Advice on Troubleshooting the Tax System
By Rao K. Garuda
The following are some of the most expensive and common tax hurdles affecting Americans and offers advice on troubleshooting our tax system.
• Problem: The IRA tax: great on the front end, terrible down the road.
Solution: An IRA is tax-deferred, which means it will accumulate value over time. But when you withdraw from it, you will be heavily penalized with high taxes. That’s why you should convert this asset to a Roth IRA, which allows your money to grow tax-free. Since the money put in was already taxed you don’t have to pay any taxes when you take it out, and, overall, you’ll save a significant amount of money.
• Problem: Too many people don’t take advantage of creating tax-free income via insurance products.
Solution: From a financial perspective, retirees and professional planners run into a significant issue: seniors, blessed with good health, who outlive their money. But with certain insurance products, retirees can create tax-free income while covering the later years of retirement — and protect their wealth if they become severely ill. There are certain insurance products tied to the stock market that can help people accumulate assets in the long run.
• Problem: Missed opportunities – people who don’t take advantage of free money in a 401k.
Solution: Perhaps the company you work for is, like many others, bureaucratic to the point of being impractical. Your employer may not have done the best job communicating details about benefits such as matching 401k contributions, or you may not have taken the time to learn them. Now’s the time; this is free money! If your employer is offering a 50 percent match on your first 6 percent of contributions to the 401k, you should be contributing at least 6 percent. HBM
Rao K. Garuda, CLU, ChFC, is president and CEO of Associated Concepts Agency, Inc. — “The Missing Piece” of financial planning — founded in 1978, and a popular speaker at seminars and conferences for financial industry professionals. Rao is a founding member of First Financial Resources, a national organization with over 75 partners in the USA; a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), and a life member of MDRT’s Top of the Table for 21 consecutive years. Visit www.aca-incorp.com.