when it comes to calculating” the required minimum distribution, Fahlund said.
Another piece of advance-planning advice: Build your cash accounts several years before retiring, said Gamel, noting that people can do this by banking a bonus, taking dividends instead of reinvesting them, or simply trimming expenses. That means you won’t be struggling to find cash or selling investments, possibly at a loss, to pay the bills.
“Having one full year of expenses going into retirement,” Gamel said, “is a great way to start.”