Retirement income: The shift from saving to spending

Your Equitable 403(b) plan, along with your teacher’s pension, are two of the best ways to save for retirement. As you get closer to retiring, you need to develop retirement income strategies that enable you to convert your savings into retirement income that lasts the rest of your life.

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Calculating Retirement Income: Change your mindset

The first step to calculating retirement income is to think of your Equitable 403(b) and your teacher’s pension not as lump sums of savings, but as sources of retirement income that must last years. How much will you be able to use each month or each year without worrying about spending too much or too little?

Consider all your retirement income sources

Be sure to include your teacher’s pension, Social Security benefits, your Equitable 403(b) account, and any other investments or savings in your retirement income calculations. You can find out how much you’ll get from Social Security by visiting

Determine when to start withdrawing retirement income

Planning when, and from which accounts, you’ll begin drawing your retirement income can help maximize the value of your savings. Your Equitable 403(b) plan doesn’t allow withdrawals before age 59-1/2 without incurring penalties and requires you to take withdrawals by age 70-1/2.

If your teacher’s pension and other retirement income is enough to cover your expenses, you may want to wait before withdrawing from your Equitable 403(b) to let the balance continue to grow. Along the same lines, Social Security benefits increase the longer you wait to collect them, but only up to a maximum amount.

Remember that retirement income can be taxable

Your Equitable 403(b) plan contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, so when you withdraw money from your 403(b) account in retirement, it may be considered taxable income. Keep this in mind as you develop your retirement income strategies.

Understand your retirement income withdrawal options

Retirement income planning involves these three common withdrawal options for your teacher’s pension, Equitable 403(b) plan and other retirement accounts:

  • Fixed-dollar amount

    You withdraw the same amount of money each month, quarter, or year from an account.
  • Fixed percentage

    You withdraw the same percentage of your retirement account each time, so your retirement income will rise or fall along with your account balance.
  • Investment earnings only

    You take out only what your retirement account has earned in the last month, quarter, or year. This leaves your principal untouched.

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Equitable is the brand name of the retirement and protection subsidiaries of Equitable Holdings, Inc., including Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (Equitable Financial) (NY, NY), Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), an AZ stock company with main administrative headquarters in Jersey City, NJ, and Equitable Distributors, LLC.  The obligations of Equitable Financial and Equitable America are backed solely by their claims-paying abilities. Equitable Financial, Equitable America, Equitable Distributors and Equitable Advisors are affiliated companies and do not offer tax or legal advice. GE-4827897.1(7/22)(Exp. 7/24)
GE-4866252.1 (07/2022) (Exp. 07/2024)