Financial advisors don’t usually think of people in their 70sand 80s in terms of finding investment assets to position. For themost part, these retirees are liquidating andspending assets, not looking for new investment opportunity. Butthere is a big driver of advisor-driven investment dollars amongthis crowd.

It is required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs. Here are keypoints to know:

  • Sixty-one percent of all withdrawals are made byall traditional IRA-owning households (of any age) are based onRMDs.

  • Among people age 70 or older, 89 percent of all withdrawals madeby traditional IRA-owning households are based on RMDs.

  • Sixty-nine percent of households taking withdrawals fromtraditional IRAs use a professional advisor to determine theamount.

  • Thirty-seven percent of traditional IRA-owning households thattake withdrawals reinvest part or all of the money in anotheraccount.

These statistics are from the Investment Company Institute (ICI)research report "The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households’ Savings forRetirement, 2015." Adding up the statistics, it becomes clear that:1) RMDs are forcing huge amounts of assets out of traditional IRAsof people over age 70; 2) the account owner’s goal often is toreinvest these assets wisely somewhere else; and 3) professionaladvice is needed to set up a new investment program, which (in manycases) will continue for life.

RMDs are really just tax toll booths. After the tax is paid,there is no reason why remaining money must be spent, rather thaninvested. Each RMD event (and especially the first one, in the yearafter turning age 70 ½) can be an opportunity to help clientsevaluate personal investment objectives, risk tolerance, and assetallocation.

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