(Updated 2024)

Without a solid approach, health care expenses may add up quickly and potentially alter your spending.

In a 2022 survey, 35% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. Regardless of your confidence, however, being aware of potential healthcare costs during retirement may allow you to understand what you can pay for and what you can’t.1

Health-Care Breakdown

In a 2023 survey, 37% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. Regardless of your confidence, however, being aware of potential healthcare costs during retirement may allow you to understand what you can pay for and what you can’t.1

A retired household faces three types of healthcare expenses.

  1. The premiums for Medicare Part B (which covers physician and outpatient services) and Part D (which covers drug-related expenses). Typically, Part B and Part D are taken out of a person’s Social Security check before it is mailed, so the premium cost is often overlooked by retirement-minded individuals.
  2. Copayments related to Medicare-covered services that are not paid by Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also known as “Medigap”) or other health insurance.
  3. Costs associated with dental care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids – which are typically not covered by Medicare or other insurance programs.

It All Adds Up

According to one study, the average 65-year-old couple can expect to need $315,000 saved to cover healthcare expenses in retirement.2

Should you expect to pay this amount? Possibly. Seeing the results of one study may help you make some critical decisions when creating a strategy for retirement. Without a solid approach, healthcare expenses may add up quickly and alter your retirement spending.

Prepared for the Future?

Workers were asked how much they have saved and invested for retirement – excluding their residence and defined benefit plans.

Source: EBRI.org, 2023
  1. EBRI.org, 2023
  2. Investopedia.com, October 23, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Five overlooked tax deductions to help manage your tax bill.​

 Who among us wants to pay the IRS more taxes than we have to?

While few may raise their hands, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Let’s take a quick look at the five most overlooked opportunities to manage your tax bill.

  1. Reinvested Dividends: When your mutual fund pays you a dividend or capital gains distribution, that income is a taxable event (unless the fund is held in a tax-deferred account, like an IRA). If you’re like most fund owners, you reinvest these payments in additional shares of the fund. The tax trap lurks when you sell your mutual fund. If you fail to add the reinvested amounts back into the investment’s cost basis, it can result in double taxation of those dividends.1
    Mutual funds are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
  2. Out-of-Pocket Charity: It’s not just cash donations that are deductible. If you donate goods or use your personal car for charitable work, these are potential tax deductions. Just be sure to get a receipt for any amount over $250.2
  3. State Taxes: Did you owe state taxes when you filed your previous year’s tax returns? If you did, don’t forget to include this payment as a tax deduction on your current year’s tax return. There is currently a $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction.3
  4. Medicare Premiums: You may be able to deduct unreimbursed medical and dental premiums, co-payments, deductibles, and other medical expenses to the extent that the costs exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. This includes most Medicare premiums.4
  5. Income in Respect of a Decedent: If you’ve inherited an IRA or pension, you may be able to deduct any estate tax paid by the IRA owner from the taxes due on the withdrawals you take from the inherited account.5

1. Investopedia.com, January 11, 2024
2. IRS.gov, 2024
3. IRS.gov, 2024
4. IRS.gov, 2024
5. IRS.gov, 2024. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Retirement income may come from a variety of sources. Here’s an overview of the six main sources.

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience. For many people, retirement income may come from a variety of sources. Here’s a quick review of the six main sources:

Social Security

Social Security is the government-administered retirement income program. Workers become eligible after paying Social Security taxes for 10 years. Benefits are based on each worker’s 35 highest earning years. If there are fewer than 35 years of earnings, non-earning years are averaged in as zero. In 2023, the average monthly benefit is estimated at $1,827.1,2

Personal Savings and Investments

Personal savings and investments outside of retirement plans can provide income during retirement. Retirees often prefer to go for investments that offer monthly guaranteed income over potential returns.

Individual Retirement Account

Traditional IRAs have been around since 1974. Contributions you make to a traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductible, depending on your individual circumstances. In most circumstances, once you reach age 73, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from a Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Withdrawals from Traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. You may continue to contribute to a Traditional IRA past age 70½ as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.

Roth IRAs were created in 1997. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals also can be taken under certain other circumstances, including as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.

Defined Contribution Plans

Many workers are eligible to participate in a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan. Eligible workers can set aside a portion of their pre-tax income into an account, which then accumulates, tax-deferred.

In most circumstances, you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plan in the year you turn 73. Withdrawals from your 401(k) or other defined contribution plans are taxed as ordinary income, and if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.

Defined Benefit Plans

Defined benefit plans are “traditional” pensions—employer–sponsored plans under which benefits, rather than contributions, are defined. Benefits are normally based on factors such as salary history and duration of employment. The number of traditional pension plans has dropped dramatically during the past 30 years.3

Continued Employment

In a recent survey, 73% of workers stated that they planned to keep working in retirement. In contrast, only 23% of retirees reported that continued employment was a major or minor source of retirement income.4

Expected Vs. Actual Sources of Income in Retirement

What workers anticipate in terms of retirement income sources may differ considerably from what retirees actually experience.

1. SSA.gov, 2023
2. SSA.gov, 2023
3. Investopedia.com, December 30, 2022
4. EBRI.org, 2023
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Some of the biggest challenges many face when it comes to education are financial. Luckily, a 529 college saving plan can help. And they’re not just for college anymore – added to the tuition eligibility are K-12, private and religious schools. These funds can also be used for four and two-year colleges, trade schools, graduate programs, and some international institutions.

A 529 plan is a college savings plan that allows individuals to save for college on a tax-advantaged basis. State tax treatment of 529 plans is only one factor to consider prior to committing to a savings plan. Also, consider the fees and expenses associated with the particular plan. Whether a state tax deduction is available will depend on your state of residence. State tax laws and treatment may vary. State tax laws may be different from federal tax laws. Earnings on non-qualified distributions will be subject to income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax.

Here’s a list of 529 qualified educational expenses:

Educational Strategy

To take advantage of the 529 distribution for educational costs, you must submit your request for the funds during the same calendar year. If you request cash during the academic year, you may end up owing taxes as a non-qualified withdrawal.

  • Higher Education – Post-secondary students (after high school) are eligible to participate in the federal student aid program administered by the U.S Department of Education and qualify for the use of 529 funds.
  • Vocational or Trade School – Culinary students can draw from their 529 accounts to pay expenses related to culinary institute courses. The institution must participate in the U.S Department of Education for federal student aid.
  • Early Education – K-12 schools, public, private, and religious institutions can now use 529 plan distributions up to $10,000 per student for tuition.

Lifestyle and School Supplies

Learning how best to use your 529 distributions while establishing a manageable budget for qualified and non-qualified purchases can be tricky. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Housing – Campus housing can be paid through 529 distributions, including college room and board fees. Off-campus housing rentals qualify up to the same cost of the room and board on campus.
  • Books and Supplies – paper, pens, and textbooks required by the specific course are qualified expenses. Schools set the budget limit for books and supplies.
  • Needs and Services – Special needs equipment and services qualify for 529 distribution. Students using equipment for mobility may be eligible for 529 distribution purchases.

Depending on the circumstances, other modes of transportation may also apply.

Welcoming Technology

Finally, many don’t realize that computers and some electronics are included on the list of qualified education expenses. Keep in mind that these items must be required as part of the students’ study programs to qualify.

  • Personal Computer – Computers must be used primarily by the student during any of the years the student is enrolled at the eligible educational institution.
  • Software – software may qualify as a 529 distribution expense, but only if it’s used by the student and required by a class. For example, technical engineering or design classes may involve computerized assignments.
  • Internet – Lastly, under certain circumstances, internet services can be paid for using 529 funds. Check with your internet service provider (ISP) for more details.

The above tips are sure to help get you started, but make sure to check with the school as well as chat with your financial professional to learn more. As mentioned earlier, each state and school may have different restrictions on using 529 funds. If you are unsure about anything, your plan sponsor may be able to provide some guidance.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

John and Mary are nearing retirement and they have a lot of items on their bucket list. Longer life expectancies mean John and Mary may need to prepare for two or even three decades of retirement. How should they position their money?1

One approach is to segment your expenses into three buckets:

  • Basic Living Expenses— Food, Rent, Utilities, etc.
  • Discretionary Spending — Vacations, Dining Out, etc.
  • Legacy Assets — for heirs and charities

Next, pair appropriate investments to each bucket. For instance, Social Security might be assigned to the Basic Living Expenses bucket.2

For the discretionary spending bucket, you might consider investments that pay a steady dividend and that also offer the potential for growth.3

Finally, list the Legacy assets that you expect to pass on to your heirs and charities.

A bucket plan can help you be better prepared for a comfortable retirement.

Call today and we can develop a strategy that may help you put enough money in your buckets to complete all the items on your bucket list.

1. John and Mary are a hypothetical couple used for illustrative purposes only. Diversification is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline.
2. Social Security benefits may play a more limited role in the future and some financial professional recommend creating a retirement income strategy that excludes Social Security payments.
3. A company’s board of directors can stop, decrease or increase the dividend payout at any time. Investments offering a higher dividend may involve a higher degree of risk. Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Without a solid approach, health care expenses may add up quickly and potentially alter your spending.

In a 2022 survey, 35% of all workers reported they were either “not too” or “not at all” confident that they would have enough money to pay for their medical expenses in retirement. Regardless of your confidence, however, being aware of potential healthcare costs during retirement may allow you to understand what you can pay for and what you can’t.1

Health-Care Breakdown

A retired household faces three types of healthcare expenses.

  1. The premiums for Medicare Part B (which covers physician and outpatient services) and Part D (which covers drug-related expenses). Typically, Part B and Part D are taken out of a person’s Social Security check before it is mailed, so the premium cost is often overlooked by retirement-minded individuals.
  2. Copayments related to Medicare-covered services that are not paid by Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also known as “Medigap”) or other health insurance.
  3. Costs associated with dental care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids – which are typically not covered by Medicare or other insurance programs.

It All Adds Up

According to a HealthView Services study, a 65-year-old healthy couple can expect their lifetime healthcare expenses to add up to around $597,389 before accounting for inflation.2

Should you expect to pay this amount? Possibly. Seeing the results of one study may help you make some critical decisions when creating a strategy for retirement. Without a solid approach, healthcare expenses may add up quickly and alter your retirement spending.

Prepared for the Future?

Workers were asked how much they have saved and invested for retirement – excluding their residence and defined benefit plans.

Source: EBRI.org, 2022
  1. EBRI.org, 2022
  2. HVSFinancial.com, 2022
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.
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