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Summary Today’s topic is potential tax changes in 2026, when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is set to expire, potentially leading to increases in individual income tax rates, halved standard deductions, and altered estate planning exemption amounts. Taxpayers should stay informed and not act hastily since government action may be last-minute and the current tax benefits could be retained. Mark highlights that many could see a 1-4% tax increase, particularly those in higher tax brackets, potentially rising to 4-8%. The estate tax exemption might be halved to about $13 million per couple, affecting more people than the current $26 million threshold. Roth conversions and contributions are options to consider, but they come with risks and trade-offs, such as impacting eligibility for healthcare credits or raising Medicare premiums. Increased charitable giving and strategic gifting to family are ways to mitigate potential estate taxes. Business owners may need to reevaluate their structures if the 20% QBI deduction is eliminated. Financial planning requires informed decisions, considering various potential future tax environments. Mark advises viewers to stay alert, informed, and subscribe for more insights on achieving a healthier, wealthier, and happier retirement. Themes The key themes throughout this conversation are tax planning for retirement, legislative changes affecting taxes, proactive financial strategies, and informed decision-making. Specific sub-topics include the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) expiration, potential tax bracket changes, Roth conversions, estate planning, charitable giving, and the implications of tax planning on government benefits and premiums. Contextual Connections: 1. **Tax Planning for Retirement (00:00:58, 00:03:52, 00:06:45):** Mark Struthers emphasizes the importance of considering potential tax changes when planning for retirement, specifically in relation to the TCJA set to expire in 2026. He discusses how individual tax rates and deductions will likely change, affecting retirees and pre-retirees. 2. **Legislative Changes Affecting Taxes (00:02:03, 00:05:20):** Struthers highlights that the TCJA is set to sunset in 2026, resulting in many current tax benefits and exemptions being lowered or eliminated. He also mentions the uncertainties of governmental action and the need to stay informed. 3. **Proactive Financial Strategies (00:05:20, 00:08:16):** The speaker advises retirees to consider implementing financial strategies such as Roth conversions or adjusting their estate plans in anticipation of the tax changes, and considers other impacts like increased Medicare premiums and loss of tax credits. 4. **Informed Decision-Making (00:06:45, 00:10:04):** Throughout the conversation, Struthers reinforces the message that financial planning and related actions should be based on well-informed decisions and running scenarios to understand potential outcomes before making changes to one’s financial strategies. Insights: The overarching narrative of the transcript is to provide education and guidance for individuals who are nearing retirement or already in retirement, particularly concerning how the potential expiration of the TCJA in 2026 could impact their financial planning. Mark Struthers, the host and certified retirement counselor, consistently underscores the need for holistic financial preparation that includes keeping abreast of legislative changes, contemplating various proactive strategies, and making well-informed decisions to optimize one’s financial position in retirement. He particularly focuses on the necessity of considering tax implications, such as the pending increase in tax brackets post-TCJA sunset, potential strategies around Roth conversions, and the insightful planning of estate and charitable giving before hastily making decisions. This conversation is a reminder of the complexities of tax planning for retirement and the value of staying informed and prepared for legislative changes. Disclosure: Investment advisory services are offered through Sona Financial LLC (DBA Sona Wealth Advisors, Sona Wealth, Sona Wealth Management), an investment adviser registered in the state of MN. Sona Financial only offers investment advisory services where it is appropriately registered or exempt from registration and only after clients have entered into an investment advisory agreement confirming the terms of engagement and have been provided a copy of the firm’s ADV Part 2A brochure and document. This video is for educational purposes only. Nothing discussed during this show/episode should be viewed as investment advice. If you have questions pertaining to your specific situation, please consult your own financial professional.

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