Voyant normally takes withdrawals as needed from liquid assets whenever your client’s future incomes fail to completely meet their annual expenditures. Whenever there is an income gap, assets are drawn upon automatically. The order in which assets are selected for top-up withdrawals is based on a default liquidation order which is set in the software’s Plan Preferences.
Since the software will attempt to cover future expenses automatically, you don’t have to specify payment sources for future expenses or even schedule future withdrawals from accounts. Voyant will handle this for you, which is enormous time-saver, allowing you to focus on presenting your advice rather than getting bogged down in minutiae of charting out future cash flow.
If however, you want to take a more hands-on approach to setting your clients’ future income strategy, Planned Withdrawals is a powerful tool to help you do so. Planned withdrawals can be used to illustrate the tax efficiencies of certain drawdown strategies, especially in retirement.
Planned Withdrawals are entered and managed from one easy to access section called “Planned Withdrawals”.
How to Schedule Withdrawals Step-by-Step
To enter a new Planned Withdrawal, make sure you are in Dashboard and then click on the + button in the bottom right of the screen. Then select the Planned Withdrawal tile.
Select the account you want to make the planned withdrawal from:
The Available Accounts option is located under the entry details and it is good practice to go here and select the account(s) first as it releases additional fields for certain accounts. Then go back and Enter the details.
You select an account listed in Available Accounts by double clicking it or dragging and dropping into Selected Accounts
You can select and move any number of accounts from the left field to the right if you intend to set up withdrawals that are to be taken from multiple accounts. When moved, accounts will be added to the list of Selected Accounts in descending order.
If you intend to set up a specific liquidation order using the “Total” withdrawal option (more about this in a moment), then you can alter the order of the accounts by selecting the account and using either the up or down arrows.
Now scroll back and click on the Timing Section or Update Timing.
Select the Start and End events for the withdrawals.
After you have selected your beginning and end events. Be sure to click DONE in the top right corner.
The software automatically sets the withdrawal limits on products to "As Needed" this allows the software to pull from these funds in retirement to cover any shortfall.
Should you wish to tell the software to only ever take these withdrawals and not use this product to cover shortfall in the plan you can go to the specific product from the dashboard, open it and go to the Withdrawal Limits screen. Set the type to "Scheduled Only". This means the account would remain ring fenced and cannot be tapped for as needed income, until it is liquidated, as per instructions on the Planned Withdrawals screen.
What does the software do when the type is set to:
All Available = Will in most cases withdraw the entire balance from the selected account(s) in a single year, provided the account selected is not a product with rules that limit withdrawals or preserve a minimum balance.
Note – Setting a withdrawal limit of “Do not allow” and then scheduling a future transfer of 100% of the account balance is another, perhaps better method for scheduling the liquidation of an asset. Transferring funds out of the maturing account and into savings or another investment will preserve the balance, whereas withdrawals scheduled from the Planned Withdrawals screen will usually be assumed spent, if not scheduled to be saved or transferred.
% of Account Value = Withdraws the percentage specified from the overall balance of the account.
Fixed with Inflation = Withdraw a fixed annual amount escalated annually by the inflation rate. The inflation rate is set in the Plan Settings.
Fixed without Inflation = Withdraw a fixed annual amount with no inflation.
If you make an entry in either of the fixed withdrawal fields, both will be populated. This is a convenient feature that allows you to easily toggle indexing with inflation on or off for future withdrawals.
There are two options for fixed withdrawals scheduled from multiple accounts, Total and Each. These options are explained later.
Once you have set up your planned withdrawals you will be able to see them occurring in the Details > Year View screen.
Withdrawal amounts include inflation unless set to "fixed amount without inflation".