By Marjorie L. Rand, CPA, CFP®, RICP®
They don’t call them the golden years for nothing. More time with family and friends, traveling, taking up new hobbies…and the list goes on. So you’re ready to leave the 9-5 world behind and begin the best stage of life: retirement. You’ve worked for decades to build your wealth and accumulate substantial retirement assets, but do you know how taxes will affect your nest egg? Don’t neglect to consider taxes in retirement, especially if you have multiple tax-deferred plans. It’s wise to have a tax strategist by your side to help you make the choices that might affect the rest of your retirement—for better or worse.
Why Tax Planning In Retirement Matters
When you retire, your income sources are likely produced from a variety of assets, including employer-sponsored retirement plans, Social Security, personal IRAs, or other income-generating investments. Each asset has different tax characteristics, and properly structured investments can help lower your tax burden if you plan how and when you’ll withdraw from each.
For example, most people will receive Social Security benefits during retirement, but 85% of your Social Security income can be taxed at your regular tax rate if your income exceeds a certain amount. (1) A tax strategy advisor can help you determine how Social Security will fit into your overall plan and structure your other investments to alleviate the tax burden on Social Security income.
And when it comes to your personal savings, a $50,000 withdrawal from a Roth IRA will have a wildly different tax impact than that same distribution from a traditional IRA. If you blindly take your money and run, you could trigger an avalanche of higher Social Security taxes, investment surtax, capital gains taxes, and even higher Medicare premiums, which will eat away at the funds that were supposed to carry you through retirement. Creating a tax plan can help you avoid these financial pitfalls.
Speak with a tax-focused financial planner about creating a tax-efficient distribution strategy for retirement. This professional can look at your tax bracket, retirement accounts, and Social Security to help you withdraw money in the most tax-efficient way.
Do You Need A Tax-Focused Financial Advisor Who Specializes In Retirement?
A professional who is experienced in retirement tax planning can look at your tax bracket, retirement accounts, and Social Security to help you withdraw money in the most tax-efficient way. You should consider partnering with a retirement tax strategy advisor if:
- You have multiple retirement investments that generate taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-free assets.
- You need to strategically bunch tax deductions due to changes in standard deductions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- You’re interested in minimizing your lifetime tax liability.
- You have a substantial portion of your retirement savings in tax-deferred accounts.
- Your modified adjusted gross income as an individual filer exceeds $34,000 per year or $44,000 as married joint filers.
- You want to minimize your Medicare premiums caused by income-related monthly adjustment amounts for high-income earners.
Retirement tax planning should start well before you actually retire so you’re taking advantage of tax-deferral opportunities and tax-efficient investing. Instead of worrying if you’ve simply saved enough money to be comfortable, a Tax-Focused Financial Advisor who specializes in retirement can help you unlock the retirement of your dreams by finding opportunities to reduce your tax burden.
You Need A Partner
We at Rand Financial Planning, LLC are passionate about helping our clients retire with confidence, and tax planning is one way to gain assurance that you are on the right track. It took decades of strategizing to grow your wealth up until now, so don’t just wing it and try to manage your money on your own during retirement. Having a trusted tax-focused financial advisor by your side can be the difference between having a retirement fund that dries up and having one you can’t outlive.
If your current advisor hasn’t spoken to you about taxes during retirement, schedule a 20-minute introductory call or reach out to us at 908-895-2406 or email@example.com to see if we are the right firm to help you on your financial journey.
Marjorie Rand is founder and a tax-focused financial advisor at Rand Financial Planning, a comprehensive, fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm. Marge specializes in helping her clients plan for a secure retirement and navigate life’s many transitions through customized, tax-efficient retirement planning. She is passionate about empowering her clients to make the best financial decisions for their life and being by their side no matter what life throws at them. Marjorie spent many years as a CPA before founding Rand Financial Planning so she could be a go-to source for all her clients’ financial needs and help them avoid costly mistakes. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, along with the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designations. When she’s not working, Marge enjoys boating, horseback riding, traveling, and hiking with her husband and her dog, Rangeley. To learn more about Marjorie, connect with her on LinkedIn.