CHICAGO — With the painful volatility of the stock market playing havoc with 401(k) and IRA accounts these days, building a nest egg sufficient to provide a comfortable retirement can be a challenging assignment. What makes the job even tougher is a tax provision that may come as a nasty surprise from Uncle Sam after you retire.
Those of us who can look with some degree of satisfaction at how well we are building our tax-deferred retirement accounts need to keep in mind that all withdrawals from our 401(k) and conventional IRA accounts will be taxed at our ordinary income tax rate, which can be as high as 35%. That needn’t be a problem for you in your early retirement years when you may make small withdrawals now and then to fill an occasional need. In fact, voluntary small withdrawals prior to age 70½ may be a way to soften the increasing tax bite soon to come.