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Have you invested for retirement? Do you have extra cash flow? After you’ve built up a solid retirement base, here are some other strategies to consider:
General investment accounts provide you with flexibility. Individual or joint accounts can help you save for your short, medium, or long-term goals and allow you to invest without the restraints of tax-deferred accounts. Withdrawals are penalty-free in the near-term, though you will pay taxes on dividends and capital gains.
Tax loss harvesting is the process of selling securities at a loss to offset taxes on gains and income. This tool is especially valuable to long-term investors, and if you end up with more losses than gains, you can deduct up to $3,000 of the excess losses each year against your income.
A trust is a relationship where someone’s assets are held by a trustee for specified beneficiaries. A basic living trust places your assets into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime, and then transfers your assets to your designated beneficiaries at your death. Benefits include asset protection, tax breaks, and protection from probate in the event of your death.
529 plans are tax-advantaged savings accounts designed to encourage saving for future higher education costs. Your earnings grow tax-free, and if you spend the profits on approved college costs (tuition, housing, books) you can withdraw the money tax-free. Another option is a Roth IRA—contribute up to $5,500 a year (or $6,500 if you’re over age 50). There are no penalties for withdrawals before age 59 1/2 if the funds are used to cover higher education costs, and if your child doesn’t go to college, you can use the money for retirement.
A financial planner can help you identify the best non-retirement investment strategies to meet your goals. Next we’ll dive into planning for the future and how to pass on your assets to your family.