For the high-income earners and savers, retirement planning can look different – and more complicated than for others. Maybe you don’t just want to get by in retirement – maybe you want to travel and pursue passions – as well as leave behind a legacy to your loved ones. Reaching these goals requires strategy and planning. Saving in the years leading up to retirement, considering a Roth IRA, and deciding on the best time to start taking Social Security can be important parts of a strong retirement plan.
Building a cash stockpile in the years leading up to retirement can be a good strategy to help survive volatile markets. A stockpile can help you ride out the storm so that investments have the time to rebound. Also, a period of dedicated saving before retirement can help you adjust to a lower-cost lifestyle after you retire. And, living more off of cash in retirement might put you in a lower income tax bracket. In addition to lowering your tax burden, this can make a Roth IRA conversion a good option.
Converting a traditional IRA to a Roth can be a good strategy for those who have saved a significant amount in their retirement accounts. You can pay tax on the conversion to roll over a traditional IRA into a Roth, and then enjoy tax-free withdrawals later on. This strategy can make sense for those who are focused on their legacy, because Roth IRAs pass on tax-free income. The best times to convert are years where your income tax bracket is lower than usual, and before tax rates increase. You can convert in parts if you don’t want to cause your taxes to spike because of a large lump-sum conversion. Keep in mind that conversions are now irreversible.
Whether you should wait to take Social Security or not depends on individual circumstances. You will receive 75% of your full benefits if you take them at 62, 100% if you take then at your full retirement age, which is 65-67 depending on when you were born, and 132% if you wait until 70. Retirement goals, life expectancies, and tax burdens are all factors to consider. One thing to consider is that taking benefits earlier will allow you to defer distributions from other investments, which can help you contribute to a legacy.
Saving in the years leading up to retirement, converting to a Roth IRA, and deciding when the best time to start taking Social Security is can be important aspects of retirement planning for high-income earners and savers. Strategizing and planning now could make for a great retirement later on.
The professionals at Epstein & White can help you come up with a retirement plan to make the most of what you’ve earned. We will work with you to create a comprehensive plan that takes your retirement and legacy goals into account. Click here to schedule your complimentary review.