According to my readings, a substantial number of baby boomers intend to downsize and relocate for reasons that include cost of living. That being the case, knowing which states are the most tax-friendly to retirees is important. When you investigate this question, the answers may surprise you.
My experience as a volunteer tax preparer tells me that there is a lot of confusion among retirees about how Social Security benefits are taxed. This is a significant topic and not just for tax planning purposes. Taxation of benefits is also important to the threshold decision on when to claim Social Security retirement benefits. So let’s review some basic Social Security vs. income tax concepts.
The co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform issued a preliminary report last week. The report contains their proposed strategies for reducing or eliminating the government deficit. A recent opinion piece from Chris Farrell (for Bloomberg) criticizes the report on the grounds that it gives baby boomers a “free ride.” Read more
Income tax rates are going up, although maybe not as soon as we expected. Until the economy begins a sustained recovery, the political will to tax our way out of extreme deficits may be lacking. Nevertheless, strategic tax-planning should always be on your retirement investing agenda. If you can save 5% in taxes, that’s not chump change when you retire.
One aspect of retirement planning that cannot be “set and forget” is tax planning. Our political leaders are regularly adjusting (and mostly increasing) the different taxes we must pay on our income and property. As things stand now, 2011 will begin with a host of tax increases that will affect almost everyone and particularly working baby boomers who are urgently trying to accumulate and rebuild a retirement nest egg.
Many boomers are considering buying immediate annuities to provide a supplemental retirement income stream that is guaranteed to last for life, assuming that the insurance company remains solvent. Unfortunately for some annuity purchasers, taxation of annuity income is going to increase. Read more
Federal income tax refunds present two problems for the retirement saver. That’s right, problems. Let me explain, in just a few words. Read more
Regular readers know that I am a fan of I-Bonds and TIPS for retirement savings. If you are at all concerned about future inflation (and you should be), you should own TIPS and/or I-Bonds as part of a diversified portfolio. This year, the federal government is making it easy for you to buy I-Bonds, also known as Series I U.S. Savings Bonds. Read more
I have found in my experience as a volunteer tax return preparer that some folks are unaware of (or forget) the retirement savings credit that is available to some taxpayers. The basic principle for this credit is this: If you make eligible contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or to an individual retirement account (IRA), you may be able to take a credit against your federal income taxes. The amount of the credit you can get is based on the contributions you make and your “credit rate.” Read more
I’m mostly a do-it-yourself financial planner. But sometimes we all could benefit from professional advice to help us through a complex finance, tax, or estate planning problem. Even then we procrastinate or avoid the issue because of (a) the expense and/or (b) the hassle of having to locate a professional, make an appointment, and visit their office. Now there is a way to receive personal finance and tax advice online. Read more