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Helping millennials overcome the retirement hurdle: Tax Strategy Scan

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Our weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about.

Why it's actually harder for millennial clients to save
Millennials should start retirement savings as early as possible to combat the rising cost of education and climbing home prices, according to CNNMoney. One Moody’s Analytics study shows clients under 35 are the only age group with a negative savings rate. "Millennials are hit with a tough combination of obstacles their parents didn't face," says Daniel Mahoney, president of True Square Financial in Atlanta. A 401(k) plan works because of tax deferral on contributions and employer's match, according to experts. They can also use a Roth IRA. While millennials don't get upfront tax deductions on the contributions, their savings grow tax-free and they can withdraw the principal without owing any taxes in retirement. They will also face no penalty if the account exists for at least five years.

Do you have to pay taxes on a buyout offer?
Workers who are offered a lump sum buyout for an early retirement cannot deposit the amount to their 401(k) plan, according to this article from the Cincinnati Enquirer. The windfall will also be subject to income tax, so consulting a tax professional can help them understand the tax implications of accepting a lump sum buyout. One option to minimize the tax impact is to spread the payments over two years.

Fifteen tax planning tips from analysts and industry experts advisers may consider in 2017.
December 5

Retirees, schedule an insurance audit
New retirees may want to review their life insurance policy to determine whether they still need the coverage, according to Kiplinger. Clients who are no longer in need of the policy may surrender it for the cash value, and it could trigger a taxable gain if the value is greater than the premiums paid. They may also use a 1035 exchange to convert life insurance into an annuity without a tax liability, or exchange the coverage for another similar policy or an annuity with a long-term health care rider without facing a tax bill.

5 ways for retirees to slash their expenses
One way for cash-strapped retirees to reduce their expenses is to relocate to a state with lower living costs, according to Motley Fool. They may also want to give up their personal vehicles, move to a smaller house and set a deadline for the financial support they give to their children. Another strategy to minimize spending is to make the most of all tax breaks available to them.

8 tax-free dividends you can buy now
Municipal bonds are great investment options for clients who are seeking tax-exempt returns, according to Nasdaq. However, the tax-free yields are not substantial, and the yields could even drop as funds get less risky. One alternative to tax-exempt muni bonds are high-yielding closed-end funds that invest in high-quality muni bonds.

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