Driving Down The Retirement Tax Bill

Through Strategic Social Security Filing

Can a strategic Social Security filing plan really lower the taxes you pay in retirement?  For some, yes!  Your retirement tax bill – the total amount of taxes you’ll pay in retirement – largely depends on how your retirement income is structured.
Driving down retirement tax bill

It was one of my Dad’s biggest retirement shockers. He didn’t expect to pay so much in taxes. Yet there it was…a big tax bill in the first year of retirement. Like a lot of other retirees, he didn’t know that up to 85% of his Social Security benefit could be included as taxable income. Ultimately, we were able to mitigate some of his tax burden, but for some of it, he was stuck.

He didn’t like it and he’s not alone.  Every year individuals retire and are faced with sticker shock when they find out how much tax they’ll have to pay in retirement. However, there are some strategies that could help you reduce the amount of your taxable Social Security income.

Before we dig into those strategies, let’s review the rules on Social Security taxation.

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Social Security Earnings Limit &
Working In Retirement

When, How & Why Your Benefit Will Be Reduced

**Updated for 2017 changes

There’s lots of confusion about how much you can earn while on Social Security.  Here’s good news…the Social Security earnings limit rules really aren’t that difficult to quickly understand.

Social Security Income Limit

Broadly speaking, the effect of claiming Social Security and working could be that part (or all) of your payments could be withheld. Using 2016’s earnings limit numbers, let’s take a look at how working in retirement could impact your Social Security payments:

The Social Security earnings limit is split into two categories.
1) Earnings when you are age 62 through January 1 of the year you attain full retirement age
2) Earnings after January 1 of the year you reach full retirement age

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Social Security Class at Texarkana College

Fall 2015

Social Security Intelligence

The Class You MUST Attend Before You File For Social Security 

Social Security class at Texarkana College

Our September 29th class was completely full!

The next available  class is:

Tuesday, November 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

Business & Computer Technology Building

Room: Levi Hall

Texarkana_College_logo

In this class we’ll discuss:

* How to claim benefits from a prior spouse
* How to cross file with your current spouse
* How to file for one benefit and later switch to another benefit
* How to prioritize your filing decision
* The impact of working in retirement
* The Social Security tax torpedo

At the conclusion, we’ll leave plenty of time for questions.


How To Register

Our registration is a little different than it has been for our previous classes. There are three different ways to make sure that your seat is saved:

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Social Security Problems?

How To Find Help

There’s no shortage of advice on filing for Social Security. From family members to your insurance agent, everyone has an opinion. But where do you turn once you’ve filed and now find yourself with Social Security problems? 
Help for Social Security Problems

I still remember Mr. Hall. He had big Social Security problems. He received an overpayment notice from the Social Security Administration alleging that he owed them thousands of dollars. He needed to respond within 60 days or his benefits would stop.

Related Article: Social Security Overpayment Letter?  Here’s What To Do Next.

Not knowing where to turn, he called his CPA and asked if she could help.  She told him that she could not, but gave him the name of a local attorney.  When he called the attorney, he was referred to another attorney.  Thankfully, the last attorney in the long line sent Mr. Hall to me.

Mr. Hall was frustrated! I can understand why. If you have Social Security problems, there aren’t many resources. In fact, there are only three places that can even try to help you.

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Why Men Should Optimize Social Security Survivor Benefits

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.  “I think I’m going to file for Social Security early.  I mean, what if I die?”

This statement is usually made by a man and is followed by recounting family member’s death ages for the past two generations.

It’s time to put an end to this silly thinking.

Social Security Survivor Benefit

Ok, men have a valid point when they say “what if I die?”  The problem is, they’re looking at it all wrong.   As a guy, this brings some pain to write this, but the truth is we probably will die.  In fact, we’ll likely die before our spouse and maybe much earlier than we’d like.

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Your Financial Advisor’s Answer Should Be “NO!” To This One Question

Have You Asked?

That conversation is one I’ll never forget.

“Son,” he said with a slight chuckle, “In this business there are three people that need to make money.  The home office, the financial advisor, and the client. But listen, two out of three ain’t bad.”


Financial Advisor Sales Goals

 

I was a brand new financial advisor for one of the largest brokerage firms in the nation.  This “wisdom” was coming from a top producing veteran advisor.  Since he was very successful, and I was new, I was asked to shadow him for a while to learn how he did things. I’ll have to say, I did learn a few things. More than I expected or wanted to learn.

I knew that it was a sales job when they hired me.  It was clear that I would be expected to produce revenue and generate a profit for the firm. I didn’t have an issue with any of that.  What bothered me was what I had to do just to meet their sales quota.

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