Surveys repeatedly show that many Americans are not saving enough for retirement. That’s a shame. Not only are they risking a financially-insecure future, they are overpaying their taxes. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some facts you should know:
- You are almost certainly eligible for some sort of retirement account that allows tax deductible contributions or salary reduction contributions, which really amount to the same thing.
- Once money has been contributed to a tax-advantaged retirement account, it continues to grow tax-free until you start taking withdrawals at retirement age. (One exception is a Roth IRA, which does not provide deductible contributions but allows tax-free qualified distributions if the account has been open at least five years and the withdrawals are taken after reaching the age of 59 1/2.)
- Deductible retirement account contributions reduce your adjusted gross income, which lowers the odds that various unfavorable tax rules will apply to you.
- In effect, the tax savings generated by your retirement account contributions can finance a good portion of the amount you pay in.
- Worried about needing the savings before retirement? Money in qualified retirement plans can be tapped without paying the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty for several reasons, such as paying college education expenses, paying up to $10,000 on a first-home purchase, and covering certain health costs.
- This is a no-brainer! The only loser is the IRS.