Nobody likes to pay taxes. That’s why so many people look for deductions and credits that can be used to eliminate – or at least to defer (i.e., postpone) them. For instance, if you’re investing via “traditional” retirement plans like IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) and employer-sponsored 401(k)s, you can take advantage of pre-tax contributions and tax-deferred growth.
But did you know that going this route, you could actually be doing yourself a disservice? That is because, in return for these present tax advantages, the taxes that you’ll have to pay in the future could be substantial. That is unless you prepare now for rising taxes in the future.
Just How High Will Taxes Go?
Since 1913 (when the 16th amendment established Congress’s right to impose a federal income tax), the top federal income tax rate has been as low as just 7%, and as high as 94%! And, in forty-nine of the years since then, it has been at 70% or more.
So, you have to ask yourself if – or better yet, when – income tax rates rise again in the future, will your spending needs in retirement still be met if you’re handing over a significant portion of the income you generate to Uncle Sam?
If the answer is a resounding “No,” there is good news in that there are strategies and financial vehicles available for helping you to reduce, or possibly even to eliminate, income tax on your retirement income. This, in turn, can give you more money to spend on the goods and services you need to purchase – regardless of what your then-current income tax rate may be.
Top Federal Income Tax Rates 1913 – 2021
Source: Inside Gov (http://federal-tax-rates.insidegov.com/)
How to Prepare for Rising Tax Rates in the Future
Although nobody knows what the tax rates will be in the future, there are ways to prepare – and possibly even to pay 0% tax on income and withdrawals. One strategy is to use the Roth IRA.
With a Roth IRA, you don’t get the benefit of making a pre-tax contribution. However, these savings could be minuscule in comparison to the tax-free withdrawal you can make down the road.
If you’re looking for tax-free income in retirement, you could accomplish this by placing an annuity into a Roth IRA. That way, you can generate a guaranteed income stream for a set period of time – or even for the remainder of your lifetime – without having to pay tax on these distributions.
There are a few stipulations to be mindful of, though. For instance, qualified Roth IRA distributions are tax-free if:
- The funds were held in the account for five or more years since they were directly contributed and/or rolled over from another account
- You are at least age 59 ½ at the time of the withdrawal(s)
- You are disabled
- The account holder dies, and the funds are paid out to a beneficiary
- You are accessing the money as a first-time homebuyer (in this case, up to $10,000 may be accessed during your lifetime)
There are other benefits to having a Roth IRA, too, such as no required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 72 (like there is with traditional IRAs and retirement plans). And, while there are income limits that could disqualify you from opening and directly funding a Roth account, it is possible to convert from a traditional to a Roth IRA – even if you earn “too much.”
Is Your Tax-Reduction or Elimination Plan Up to Date?
Roth IRAs have become more popular over the past decade or so. Yet, even with all of the tax advantages that a Roth could provide, it’s not always feasible for investors or retirees to generate tax-free growth or withdrawals from these types of accounts.
It is essential that you properly set up a Roth IRA – particularly if you intend to use an annuity as a method of income generation. So, discussing all of your objectives with a retirement income specialist is recommended.
Feel free to contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation chat. You can reach us directly by phone at (888) 440-2468 or online via email by going to our secure online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.