UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (18) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: madbrain Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75532  
Subject: Re: Retirement savings options for high-income e Date: 1/4/2011 7:15 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
unixjunkie,

I am in a very similar situation. Not married here though, and no kids. But income between my partner and myself is about the same as yours. We owe more on our house. Between 20-30 years to retirement depending on our health outlook.

1) The after-tax 401k option is a good one. It is indeed like a non-deductible traditional IRA.

My employer lets me withdraw the after-tax funds and associated earnings every 12 months. These can then be rolled over to a Roth IRA.
I just scheduled that annual roll-over this morning. See if your 401k plan allows the same option. It is a very good one. Tax is only due only on the earnings at conversion time.

2) For the same reason, there is no reason not to make non-deductible traditional IRA contributions, and roll over the funds the next day to a Roth IRA. This is basically a loophole to contribute to a Roth IRA. Use it while it's available.

3) Investment options within the plan are a matter separate from taxes. Taxes depend on what plan the funds are invested in, and when the withdrawal is made. In 401ks and IRAs, there is no tax due annually until withdrawal. This is not dependent on what fund you invest in.

Do you have an aversion to the pre-tax 401k option ? I'm in a higher federal tax bracket than you since I can't get legally married to my partner, so I believe my federal tax rate will go down over time when it becomes legal. Also, California has a high state income tax also so that's another incentive for me to contribute pre-tax.

I'm currently putting annually :
$16500 in pre-tax 401k
$6500 in employer match (roughly)
$23000 in after-tax 401k (rolled over to Roth IRA annually)
$5000 to traditional IRA (rolled over to Roth IRA annually)

After the 2 annual rollovers are done, this leaves me with 2 plans.

1) 401k plan which contains only pre-tax money, from pre-tax contributions and employer matching contributions, as well as earnings.
Tax is due on all withdrawals during retirement.

2) Roth IRA, which contains only after-tax money, and earnings.
No tax is due on any withdrawals during retirement.

This means that in retirement, if I retire after 59 1/2, I will be able to do my tax planning by choosing which plan to withdraw from, depending on what's most advantageous and the tax situation at the time.

Most likely, I will retire before 59 1/2 though, and elect section 72t distributions from one or both plans.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (18) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

The Retire Early Home Page
Discussion on accelerating retirement day.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement