SOURCE: Golden Gateway Financial

December 01, 2008 08:06 ET

Retirement Experts Share Year-End Tax Tips for Senior Citizens

Reverse Mortgages Can Provide Injection of Tax-Free Money Before Year-End

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - December 1, 2008) - As the end of a challenging financial year comes to a close, many senior citizens are searching for new ways to save money during their retirement. Retirement expert Eric Bachman and Certified Public Accountant Jeanne Duhe share six year-end tax tips that are simple yet intelligent ways for senior citizens to save money on their 2008 taxes.

1. Take a Senior Citizen Deduction

The IRS allows those age 65 and over to take an additional deduction worth $1,350 for single filers or $2,100 for a married couple. This also applies to individuals who do not itemize their deductions because it is added to their standard deduction.

2. Claim Stock Losses Now

Those seniors with stock losses should consider taking them before year-end. Losses are used to offset any stock gains, including gain distributions from mutual funds. In addition to offsetting gains, seniors can claim up to $3,000 in losses per year to effectively reduce taxable income for 2008. Any losses in excess of that amount are carried forward to future returns.

3. Seniors Seeking Cash Should Consider a Reverse Mortgage

Income earned from a reverse mortgage is tax free, meaning that seniors in need of cash can unlock the equity in their homes as a lump sum payment in 2008 with no tax implications. A reverse mortgage remains a viable financial tool for those 62 and older because it does not take into account credit history or a borrower's current financial situation.

4. Pay Outstanding Medical Bills Now

An individual with either a low taxable income or large medical expenses should consider paying all outstanding medical bills before the end of the year as an additional deduction. This would include supplemental health insurance, doctor bills, hospital bills and prescription drugs. Eligible deductions also include medical mileage, the number of miles traveled to and from the doctor, pharmacy, or hospital.

5. Be Aware of Social Security Income Threshold

Those senior citizens who continue to work while drawing social security should be aware of mandated income thresholds. If income exceeds $25,000 for one person or $32,000 for a married couple, then social security begins to be counted as taxable income. This can be a large burden on senior citizens. If a senior is close to these income limits, they should consider pushing some income into next year to protect all of their social security from income taxes.

6. Understand IRS Rules for IRAs

The IRS requires taxpayers to begin withdrawing funds from their IRAs in the year after the year they turn 70 and one half. In that instance, seniors would then be obligated to take two withdrawals to include the current year, potentially entering them into a higher tax bracket. In most cases then, seniors should plan ahead and begin withdrawals in the year that they actually turn 70 and one half to avoid this scenario.

"Senior citizens are being squeezed like never before and need to take advantage of any savings available to them," said Eric Bachman, founder and CEO of Golden Gateway Financial, a comprehensive online financial resource for seniors and retirees. "With a few savvy moves, senior citizens can save themselves hundreds or even thousands of dollars in income taxes."

"Older Americans need to be aware of the benefits made available to them by the IRS," said Duhe, a certified public accountant and principal of Jeanne S. Duhe, LLC. "These are effective ways to save money in order to extend existing budgets even further."

For more tips or to find information about Golden Gateway Financial's industry leading suite of online retirement assessment tools and resources, please visit www.goldengateway.com. Golden Gate Financial encourages senior citizens to always seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding their financial situation.

About Golden Gateway Financial

Golden Gateway Financial, located in Oakland, California, is a comprehensive resource for senior citizens, baby boomers and soon-to-be retirees to assess their financial health at retirement. Golden Gateway helps clients reduce money concerns and live better during what should be the best years of their lives. The company's recognized resources, online tools, and award winning calculators make it the intelligent choice for seniors and their families who want unbiased and clear communication, comparison shopping for a reverse mortgage or life settlement, and related services to help enjoy retirement. www.goldengateway.com

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Michael Azzano
    Cosmo PR for Golden Gateway Financial
    415.596.1978
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