Help retired workers cut their taxes

Help retired clients cut their taxes
Retirees in the lower tax bracket owe no taxes on long-term capital gains but they are required to report these earnings on their returns, according to this article on Kiplinger. Their standard deduction is also higher in retirement, so they should consider making the most of it. Retirees may also deduct a portion of their health insurance premiums if the payments exceed the 7.5% adjusted gross income, or the entire amount if they are self-employed. Clients who sold inherited assets should account for the stepped up tax basis to minimize the tax bite.

The IRS building in Washington, D.C.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building stands in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Taxpayers have until Monday, April 18 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax owed. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Tax
Just in case clients are looking to cut few corners, here are some of the most common tax frauds that the agency is ready to pounce upon.
February 23

Retirement for aging parents costs more than your clients realize
Clients who are helping their parents prepare for retirement may underestimate the living and other costs that their elders will have in their golden years, according to this article on Forbes. To ensure that their parents will have a comfortable retirement, clients should prod their parents to plan as early as they can and expect that the costs in retirement to be more than initial estimates. They should also encourage their parents to minimize spending so adjustments will not be difficult when their retirement income dwindles over time and medical expenses shoot up.

Minorities are making effort to close retirement savings gap
A survey by Ipsos and USA Today has found that more minorities than white Americans are discussing retirement with their families. Fifty percent of Hispanics and 43% of African Americans who participated in the survey said that they talk to their families about their preparations for their golden years, while 40% of whites claimed to have been doing the same. “It’s the evolution of time, education, opportunities, and access to information. Information levels the playing field,” says a certified financial planner.

The new retirement is ... not to retire
Many retirees opt to go back to work, pursuing an encore career or a new job, according to this article on CNBC. Most of them are motivated to work again because they want to maintain an active lifestyle and not really to earn money. Three of these retirees share their stories in this article.

1 in 4 workers have saved less than $1,000 for retirement
A report from the Employment Benefit Research Institute says that nearly 25% of workers have saved less than $1,000 for retirement, according to this article from CNNMoney. Almost 50% of the workers polled claimed to have less than $25,000 in their retirement accounts. For an online calculator, clients with this amount in retirement savings are on track if they are aged 30, but are behind if they are older.

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