Taxes are inevitable. You know that part. Each April 15, you tally up all of your 1099 forms that you have received and pay taxes on your investments, even if you haven’t actually spent a penny of those dividends and interest earnings. Unfortunately, the money lost to taxes will never be available to you again. But if you use the principles of tax diversification, you could benefit by paying taxes on what you spend – Not on what you earn.
Tax diversification is as important as investment diversification when it comes to managing retirement saving risks. With the proper advice you can create flexibility by selecting the best tax situation for your specific needs and time horizon.
Think about your financial goals for today, the next 10-15 years and down the road as you near retirement and answer these questions:
- What investments do you currently hold?
- What is the intent for that money?
- Can it be allocated more tax efficiently?
- How many years until you retire? If you are retired how much and long do need your income?
- Are you planning a major purchase?
- What do you pay in taxes on each year- as reflected in IRS Form 1099
Now divide your investments into these three categories:
- Money that is taxed now
- Money that is taxed later (tax deferred/taxed when withdrawn)
- Money that is never taxed (paid in with after tax dollars and tax free during accumulation and at withdrawal)
Reallocate your investments into the appropriate category, if necessary.