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6 New Findings on How Retirees Draw Down 401(k)s, IRAs: JPMorgan

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Related: Why Annuities Work Like a ‘License to Spend’ in Retirement

De-risking is commonplace going into retirement, while those taking required minimum distributions typically follow the withdrawal “guidance,” and income and spending go hand-in-hand in retirement — that is, the more income, the more spending.

These were some of the key findings of a J.P. Morgan Asset Management research paper by Katherine Roy and Kelly Hahn, that drew from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) database of more than 23 million 401(k) and IRA accounts, as well as JPMorgan Chase data for around 62 million households.

The duo researched 31,000 people as they approached or entered retirement between 2013 and 2018, they stated in their report, “Mystery no more: Portfolio allocation, income and spending in retirement.

Of the 31,000 people studied:

  • 30% had an annuity or pension
  • The median estimated investible wealth was $300,000-$350,000
  • Their median observable retirement wealth (401(k)s and IRAs in the JPMorgan joint database) was around $110,000
  • The most common age to receive Social Security benefits for the first time was 66
  • The most common retirement age was between 65 and 70.

The slideshow above provides a look at the researchers’ findings.

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