Retired investors have different needs than investors who are working toward relaxing in their golden years. One concern in smaller accounts is the cost of making withdrawals. Thanks to intense pricing competition, exchange traded funds (ETFs) are ideal for retirement portfolios.

Retirement is all about using money wisely and making it last. Making withdrawals from your ETF account would have at one time racked up commissions, making them unsuitable for those accounts, but this is really no longer the case. [The All-ETF 401(k) Is Here Now.]

Scott Burns for Seattle Times reports that price competition is intensifying – Schwab, Fidelity and now Vanguard offer no-commission ETF trades on the most important ETF asset classes. Other online brokerages, such as E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Scottrade, also offer very low prices on trades. It all means that concern about the burden of commissions on ETF portfolios should diminish greatly. [ETFs Benefit As IRA Assets Grow.]

Burns also points out that there are ways to help offset commissions, such as raising cash for spending when the portfolio is re-balanced. If you re-balance once a year and take an annual cash withdrawal at that time, retirement income won’t cause any increase in commissions. [ETFs Taking the Place of Mutual Funds.]

For more stories about retirement, visit our retirement category.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.