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At Secure Retirement Strategies, we always encourage our clients to look beyond the typical retirement investment options, such as traditional IRAs and 401Ks. We know that might sound strange, but when it comes to strategically planning for your future, tax-free retirement income is where it’s at.
For retirees, having steady cash flow is an absolute necessity in retirement. But, what a lot of retirees do not realize is how quickly taxes can eat away at their hard-earned income streams. To give you a better idea of how retirement income is taxed, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular taxable retirement options:
More than 60% of Americans who are 65 years old or older receive 50% of their retirement income from Social Security. To the surprise and dismay of many Social Security beneficiaries, depending on their circumstances, up to 85% of their Social Security benefits are taxable. In December 2015, The Social Security Administration reported that around one-third of those collecting Social Security pay Federal Taxes on their benefits.
One the most significant differences between a traditional IRA and Roth IRA appear when retirees want to withdraw their savings. Unlike a Roth IRA, traditional IRAs require retirees to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). These withdrawals are taxable and mandatory for all retirees age 70.5 and up who hold a traditional IRA account. A Roth IRA has no required minimum distribution and all growth and income distributions at income tax free.
Similarly to a traditional IRA when a person reaches the age of 70.5, they must begin taking required minimum distributions from their 401K unless they are still working for that company. The withdrawals are taxed at the retiree’s regular income tax rate. Like a traditional IRA, when the account holder dies, their heirs will owe income taxes on any money left in the account.
It may be hard to believe, but there are many ways for you save and earn income during your retirement without paying taxes, and guess what? They’re all legal! As we mentioned previously, as experienced financial advisors, we encourage our clients to take advantage of tax-free retirement income options because we know that there are easy ways for clients to save for the future without giving Uncle Sam most of their hard earned cash. Here are a few popular tax-free income options to consider for your retirement:
Thankfully, Roth IRAs do not require withdrawals during the owner’s lifetime. Roth IRAs are often considered the ideal legacy planning vehicle because they grow tax-free income throughout your lifetime that can be passed down to your heirs, where they continue to be tax free.
Often-overlooked as a viable retirement income source, tax-free life insurance is not just for those you leave behind. Tax-free life insurance is ideal for clients looking to avoid a hefty tax bill while still building wealth. An indexed universal life insurance policy can provide tax free growth for your money, a death benefit to protect your family, long term care benefits and a retirement income stream. All of those benefits are tax free!
Using tax-free income streams first could limit the need for retirees to tap into taxable retirement income in order to cover expenses.