You have probably heard the advice that you should maximize contributions to your employer’s retirement savings plan. Because it lowers your current income taxation by deferring pre-tax dollars to the plan and grows tax-deferred until distributed, you are encouraged to save to your employer plan (401k, 403b, etc.). Employers may also match a percentage of what you contribute. This can be a powerful way to save, but it should not be the ONLY way you save for retirement. The following medal-winning strategies might add flexibility, potential retirement tax savings and a more secure future to your retirement savings mix. Bronze Medal Winner The bronze medal winner for savings might seem too simple to have an impact but can add versatility and flexibility when trying to increase tax efficiency in retirement. Many people step into retirement with inadequate non-IRA savings. This forces them to distribute fully taxable income from their employer plan/IRA each time they need cash and increases their tax liability. For those individuals with a mix of IRA and non-IRA savings, more control can be gained over taxation in Read on! →
Cheryl Sherrard was quoted in a recent Financial Advisor magazine article entitled, “Retiring in Charlotte is all about location, location, location“. The article mentions that Charlotte is ranked near the top of the 50 best metro areas for retirement, according to MagnifyMoney and Bankrate, but the specific area within Charlotte will determine whether you face sticker shock or a pleasant surprise.
When saving for retirement, most people save to their employer retirement plans, knowing they are reducing current taxable income, typically receiving an employer match on their contributions, and deferring taxation until retirement. However, if this is the only place where retirement savings takes place, you can be in for a surprise when reaching retirement. If all your usable savings resides in a tax-deferred bucket, every dollar you take out to meet expenses will be subject to income taxation at ordinary income rates, thereby forcing you to take additional money out to pay the taxes. It can also be a shock to find that your retirement income tax bracket isn’t much different than your income tax bracket when you were working. Additionally, higher taxable income levels in retirement will also impact the amount of your Social Security benefit which is subject to taxation and can also result in higher Medicare premiums. So what should you do differently to give yourself more flexibility and lower overall taxation in retirement? There is great benefit in having multiple buckets of savings in retirement, each Read on! →
At this time of year, everyone becomes a master at document gathering. There is a shoe box or a filing system or a folder on your laptop to hold all the tax-related documents which are needed to complete your income tax returns. It requires a diligent attitude to ensure nothing has been neglected or omitted which is important to the outcome of the bottom line. Once the taxes have been submitted for the year, there is always a sigh of relief in getting to completion. Before you pack everything up and put it away for another year, take a step beyond tax prep and begin your life prep. What does life prep really mean? Like tax preparation, the devil is in the details and it is critical to your financial success that you take the time to examine and shore up the other areas of your financial life. You can start with that recently completed tax return. Did you save to your employer plan and thereby reduce your current income? If eligible, did you contribute to a Roth or regular Read on! →
Many have had the pleasure of visiting Asheville and the surrounding area. You may have visited during fall foliage season or in the spring when Biltmore’s gardens were in full bloom. However, there is a lesser known event which occurs in the Asheville area twice a year and may be perfect to explore as you contemplate an important time of your life, retirement. The concept of lifelong learning is not a new one. Many take advantage of learning opportunities throughout their lives, completing degree programs at all ages. However, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) located in the mountains of Asheville, takes that learning to new heights. The topography of this small corner of the UNC Asheville campus helps and the offerings at the institute offer an amazing variety to please every sense. One of their most unique offerings is a weekend adventure called, Paths to Creative Retirement. The Institute hosts a 2 ½ day workshop focused on the many facets of retirement. While your Financial Advisor typically helps you plan for the financial aspects of retirement, this workshop Read on! →