It makes sense that everyone’s retirement plans should be different and adjusted to personal circumstances. If you have lots of children and have already paid for several college bills, for instance, you might have less home equity than your neighbors. If you have built up large stock holdings, you will be thinking about how to manage market risk.
A constant for every portfolio, though, is taxes.
If a portion of your earnings was set aside in your 401(k) or IRA, that doesn’t mean taxes were forgiven — they were only deferred. And if the investment earnings on these savings or in deferred annuities were not taxed currently, you will still owe money to the IRS at some point in the future. Lastly, if you’ve got appreciated securities in your personal savings, you’ll owe taxes when you sell them.
I call it the “tax bomb.” More