Future Planning

Retirement Strategies

It is never too early to start saving for retirement. Tax reform through the years has enhanced certain planning opportunities, most recently with the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act signed into law in December 2019. It is the most far-reaching retirement legislation passed by Congress since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The SECURE Act incentivizes employers to offer defined contribution (DC) plans, promotes lifetime income options, and improves retirement plan accessibility, design and administration. You may still have time to accumulate sufficient retirement assets, provided you plan ahead, stay disciplined, and regularly review your strategies.

Retirement plan contributions can offer two large tax benefits: they can 1) potentially reduce your AGI and current income tax and 2) grow faster than your other assets because they're sheltered from tax until withdrawn. (Roth-type accounts are notable exceptions; withdrawals are generally not taxed.) Take advantage of your employer's plan especially if it features an employer match (which is free money for you once it is vested) or you qualify for catch-up contributions (age 50 or older).

If you have stock from your company in your retirement plan, find out its “cost basis” now; this number will help determine your later taxes and affect how you should take distributions. Employee contributions to pension plans can be rolled over into another plan via a trustee-to-trustee transfer. Non-spousal as well as spousal beneficiaries can roll over a decedent’s interest in a qualified plan under strict rules. Consult with your advisor.

We can help you make sense of your options, as well as advise you on how tax law changes may impact your current plans. By choosing tax-favored retirement vehicles, you can save money now and later.

If you withdraw funds from your IRA before you reach age 59½, you may be subject to a 10% tax penalty. Withdrawals for qualified college expenses or to fund up to $10,000 of a first home purchase are taxed, but you are not penalized for the early withdrawal.