The SECURE Act – Compression of the Stretch IRA

After 10 years or so of “this legislation will pass soon”, at the end of 2019 the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act finally became law.

Besides a cool acronym, the SECURE Act offers a wide range of changes and “enhancements” to 401(k)s, IRAs, and 529s, as well as a whole slew of incentives for small businesses to add or expand retirement plans to both full and part-time workers.

In my opinion, most of the changes (including the much-touted compression of the stretch IRA) are of limited interested (to the living.)

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Double Your Roth Contributions (Without Working or Earning More)

2X the Contribution, 1/2 the Work

Earning a little income in your retirement years is becoming increasingly common.

Some choose to work part-time for benefits or socialization or fun, and others accidentally make a little extra while pursuing their hobbies or passions.

With a powerful investment portfolio behind these (early) retirees, this income is often just added to a Roth IRA for further tax-free growth.

Now, what if there was a way to double those Roth contributions without working or earning more? Turns out, there is.

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Hacking the Health Savings Account (HSA) for College

using a health savings account to increase college financial aid

(GCC: Taxes and college tuition are 2 of the greatest expenses parents will face. But what if there was a tax hack that could reduce the cost of both? Today’s guest post shares the details… Read on!)

Hi Go Curry Cracker readers! I’m Kim from The Frugal Engineers. We are a family of three retiring in our thirties in Wyoming, and I’m here to talk tax hacking for college!

Over the last nine years of running our own engineering businesses, we’ve been tracking various tax optimization strategies. One of our favorite tax hacks is using our health savings account for college funds. By lowering our tax burden and maximizing our eligibility for college financial aid, we’re able to retire earlier and enjoy more time with our daughter. This post details part of our overall strategy for college planning in early retirement.

We max out our health savings account (HSA) each year that we’re eligible based on our health insurance. For a family of three in 2019 with a qualifying high deductible health insurance plan, that’s $7,000 a year. We pay cash for any medical, dental and vision expenses that we incur right now and save the receipts for reimbursement during the college years.

In fact, I refer to medical receipts as “future college tuition vouchers” in our house.

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Our $75,000 Lifestyle Requires a $210,000+ Job Income

retirement tax strategy in action

Strategery

A couple of years after leaving the workforce, an aggressive headhunter was trying to recruit me for a California based tech company.

Recruiter: “How much salary would you need to take on a role like this?”
Me: About $500k
Recruiter: “We were thinking more around $250k…”
Me: Oh, you were just looking for somebody part-time then…?

Obviously, I stopped receiving recruiting emails.

But, having the bizarre way of thinking about the world that I do, I invested a little time to calculate just how much income I really would need to fund our lifestyle via more traditional means.

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