Year End Planning for Older Individuals

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Year End Planning for Older Individuals

Year-end planning is one of the best things you can do for yourself to prepare for the coming year, and any challenges you may face.  But there is so much to consider, how do you know where to begin?  Planning can easily become overwhelming, and ultimately skipped because of it.

ATLAS Lifestyle Planning Group (ATLAS LPG) brings you an informational mini-series, focused on a few key areas of financial planning that could help you wrap up the year with a bit more clarity.  Here we share some topics that may be worth discussing further with your trusted advisor.

PART 1:  3 POINTS for our Older Individuals

As we grow older, there are certain aspects of our financial life that simplify, while other areas might become more confusing.  Whether it is easy or complicated, it is always a good idea to discuss matters with your financial advisor as you approach the end of the year.  For those nearing or entering retirement, and those who have embraced life after a career, here are 3 Points you may want to discuss further.

1 – Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)  |  If you love giving and have the means to do so, QCDs may be worth considering.  QCDs are nontaxable distributions from your traditional IRA (or certain other types of retirement accounts), paid directly to a qualified charity of your choosing.  Bear in mind, this strategy depends on where you are at in life, as QCDs are a planning tool specifically for those over 70 ½.  The real benefit kicks in at 72 when you may have required minimum distributions (RMDs.)  You do not receive a tax deduction for your QCD donation, however gifting some or all of your RMD to charity via a QCD would ultimately lower your total tax.  The transfer from your IRA is not counted as taxable income, therefore allowing you to meet your RMD requirements while offsetting the impact of your RMD on your income.  Be sure to ask your CPA if this giving strategy would work well for you based on your personal situation.

2 – Medicare Planning  |  For those in the age range of 60-70, it is critical to spend some time toward the end of the year reviewing your Medicare coverage, and evaluating this in connection to your health needs.  If you need to make any changes, keep in mind the open enrollment periods for Medicare Parts A and B (October 15 – December 7), and Part C Medicare Advantage (January 1 – March 31st), to make sure your window of opportunity is not missed.  Or, if you have a benefit event, you will have a 60-day window to signup, separate from the open enrollment periods.  Also consider any health changes you may have experienced, and review your other healthcare and reimbursement options, if you have them, to determine whether now is the time to add supplemental insurance for long-term care coverage.  Knowing Medicare can be confusing, do not hesitate to consult a Medicare specialist who can provide expert guidance, tailored to your unique situation.  Or ask ATLAS for an introduction.

3 – Social Security Adjustments  |  As you know, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) made annually by the Social Security Administration (SSA) is meant to help retirees keep up with inflation.  The SSA recently announced the COLA for 2024 will be just 3.2%.  While this is significantly lower than the 8.7% increase we saw for 2023, it is still higher than most of the annual increases from the last 10 years.  The annual SSA COLA announcement is an opportune time to review your income and expenses, plan accordingly for any budget changes, and understand how this might affect an established financial strategy, before the increased benefits show up in January 2024.  You may need some additional planning depending on your income level for the year, so be sure to set aside some time for a meeting with your trusted advisor.

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 This blog is intended for general informational purposes, and should not be taken as strategy or advice by ATLAS Lifestyle Planning Group (ATLAS LPG).  ATLAS LPG encourages all individuals to consult their financial professional about these or other matters which concern their personal finances or financial strategy.  If you do not have a financial advisor, or feel you may benefit from seeking the advice of a different financial advisor, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to your ATLAS office, or contact us HERE.  Your ATLAS LPG Team is always ready and happy to help, whatever your needs may be!

 Investment advisory services offered through ATLAS Lifestyle Planning Group (ATLAS LPG), a Registered Investment Advisor.  ATLAS LPG will only provide investment advisory services in jurisdictions where it is registered as an investment adviser or exempt from registration.  Insurance and annuities offered through ATLAS Risk Management Group (ATLAS RMG) CA License # 0M41231.  ATLAS LPG and ATLAS RMG are separate entities and neither provides legal or tax advice.