Don’t Retire Broke – A SavvyReview

Don’t Retire Broke: An Indispensable Guide to Tax-Efficient Retirement Planning and Financial Freedom

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Career Press (March 2017)

While I have not discussed their specific tax situations, I am witness to my parents and my mother-in-law remark that they owed taxes and did not receive a refund in their first years of retirement. For most retirees, the tax efficient liquidation of a retirement portfolio requires coordinating between both taxable brokerage accounts and pre-tax retirement accounts like an IRA or 401(k). In Don’t Retire Broke Rick Rodgers, CFP ® takes our complicated tax system and makes it understandable.

The Three-Legged Stool

The three-legged stool is a metaphor for how past generations looked at planning for retirement. They represent an employer pension, employee savings and Social Security. For many of us, the three-legged stool no longer exists, or it looks dramatically different, pensions once offered by employers are quickly becoming scarce.

Don’t Retire Broke picks up on the three retirement planning strategies first outlined in Rodgers The New Three-Legged Stool and is broken down into three main sections representing each of the new three “legs” which Rodgers documents you’ll need to have to have the most effective financial structure.

  • Leg One: Tax-Deferred Savings Strategies. This section covers how to make the most of your IRA, 401(k), and other tax-deferred retirement vehicles.
  • Leg Two: After-Tax Savings Strategies. This section covers building your investment plan around the concept of asset allocation; five important risk-reducing investment strategies; and hot to structure your investments in the most tax-efficient way possible.
  • Leg Three: Tax-Free Savings Strategies. This section focuses on the smartest tax-free retirement savings methods; the Roth IRA and Roth 401(k) and how to convert your existing accounts into these options.

Rodgers places easy to understand “quick tips” throughout Don’t Retire Broke, these along with real world case studies were a great addition as I read along and is one small example of how the book provides great approaches to small ideas as well as providing expert explanations of more complex matters such as Retirement Distribution (R/D) Factor, Social Security, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and how new tax legislation will affect your retirement.

“The truth in matters of taxes is that once the IRS gets its hands on your money, it’s lost to the abyss that is the Federal Treasury. So you must act before that event takes.”

Don’t Retire Broke tells you how.

Chapter 6 – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or the more common Affordable Care Act (ACA) kept me engaged, from a retirement planning perspective, The ACA presents challenges and opportunities that Rodgers reviews and explains how to avoid or minimize the new taxes created in this massive legislation.

Final Thoughts

I consider myself to be in the middle stages of retirement planning and Don’t Retire Broke has given me much to consider. I’ve been concerned with saving more however Rodgers suggest that retiring comfortably today is not about saving more but about saving smart and using the following strategies; tax-deferred savings, after-tax savings and tax-free savings.

Available at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, audible, and audio CD formats, Don’t Retire Broke: An Indispensable Guide to Tax-Efficient Retirement Planning and Financial Freedom is dedicated to exploring each of these three critical topics in detail, so the reader can enter retirement with a balanced Three-Legged Stool.

Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

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