The two biggest risks to a systematic withdrawal plan are inflation, and something known as “sequence-of-returns risk”. Sequence-of-returns risk is the risk of receiving lower or negative returns early in a period when withdrawals are made from an individual’s underlying investments. The order or sequence of investment returns is a primary concern for retirees who are living off the income and capital of their investments.
Another misconception we see is people think that legacy planning is “just for the kids.” However, legacy planning is actually MOST important for the surviving spouse. Going from married to single tax brackets, the standard deduction is cut in half, marginal brackets shrink, and overall taxes go up dramatically. Added to which, losing one of the two Social Security payments and potential pensions, income is almost always reduced as well. So taxes go up and income goes down for a surviving spouse.