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How clients can offset taxes when converting to a Roth IRA: Retirement Scan

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Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

How can I offset taxes when I convert to a Roth IRA?
Retirement investors can use their loss carryforward to write off the taxes triggered by a Roth IRA conversion, according to this article on MarketWatch. However, they can only use $3,000 of the capital losses carried forward to offset their capital gains in the following year, and another $3,000 to wipe out their ordinary income. Clients can only use their long-term losses to offset long-term gains, and they can only write off their short-term gains using their short-term gains.

Ask Larry: Will my wife lose spousal when I get retirement benefits?
A client who is collecting only a spousal benefit on her retired husband's account must have filed for restricted application at age 66 and did not filed and suspended her own retirement benefit, according to this article on Forbes. She will also continue receiving her spousal benefit even when her spouse starts collecting his own retirement benefit at age 70. She can shift to her own retirement benefit when she reaches the age of 70, and expect an increase in her monthly benefit payout.

There are 2 primary types of retirement savings accounts — and people don't realize you can use both
Unknown to many, clients have the option to contribute to a 401(k) and an IRA at the same time, according to this article on Yahoo Finance. These accounts may also come as a traditional account or a Roth account. A traditional 401(k) and traditional IRA accept pretax contributions, while a Roth 401(k) and a Roth IRA are funded with after-tax dollars. Most experts prefer a Roth IRA, and while some clients cannot contribute to account because of income limits, they may consider making non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA and convert the savings into a Roth.

Retirement at 65 becomes a reach for some, as seniors stay in the workforce
A study by AARP has found that almost one in five Americans aged 65 and above continue working either full- or part-time, as the Great recession forced them to remain employed to make money, according to this article on CNBC. "It is financially driven," says an expert with AARP. "Our research shows us that 34 percent of the people we surveyed tell us that financial drivers are a major reason why they're staying in the workforce."

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