Daniel McDonald '85
B.S.E.E. ’82 (College of Science and Engineering)
J.D. ’85 (Law School)
Alumni Association Life Member
About RTS Tech Publications
Book and website that help people nearing or in retirement to plan for and manage the withdrawals from their retirement accounts. Many resources talk about how to save money for retirement, but few provide help with how best to withdraw the money once it is needed in retirement. Careful planning with taxes in mind provides greater financial peace in retirement.
Daniel McDonald is a semi-retired intellectual property lawyer with over 35 years experience. He enjoys personal financial planning and is a Dave Ramsey Certified Financial Coach. As he prepared for his own transition from full time work to “whatever is next,” he realized that there was little information available about how to plan for withdrawals from IRA, 401(k), and other accounts, especially with taxes in mind. He created a calculator to test various withdrawal strategies. After finding the calculator useful for his own retirement planning, Dan thought others could benefit from what he learned. So he wrote a book and launched a website with his calculator at www.RetirementTaxSaver.com.
The book, From Savvy Saver to Smart Spender, provides guidance about how to pick a tax-wise retirement withdrawal strategy. Studies show that most people with tax-deferred 401(k) and IRA accounts wait to withdraw from them as long as possible, relying on other sources to fund their early retirement years. Most people nearing retirement today will need to start withdrawing from these accounts by age 72 to avoid paying a penalty. Dan’s book shows that, for many people with savings in both tax-deferred and other accounts, beginning withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts before 72 will help reduce taxes over the course of retirement. Earlier withdrawals, however, may increase taxes owed in the short term. Dan’s book explains how people can use the Retirement Tax Saver calculator to pick a withdrawal strategy that is right for them. Dan’s book received a Readers' Favorite 2022 Book Award in the Non-Fiction/Retirement genre. It also received a five-star review from Readers' Favorite, a recommendation from Kirkus, and favorable reviews from Indie Reader and Blue Ink.
From Savvy Spender to Smart Spender is available here.
A University of Minnesota graduate in law and engineering, Dan is a longtime “U” supporter and volunteer. He has served as President of the College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society (back when it was “IT”), Chair of the Law School Board of Alumni Advisors, and Chair of the UMAA. Dan continues with his longtime law firm, Merchant & Gould, in an “Of Counsel” role while he splits his time between Shoreview, Minnesota and Naples, Florida with his wife Kim. He enjoys bicycling, traveling, kickboxing, writing, and spending time around the fire pit with his wife, five adult children, and their significant others.