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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75383  
Subject: Re: Withdrawal Strategies...Again Date: 3/9/2014 2:57 PM
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As long as the tax rate on capital gains and qualified dividends is 0% for a large number of retirees (0% on the first $35,350 for singles, $70,700 for married), a taxable account is as "tax-advantaged" as a Roth IRA.

Thank you. That was my gut feeling, so what I was reading made no sense for our situation.

I took our current TIRA balance and calculated out it's value when DH turns 70, ran that through the RMD calculator. We've maxed out our tax advantaged savings since we started working and invested pretty aggressively, so the RMD if we don't draw down or convert will be way larger than we could possibly need. Obviously we don't need to spend that, but if we don't plan this out we are at risk for being in at least as high a tax bracket as when working, and absolutely much higher when one of us predeceases the other. It's a nice problem to have, but it is even nicer to avoid the tax end of that problem. Would have been even smarter not to max out our IRAs and keep more funds in taxable accounts, but we are able to retire early because we put our savings contributions on aggressive auto pilot, and that's water under the bridge. Will have to rethink that strategy when it comes to advising the kids.

And if you're taking a capital gain, some portion of the proceeds is likely to be a tax-free return of capital, so $70,700 will cover much more than a $1.78 million portfolio.

I hate to be so obtuse on this, but shifting gears from accumulation mode to spending mode means I have much to learn. When you take capital gains, doesn't that go towards your income base? So in other words, if we had $40,000 in TIRA witdrawals and $80,000 in capital gains, would the basis for the tax on capital gains be the $40K or the $120K? Or is what you are saying that by selling $80K in stock, the capital gains may only be $30K when you net out the initial cost of the stock, so we still only get taxed on the $40K in TIRA income, because our total income would only be $70K.

Hmmm, I can see where for the disciplined saver, one who is not tempted to spend just because it is there, it's probably not best to put funds in a TIRA. Of course, we didn't always have a choice, and we rolled a few 401Ks into TIRAs. The understanding is a little late for our accumulation phase, but will come in handy in advising the kids.

IP
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