Five Tax Moves Retirees Should Consider Before Dec. 31

Now is the prime time to start thinking about optimizing your Roth conversions, RMDs, capital gains, Medicare premiums and charitable giving before the end of the year.

An older couple look over paperwork while sitting at a table together with a laptop.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For me, the dread of tax season truly arrives when I start receiving 1099s, W-2s, 1098s, etc., in February. It’s time to gather everything, fill out a painful spreadsheet and write a check to my CPA. The fourth quarter, on the other hand, is fun. This is when you can be strategic. A tax puzzle emerges with, sometimes, very favorable, or very unfavorable, results. The fourth quarter is for tax planning, not tax reporting.

I realize that I’m in the minority in thinking that tax planning is fun. However, the things you do before Dec. 31 are typically what save you the bigger dollars. And saving bigger dollars is fun for everyone.

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DOB/birth yearFirst RMD
6/30/49 or earlier70½

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Evan T. Beach, CFP®, AWMA®
President, Exit 59 Advisory

After graduating from the University of Delaware and Georgetown University, I pursued a career in financial planning. At age 26, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.  I also hold the IRS Enrolled Agent license, which allows for a unique approach to planning that can be beneficial to retirees and those selling their businesses, who are eager to minimize lifetime taxes and maximize income.