Retirement Income Planning Planning for retirement income is very complex. The average couple age 65 and retired have to plan for retirement assets to lat 30 years. So the goal of retirement income planning is to make sure your money doesn't run out before you do. The first step in planning for retiremnt is determining the assumptions to be used. If your assumptions are too high, running out of money may become a reality. One must determine accurate and realistic assumptions for the assumed interest to earned while taking income, the percent that will be withdrawn from funds earmarked for income, the tax rate of the individual or couple, and finally an accurate assumption is necessary for inflation. When short falls occur, this is where a qualified financial planner can be of assitance in suggesting strategies to fill the gap between the desired goal and the projected goal using realistic assumptions. It is also important to understand cash needs when planning for income. Many people will never understand that taking lump sums from thei earmarked income accounts with reduce income for the rest of their lives. Thus is highly recommended that another account be established for liquidity and emergency pruposes, so when the need for cash does arise it won't affect current and future income streams.