IRA Distributions to Spouse

I asked what is the best way to manage my IRA distributions so they are distributed to my wife upon my end of plan? We have a 5 year age difference and I am planning EOP for myself/her at 94/96 respectively. Based on the Total Income report, distributions end when I pass. I have selected the married option.

The answer was that "Wife should inherit the balances of your IRA and other retirement accounts"

How can I confirm that my IRA funds are being used to support her after I pass? The Total Income report reflects my retirement funds cease upon my death. The total income assets reflected for my wife after I pass are essentially equal to our pension and social security income. The total income for this period drops to about a third of that when I'm alive, probably driven by estate skewing of -45% to negate calculated life insurance demand.

Appreciate your help understanding how to understand this perceived gap.
Thank you


dan royer's picture

It's kind of hard to think through in the abstract. But any money in retirement fund accounts is moved over to the survivor's accounts and used that way. A pension would not go that way if you indicate in the pension that there is 0% survivor benefit.

The program is trying to smooth per-adult living standard (the far right column in the annual suggestions report). This amount is smaller than household Discretionary Spending because one person needs less than two to have the equivalent standard of living. (two can live as cheaply as 1.6 assumption). You could also be seeing the impact of survivor having lower desired living standard. You can also click to view survivor reports when you create the PDF to see where those sources of income are or are not showing up.

Thank you Dan. I will continue to study. I have studied the survivor non-asset reports and pension plus SS make sense. The retirement account draw downs are where I'm confused as mine runs to zero dollars at my end of plan.

Thank you

dan royer's picture

OK, yes, if yours are running down to zero dollars that's because in "Key Ages" area you have indicated to spend it down at the end of her life. I wasn't thinking it through completely in my previous answer. But if you indicate in the Smooth Withdrawal tab that you only want to spend, say 75% instead of the 100%, then the unspent balance will show up as higher withdrawals in the survivor's withdraw stream, which is what you are wanting to happen I believe.

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