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The Best Tax Breaks for People 50 and Over


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 here’s the 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 50 and to save even more of your money for the future.

401(k) catch-up contributions: In 2018, 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 $18,000 to $18,500 annually. But people 50 and over can tack on an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution, making for a $24,500 cap, Kuderna says.

Traditional and Roth IRA catch-up contributions: While these limits have stayed the same at a $5,500 base, people 50 and over can make an extra catch-up contribution of $1,000 to their traditional or Roth IRA account for a total of $6,500.

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 2018 from $3,400 to $3,450 for singles and $6,750 to $6,900 for families. Each person 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 healthcare 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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This material is a general description intended for general public use. Athene Annuity and Life Company, headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, and issuing annuities in 49 states and D.C., and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York, headquartered in Pearl River, NY, and issuing annuities in New York, are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about Athene products or their features. The term 'financial professional' is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business with compensation unrelated to sales. Financial professionals will be paid a commission on the sale of an Athene annuity.