The Best Tax Breaks for People 50 and Over

Finances

Ever since you started working, you’ve set aside a sizeable piece of your paycheck for retirement. All that time you’ve been building a nest egg, you haven’t had to pay taxes on the earned income in your investment account — and soon you’ll be able to crack it open and take advantage.

But there’s even better news: As you get closer to retirement, there are several other helpful tax breaks. Why does fortune favor seasoned workers? “Your 50s are typically your peak earning years, when you have the most disposable income,” says Bryan Kuderna, a certified financial planner with the Kuderna Financial Team in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and the author of Millennial Millionaire. “It’s that time in your life when you’re most apt to invest, so the government gives you extra opportunities and incentives to play catch up.”

Jump on these tax perks for those age 50 and older to save even more of your money for the future.

401(k) catch-up contributions: In 2019, everyone has the option to stash away an extra $500 in their company retirement plan, whether it’s a 401(k) or 403(b), with limits rising from $18,500 to $19,000 annually. But people 50 and over can tack on an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution, making for a $25,000 cap.

Traditional and Roth IRA catch-up contributions: Annual contribution limits are increasing for the first time in six years, from $5,500 to $6,000. People age 50 and over can make an extra catch-up contribution of $1,000 to their traditional or Roth IRA account for a total of $7,000.

HSA catch-up contributions: “Now’s a prime time to invest in your health,” says Kuderna. Luckily, health savings account (HSA) contribution limits have risen in 2019 from $3,450 to $3,500 for singles and $6,900 to $7,000 for families. Each person age 55 and over can contribute an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution to their HSA. “This is tax deductible and can be used tax-free for qualified health care expenses,” he says.

Penalty-free withdrawals from 401(k) accounts: Tempting as it is to tap all that money in your 401(k), you’ll incur a 10 percent penalty if you withdraw anything before age 59 and a half. But once you reach that age, you can take out money without penalty, Kuderna says. And if you’re 55 or older when you leave your job, you’re in the clear to start receiving distributions from your 401(k).

 

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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