The end of the year is the perfect time to start thinking about taxes, especially if you’re retired. Here are my favorite 2 tax planning tips for retirees.

  1. Utilize Zero Percent Capital Gains

One of my favorite tax planning tips for retirees is taking advantage of zero percent capital gains. Long term capital gains are taxed at 0% if you’re single and have income less than $39,475 taxable income in 2019. Married income must be less than $78,750 in taxable income. If you have no other income, dividends, etc. and you use the standard deduction of $12,200 and $24,400 for single and married filing jointly respectively, you could actually capture gains of $51,575 and $103,150 and pay no tax on the gains.

A 100% gain on each investment would give you $103,150 ($51,575 x 2) and $206,300 worth of income for single and married filing jointly returns at 0% tax. For retirees, that’s money you can live off of and owe no taxes at the end of the year.

2. Roth Conversations Make the Most of Low Tax Rates

Another great tax planning tip is to conver IRA money to Roths. The Federal Debt isn’t going down. Neither is the federal deficit. The chances that tax rates will increase in the future are pretty good. As a result, converting money as current low tax rates could be an attractive option, especially if you can keep it in the 12% tax bracket.

If you are single and use standard deductions, you can convert up to $51,575 and pay no more than 12% federal taxes. Married filing joint couples can convert $78,750 and stay in the 12% bracket. That much better than previous 2017 tax rates of 25% or even 15%.


Taxes are not going anywhere. Nobody wants to pay any more taxes than they have to. Taking advantage of zero capital gains and Roth conversions at low tax rates are a sure way you can minimize what you pay each year.

For more on tax strategies check out:

Advanced Tax Deferral

Using Stock Market Losses to Lower Your Taxes

Tax Planning in a Recession

Rich Feight, CFP
Rich Feight, CFP

Hi, I'm Rich Feight I'm a fee-only Certified Financial Planner, successful business owner, and self-made millionaire that knows how to beat the system and become wealthy. I have a lot of clients that have done it too. I'm also pretty good at finding that ever-elusive work/life balance so many of us strive for. Lucky for you I have an abundant mindset and give all my knowledge away on my blog. So if you want to know what it takes to become a millionaire, follow me.