4 overlooked tax breaks for retirees

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4 overlooked tax breaks for retirees
More often than not, many retirees fail to claim certain tax breaks that could boost their savings come tax time, according to this article on Kiplinger. Many seniors are unaware that Medicare premium payments are deductible, while their spouses who are still working can contribute to a spousal IRA and reduce their taxable income. Retirees can also take advantage of the gift-tax exclusion, which allows them to give up to $14,000 per person every year, and they are entitled to a bigger standard deduction.
Social Security: 3 great reasons to file for benefits at 70
One obvious reason to continue working and delay Social Security benefits until the age of 70 is to increase the benefit value by 8% per year of waiting, according to this article on Motley Fool. By delaying the benefit, clients will have a shorter retirement horizon that translates to a smaller nest egg, and they invest the money that they don't need for an 8% risk-free return.

What would a 30-year bond ladder cost a retiree today?
Instead of owning bond mutual funds, investors may create retirement income sources for their annual expenses by building a ladder of bonds that reach maturity every year, according to this article on Forbes. One of the bond options that clients can use for this approach is Treasury bond strips, which can get complicated because of the coupon payments when the bond ladder has to be extended. The article shares a table showing how to construct retirement income bonds ladders starting January 3, 2017 in a span of 30 years to generate $40,000 in annual income with an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 2%.

Here’s an ‘income menu’ that could help retirees make their savings last
The Stanford Center on Longevity and the Society of Actuaries have unveiled a proposal for employer-sponsored retirement plans to offer an "income menu" that would provide the participants with diversified sources of income after they retire, according to this article on MarketWatch. This income menu would consist of "retirement income generators," such as an annuity to cover essential expenses, and investible assets to fund discretionary expenses. The menu should also include an option that would help clients develop systematic withdrawals from their investments, including a strategy for taking required minimum distributions when they turn 70 1/2.

Personal Finance: Retirement savings option beyond the 401(k)
Clients who have no access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) can build their nest egg through an IRA, according to this article on Chattanooga Time Free Press. They can contribute up to $5,500 every year to a traditional IRA and the contributions are fully tax-deductible. Their spouses who are unemployed can also make deductible contributions to their own IRA. Clients also have the option to contribute to a Roth IRA, which provides no upfront tax deduction on contributions but offers tax-free distributions in retirement.

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