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Note that BruceCM is assuming you've already taken off at least the standard deduction from the ordinary income.

Yes. The $50k was just an example, and I did mean after standard deduction. I actually had to google "form 1040" to verify that Taxable Income was the right term (it is).

Another kind of important take-away to those like Engr27's example who have QD + LTCG in both the 0% and 15% bracket, is what is the marginal tax rate on each dollar of ordinary income added. Interestingly, its not the 12% you might think it to be....its actually 27%.

Holy crap! It's kind of amazing that I've never seen that fact mentioned anywhere else. I'm not retired quite yet, but I'm trying to plan out how to utilize pension and SS versus LTCG. I don't want to re-ignite the debate on when to start SS, but another factor in favor of delaying it is to keep ordinary taxable income low in order to be able to "liberate" some LTCGs at a low tax rate (which may not be around for long). This effective marginal rate may be very relevant to those decisions. My pension has the same flexibility to delay payments and thereby get higher payments.
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