Having spent decades saving for retirement, it can feel like a major shift for retirees to spend down their hard-earned assets. Research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found people with $500,000 or more in savings at retirement spent down less than 12% of their assets over 20 years according to a 2021 The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Spending in Retirement Survey. Many of these retirees are reluctant to dip into their principal for fear of running out of money due to the anticipation of increased healthcare expenses and other factors. If you share these concerns about the longevity of your savings, know there are steps you can take to help you feel more confident. Here are some tips to help you get started:A well-crafted retirement income plan can help you avoid running out of money and feel more confident about spending your hard-earned assets. Tally up your various sources of retirement income, which may include Social Security, annuities, retirement assets, and other investment earnings. Then, decide which assets you will tap into first, and when you will claim Social Security benefits. Remember that at 72 years of age you are required to take required minimum distributions from your traditional IRA and employer-sponsored retirement plans, so work this income into your plan. Consider the tax consequences. Reducing the tax bill on retirement income is a priority for a great number of retirees, yet many feel understanding the tax impacts of drawing down assets is complex. If you share these sentiments, starting the planning process early and seeking guidance from a tax and financial advisor can help you feel more secure in your strategy. Ellie Tobin Stubbs is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Barre, Vt. She specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 20 years. To contact her, ameripriseadvisors.com/ellie.stubbs. 802-622-8060.