Minimum required yield. This is the first factor when looking for reliable long term income. It is calculated based on household income requirements and investable assets—typically IRAs, taxable brokerage accounts and other savings that are planned for retirement income. When the required percent of investment (portfolio yield) increases, so does the income risk. When the yield is too high to be practical, traditional thought says to liquidate some of your principal by gradually drawing down your investment portfolio over retirement years or by using an insurance product like a single premium immediate annuity.
Income Reliability. This means the income, just like a paycheck, will be there regularly and will have a low risk of fluctuation—and an even lower risk of being reduced or eliminated.
Income growth that keeps up with inflation. This can come from the investments organically growing their dividends over the years or from the excess income the actual investments produce that are accumulated and used to supplement future household income with inflation.
Liquidity. This is the ease with which investment securities can be converted into cash. This will be a high priority if you think a need could arise that would require an unplanned tap into the principal of the investment portfolio.
Future capital preservation of the investment principal. Conventional wisdom says that retirement savings will be consumed and the savings will decumulate. Capital preservation is a priority, if you want to maintain the investment capital to meet future possible household major expenses—like assisted living costs or creating a testamentary special needs trust (a trust created at your death in your estate) to provide for a disabled child or grandchild, to provide for a grandchild’s college expenses or to donate a favorite charity.
Simple transfer to the surviving spouse. In many instances, a spousal retirement account has just one person who builds, monitors, and manages the portfolio. Therefore, it’s important to have an easy transition for the surviving spouse to continue the management of the income portfolio.
Reference: Stock Investor (May 24, 2017) “6 Retirement Estate Planning Criteria You Must Address”