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Retirement Answer Man

A Business, Investing and Careers podcast
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A top retirement podcast. Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, RMA, AIF® guides you on how to actually do retirement well financially and personally. This retirement podcast isn't afraid to talk about the softer side of retirement. It will teach you how to retire with confidence. Two-time PLUTUS winner for best retirement podcast / blog and the 2019 winner for best financial planner blog. This retirement podcast covers how to create a paycheck, medicare, healthcare, Social Security, tax management in retirement as well as retirement travel and other non-financial issues you'll need to address to rock retirement. Retirement isn’t an age OR a financial number. It’s finding that balance between living well today and feeling confident about your retirement. It’s about gaining more freedom to pursue the life you want. Join the rock retirement community at


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Retirement Tax Management: Medicare and IRMAA
There is a lot to consider when planning tax management in retirement. You’ve got to think about RMD’s, tax brackets, Medicare, and IRMAA. You may have heard of IRMAA and been wondering just what this mysterious acronym is. On this episode of Retirement Answer Man, you’ll learn about Medicare and IRMAA and how exactly this all fits into your retirement tax management plan. You need to understand all the levers available to make the most of tax management in retirement.  Highlights I’ve learned over the past 300 episodes Consistency is so important. My daily habits keep me on track You all have helped me learn how to define the agile retirement planning process.  My team is amazing! Listeners provide the ultimate feedback loop. We have created a safe place to interact and have discussions surrounding retirement. We have listeners from all over the world! I know my purpose and I’m acting it out each day. Can this exercise help you consider if you are ready for retirement? I recently had a client that didn’t think he was ready for retirement. He thought there would be a huge void in his life. How would he spend his days? So to get an idea about this he decided to make a list. Not a bucket list, but a list of things he wanted to do with his time. Things like: practice playing guitar, learning to play golf, mentoring kids. These were just some of the day to day items he considered. Next, he decided to map out an ideal schedule for an entire month. Find out what he discovered by listening in! Who is this IRMAA, and why is she in my Medicare? In 2007 Congress passed a law allowing a surcharge on part of your Medicare benefit if you make over a certain amount. IRMAA is that surcharge on Medicare Part B and Part D. If you make over $85,000 if you are single or $170,000 if you are married then IRMAA will apply to your Medicare Part B and D. One important aspect about IRMAA is that it considers your income, not from last year, but from 2 years ago. Listen in to find out how much this surcharge is.  What are some tax strategies you can implement to avoid IRMAA? The number one rule of tax management is: don’t let the tax tail wag the dog! You will need to consider if IRMAA is worth all the trouble to avoid. Consider these strategies to see if they can help you avoid the IRMAA surcharge. Be aware of temporary spikes in income, be more thoughtful about how you spend money as you approach Medicare age. Be aware of your required minimum distributions (RMD). You’ll want to be aware, from a tax perspective, but now you can consider IRMAA as well. Use Partial Roth conversions now to try and minimize your RMD later on Multi-year tax planning so important in retirement because you finally have ultimate control over your taxes Start to build some balance in your balance sheet. Consider funding your HSA early on. You can keep the bills for years and create a tax-free slush fund.  If you don’t need the extra income, but have to take it due to RMD, do a qualified charitable distribution to minimize your income. How will IRMAA affect you? Will you jump through hoops to avoid it? OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN HOT TOPIC SEGMENT [3:30] Highlights I’ve learned over the past 5 years [6:12] Do I really want to retire? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT [9:30] Who is IRMAA? [16:00] How will IRMAA affect you? THE THANKFUL LAB SEGMENT [21:56] I’m thankful for being brave TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT [24:02] Take our annual listener survey! Resources Mentioned In This Episode Rock Retirement Club Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney Work with Roger Roger’s Retirement Learning Center
Retirement Tax Management: Social Security and Taxes
Nobody likes taxes, but tax management in retirement doesn’t have to hurt so bad. During this Retirement Tax Management series, you’ll learn about tools and tricks you can use during retirement to lessen your tax burden and make paying taxes as painless as possible. On this episode, we’ll focus on Social Security and how it affects your tax burden. You’ll also hear retirement tax tips from a variety of other professionals. Make sure to listen to the whole series to learn as much as you can and when you’re done be sure to take the listener survey so that we can get your opinions to refine the show to cover topics that interest you.  Tax management tips from a variety of professionals When looking for good advice it helps to crowdsource to hear a variety of tips. Check out these ideas to help you lessen your tax burden in retirement.  CFA, CFP and writer, Peter Lazaroff, focuses his advice on limiting your RMD liability. He encourages listeners to minimize their RMD liability early on, prior to age 70 ½, by doing partial Roth conversions. It’s important to remember all of those pretax dollars will be taxed eventually. Think about it early on so you won’t get stuck with a huge tax bill at age 70 ½.  Julie is currently maxing out her husband’s 401K to save for retirement, In addition, she is funding an HSA with pre-tax money. She is paying cash for her medical bills now and saving those receipts to withdraw from the HSA in retirement. She is using the HSA like a slush fund. Julie also uses a donor-advised fund for charitable giving. Brandon Renfro Ph.D. encourages you to consider your multi-year tax rate. In retirement, income is multi-dimensional and you can manage when you  Michael Hennessy, CFA, CFP, recommends using a qualified charitable distribution if you are charitably inclined. When having to take your RMD, if you don’t need the full amount of money, give it away. This will help with IRMA as well as help you manage your tax brackets.  Michael Molitoris suggests auto-withholding a portion of your IRA distribution for tax purposes. Make sure to also withhold taxes from your Social Security check. This will help save you from filing quarterly taxes and it will further save you from a huge tax bill.  Ashley Daniels use your tax return as a tool to help you think about tax brackets, IRMAA, and Social Security.  What can you do to help you get ready to plan for your Social Security benefit? As you are sitting here thinking about Social Security and retirement, you might be wondering what you can do to be proactive. There are 2 things you can do right now. First, go to and set up your login to begin to manage your account. Review your earnings history, give it a once over to make sure it is reported correctly. Your benefit is based on the reported earnings history so you’ll want to make sure they are in the right ballpark and act early if something is amiss.  Secondly, check out the retirement estimator calculator. This is a great tool to help you with multi-year tax planning which is imperative in retirement.  Are your social security benefits taxable? Wait! I already paid taxes on my Social Security benefits, why are they taxing me again? This is why we’re learning about retirement tax management now. So there won’t be any surprises later. Your Social Security benefit is taxable but only up to a certain amount. It really depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI) and your nontaxable interest accounts. Make sure you listen to the examples I give to fully understand when and how your Social Security benefits are taxed.  What can you do now to help manage future taxes? In your working years, you don’t really have control over your tax bracket or how much you will owe, but in retirement, you can have a lot of control if you are proactive. Multi-year tax planning is so important and that’s why you are listening to Retirement Answer Man now.  There are several strategies that you can think about using to manage your taxes. Consider these: Delay Social Security while you take distributions from your IRA’s or earn income in pretirement Start converting your IRA’s to Roth IRA’s early Consider multi-year tax strategies to think about your IRA withdrawals Fill your tax bracket Make sure to listen in next week to meet our old friend IRMAA and find out how she could affect your Medicare premiums.  OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN HOT TOPIC SEGMENT [4:00] Tax tips from financial advisors PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT [11:40] How does the tax scheme work in retirement for your Social Security benefit [14:07] Are your Social Security benefits taxable? [17:45] Let’s look at an example [23:22] What can you do now to plan for the future? THE THANKFUL LAB SEGMENT [26:30] I’m thankful for the listener interaction we get TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT [28:14] Go register at and check out the new retirement calculator Resources Mentioned In This Episode Retirement Estimator Calculator IRS Publication 915 BOOK - Making Money Simple by Peter Lazaroff Rock Retirement Club Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney Work with Roger Roger’s Retirement Learning Center
Retirement Tax Management: The Opportunity to Manage Tax Brackets
Wait, did you think that tax management would become easier in retirement? That’s hilarious! Managing your taxes in retirement can be a scary endeavor. There are new terms popping up at you from every direction. That’s why we’re taking this whole month to discuss retirement tax management. With a little bit of education, you won’t find tax management in retirement that daunting. Start your education in retirement tax management by listening to this episode of Retirement Answer Man.  Should we all jump on Michael Kitces’ rising equity glide path? Last month we presented Michael Kitces’ argument for the rising equity glide path. This academic theory of investing goes against everything that seems natural to an investor. The idea is that the investor should get more aggressive as they get older since that is when the sequence of return risk is the greatest and they have the longest amount of time ahead of them. A listener was wondering why we would air this on the show if we weren’t advocating that our listeners go out and try this with their own investments. Remember, I am here to present research to help you all stay informed and so that you can understand and identify risks. I am not advocating that you do anything. I don’t know you and cannot give you advice on this show.  Don’t miss this opportunity to save money! Retirement tax management is one of the most missed opportunities in retirement. It is commonly missed because it is so confusing to advisors. In addition, financial advisors can’t give tax advice, we can only be tax-aware. Most CPAs aren’t as familiar with all of the tax opportunities in retirement either. They are so used to recommending deferring taxes for as long as possible. And while that’s a great plan for the accumulation stage of retirement planning, once you retire you need to come up with a new tax strategy. Do you have a tax strategy that you plan to use in retirement? How is it different from your tax strategy in your working years?  Why is multi-year tax planning important in retirement? In retirement, it’s time to stop thinking of your taxes one year at a time. Multi-year retirement tax planning will save you money in the long run. Small things can add up to make a big difference over the long-term. One of the coolest things about retirement is your flexibility in realizing income. There are also actions you can take now to help your future self out from a tax perspective. Do you have a plan to manage your assets in retirement? Have you thought about tax planning in retirement? Retirement tax management starts with knowing the different tax brackets It’s important to become familiar with the different tax brackets. Retirement is probably the only time in your life where you can actively manage your income. Retirement income is usually a combination of after-tax assets, pretax assets, tax-free assets, and income. These are the raw resources you can use to create a retirement income. Once you know the different tax brackets you can understand where you want to fall and how much wiggle room you have to continue to stay in the tax bracket that you want to be in. Find out what other tools you have to manage your taxes in retirement by listening to this episode of Retirement Answer Man. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN HOT TOPIC SEGMENT [2:56] A listener had a question about the rising equity glide path PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT [10:25] Retirement tax management is one of the most missed opportunities in retirement. [12:34] What materials do you have to manage your taxes in retirement? [14:00] What are the tax brackets? [17:35] What opportunities can you take to manage taxes in retirement? THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT [19:48] It’s easy to assume the worst, but try not to TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT [22:03] Focus on not predetermining the outcome of things. Just let it flow Resources Mentioned In This Episode Rock Retirement Club Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney Work with Roger Roger’s Retirement Learning Center  

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    Podcast Details
    Mar 4th, 2014
    Latest Episode
    Nov 13th, 2019
    Release Period
    No. of Episodes
    Avg. Episode Length
    35 minutes

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