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  • Michael L. Green, EverGreen Capital Management

Inflation, Taxes, and Retirement

Saving for retirement by contributing to an employer sponsored plan, like a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan allows you to amass a significant sum of money over time. Saving pre-tax dollars, receiving employer contributions, and getting tax deferred growth all can contribute to your ability to accumulate a sizable retirement nest egg. Importantly, after you've retired and you plan to start taking withdrawals, be mindful of two things; inflation and taxes. Even though recent inflation has been historically low, you should plan for the long term average of about 2-3%. It surely impacts retirees' cost of living and lifestyle. You should know how much of your other retirement income resources are impacted by inflation and taxes. If you have a traditional pension, does it have inflation adjustments? Tax planning is the other thing that will have an impact on how much you keep in your bank account. We don't know what will happen to current tax rates, but it's safe to assume they won't be getting any lower. Fully deferred assets like 401(k)s, and other employer sponsored plans and IRAs will be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn. In taxable accounts you should look into using interest income from tax free municipal bonds. Also if you sell appreciated assets that you've held more than one year, you will pay capital gains tax which is a lower rate than ordinary income tax. Roth IRAs are another tax friendly asset. Withdrawals from them are fully tax free as long as you meet the requirements. They are also not subject to required minimum distributions (RMD).

"You've worked hard for your money, make it work for you."

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