Smarter Women Colorado is dedicated to helping women achieve financial freedom. We have access to state of the art insurance products which can facilitate your retirement planning, wealth building, financial and insurance needs. Pat Frederiksen of Smarter Women Colorado has been working with women for years, helping them to achieve financial freedom. The reason Pat… [Continue Reading]

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We love hearing from you! If you would like to find out more about our financial services, please feel free to call or fill out the form. We will get back with you as soon as possible. Smarter Women Colorado Pat Frederiksen 550 S. Wadsworth Blvd. Suite 401 Lakewood CO 80226 303-919-1020 cell 855-287-5880 toll… [Continue Reading]

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We offer these types of financial resources and visual aids to help you with preparing for all of your financial needs – please let us know if we have missed something! Financial Goal Curve We have different financial needs at different times in our lives. This curve shows how our financial needs start low, then… [Continue Reading]

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Social Security & Income Planning – the new rules

5/12 6 – 7:30pm Social Security and Income Planning
FUEL Financial, 1st Bank of Belmar- 550 S Wadsworth Blvd Lakewood CO 80226
• NEW SOCIAL SECURITY LAW- what’s changed?
• How spousal filing options are changing
• Avoid the most common filing mistakes
• Find more benefits you didn’t realize you were eligible for
• Increase lifetime benefits by tens of thousands of dollars
• Strategies to reduce Social Security taxes
• How to maximize ex, current and deceased spousal benefits
• Retirement income sources: pros and cons
• How to ensure life-long income
• Q and A opportunity with Social Security expert
RSVP 720-287-5880

Senior Deductions Colorado

⇒How the Senior Property Tax Exemption Can Work for You
This is a state program administered by your county.
The three basic requirements to qualify are:
1. the qualifying senior must be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year in which he or she qualifies;
2. the qualifying senior must be the owner of record, of current residence and must have been the owner of record for at least the 10 consecutive years prior to January 1;
3. the qualifying senior must occupy the property as his or her primary residence, and must have done so for at least the 10 consecutive years prior to January 1.
This exemption only applies to your primary residence.

⇒Income Tax
Higher standard deduction for age (65 or older). If you don’t itemize deductions, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction if you are age 65 or older at the end of the year. You are considered age 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. Therefore, you can take a higher standard deduction for 2015 if you were born before January 2, 1951.
https://www.irs.gov/publications/p554/ch04.html

⇒Social Security – the new rules as explained by Fidelity
The strategy: At or after an individual’s official FRA , (Full Retirement Age) a person could file a “restricted” application for “just” spousal benefits, while allowing his or her own future retirement benefit to grow.
The change: Social Security will no longer allow certain individuals to restrict an application to spousal benefits only; the individual will be required to file and claim all eligible benefits.
What happens: People age 62 or older at the end of 2015 will continue to have the option of restricting an application to spousal benefits only. People turning 62 in 2016 or later will have to claim all their benefits upon filing.

⇒Social Security –if you are divorced
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html
(The new rules state that your ex must be receiving SS benefits in order for you to receive half.)
If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if he or she has remarried) if:
• You are unmarried;
• You are age 62 or older;
• Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
• The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
Note: Your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. The benefits do not include any delayed retirement credits your ex-spouse may receive.
If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).
Note: The amount of benefits you get has no effect on the amount of benefits your ex-spouse or his or her current spouse may receive.

May 2016 Free Events

may pole5/1 May Day

 

 

5/1, 5/9 Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver 80205

tulips5/1 10am – noon Spring Wildflowers
Hildebrand Ranch Park, 9880 West Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton 80126
Stroll with a volunteer Native Plant Master, a CSU certified expert in Colorado’s native flora, along easy trails identifying and naming local plants. Search for spring flowers and discover the importance of native plants to wildlife and humans. Join us for a walk through the wealth of native wildflowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs that Jefferson County has to offer. Must register

bird5/1 6 – 8am Dawn Chorus at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
All ages, Free. Listen to a chorus of birdsongs at sunrise, take a short hike around the Refuge to identify birds. Meet at the main Two Ponds parking lot on 80th Avenue just east of Kipling Street. Sponsored by Founders and Friends of Two Ponds. Please call Two Ponds NWR directly to reserve your spot at 303-289-0867.
http://arvada.org/explore/open-space-nature/majestic-view-nature-center-division/public-classes

5/2 Screen Free Week – Turn off the screens and plug into fun!
Westminster libraries and recreation centers
To help get away from the screen and into some fun, admission to Westminster recreation facilities is free May 2-8 for kids 18 years and younger. Or get out and enjoy the outdoors on the trails and or in the parks. A Trivia Challenge is planned Saturday, May 7, 2-4 p.m. and a Game Day Extravaganza is scheduled Sunday, May 8, 1:30 p.m. both at College Hill Library.
For further information please contact Christine Johnson
Phone: 303-658-2620
Send email to: cajohnso@cityofwestminster.us

kids5/3 4 – 8pm Children’s Museum-Target Tuesday
2121 Children’s Museum Dr., Denver

 

5/4 7pm American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers
Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield 80020
Sarah and Greg set out to critically explore American culture, compassion, and fear by relying on the kindness of strangers for a home each night. Traveling through 30 states in 60 days, they spend every day in a new town, learning why people may or may not be willing to open their homes.
American Bear captures Americans yearning for face-to-face connections and navigating the risks inherent in sharing their stories with strangers.

palette5/5 – 5/8 Denver Potters Association Spring Show and Sale
Castle Clay Artists, Sixth Ave. United Church, 3250 E. 6th Ave., Denver 80206
Thursday: 3:00pm – 7:00pm, Friday: 10:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm
The Denver Potters Association Spring Show will bring together over 40 top local artists. In addition to one-of-a-kind functional and sculptural ceramics, the show and sale will feature the best in jewelry, glass and wood creations.

palette5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27 5-8pm Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock St. Denver 80204

tulips5/6 – 5/7 8am – 5pm Spring Plant Sale
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver 80206
Kick your gardening season off right at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale. More than 10 plant divisions (including veggies, annuals, perennials, and Plant Select) feature quality flora and are staffed by experts who can answer your plant questions and offer excellent advice.
Don’t forget to bring your own wagon or cart to haul your plants home!

note5/6 7:30pm Englewood Arts Concert – Guitar Rhythms and Alfredo Muro
Hampden Hall, Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood
Guitar Rhythms with Alfredo Muro – A Latin virtuoso who has won many awards in festivals around the world, performing romantic folk, jazz, Brazilian, and classical music in the intricate styles of Choro, Frevo, and Samba.
http://englewoodarts.org

palette5/6 First Friday Art Walks
First Friday Art Walk – Opening Reception for Why Not Niwot? 2016
5:00pm-8:30pm
Niwot, CO
Join us for our First Friday Art Walk, kicking off the People’s Choice voting for Why Not Niwot? 2016
Voting begins on the 6th and continues through May 30th
Why Not Niwot? is an art exhibition celebrating the uniqueness of Niwot
– See more at: http://niwot.com/events/first-friday-art-walk-2#sthash.BfydYKs8.dpuf
Art District on Santa Fe – Artify Your Brain. See, taste and feel the energy that is Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe
Belmar Block 7 Art District – Block 7 will feature four artist–owned working studios, a photographic school and a gallery showcasing a wide range of artwork by local artists. (Located in the Belmar City Center in Lakewood.)
Golden Triangle Museum District – Meet the artists, see new exhibitions, shop for local art and get inspired at the galleries open on First Friday. The neighborhood is also home to the Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, Kirkland Museum, Denver Firefighters Museum and the Byers–Evans House Museum with Plein Air art on display.
Navajo Street Art District – Stroll the district tucked away in the Lower Highlands area of Denver, home to amazing galleries, great performance art and ample parking. Join us for Day of the Dead celebrations. It’s truly one of the best little Art Districts in town to experience art!
Old South Gaylord & South Pearl – Take time to visit these two neighborhoods south of downtown Denver; both are home to many artist’s studios and galleries, along with one–of–a–kind shops and restaurants.
RiNo (River North Art District) – Tour the district “Where art is made!” RiNo is home to creative businesses and more than 60 galleries and studios and 150 artists including painters, media artists, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, designers and furniture makers.

old car5/7 81m – 3pm The 44th Avenue Rumble
Anderson Park, 44 Rumble, 4355 Field Street, Wheat Ridge 80033
Everyone is invited to bring your ride and show it off. Come see a collection of 200 hot rods, classics, muscle cars. trucks & bikes The 44th Avenue Rumble – Cruise & Poker Run is sponsored by businesses along the 44th Ave corridor. Register at Anderson Park in the morning. Poker Run begins at 11a.m. on 44th Ave.
Rain out date: May 14

bald eagle5/7, 5/14, 5/22, 5/29 9 – 10:30am Bald Eagle Discovery
Standley Lake
Take a guided nature tour through Standley Lake Nature Refuge to get an up-close look at our resident eagles. This tour will discuss every aspect of an eagles life from cultural significance and mating rituals to what they eat for breakfast. This tour is interactive, fun and exciting, while at the same time, you will learn everything you want to know about the bald eagle. Dress appropriately. You may want to bring sunscreen and water. All ages must register for this class through the City of Westminsters Activity Registration Webpage: https://prl-web.ci.westminster.co.us/scripts/webtrac.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbp=1 Park day entrance fee or pass required. Class is free! All ages. Class is limited to 20 spaces.
For further information please contact Sully Tun Ake
Phone: 3036582790
Send email to: stunake@cityofwestminster.us

5palette/7 Denver Art Museum
DAM, 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver 80204
http://www.denverartmuseum.org/

festival5/7 – 5/8 Cinco de Mayo Festival
Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax, Denver 80202
A weekend filled with food, fun and culture, Denver’s Cinco de Mayo ‘Celebrate Culture’ Festival puts the spotlight on the Mile High City’s vibrant Latino population. With more than 400,000 attendees expected, it’s one of Denver’s most fun and family-friendly events.

mother's day 25/8 Mothers Day

 

bird5/8 9 – 10am Who made that nest?
Standley Lake
There is something about discovering a birds nest that can be described as magical! In this program you will learn about Standley Lakes Birds and their nest. We will also be taking a short 30 minute walk to discover who made that nest in the park. You will get the opportunity to make and take home your very own bird Feeder to welcome our flying friends into your neighborhood! Ages 3-5. Cost is $3 per person. Class is limited to 10 spaces.
For further information please contact Sully Tun Ake
Phone: 303-658-2790
Send email to: stunake@cityofwestminster.us

5/8 11am – 12:30pm Baehrden Historic Lodge Tours
Pine Valley RanchPark, 30400 Crystal Lake rd., Pine 80470
Explore a unique time in Jefferson County by visiting the historic Baehrden Lodge. Built in 1927, Baehrden Lodge is a classic representation of the rustic Colorado Alpine style of architecture. Explore the renovated porch, great hall, and dining room. Take a closer look at the carvings of wildlife in the wood and wrought iron light fixtures. Enjoy free tours throughout the month.

tulips5/8 2 – 4pm Mother’s Day Wildflower Hike
Red-tail Park, 2674 Pemberly Ave., Highlands RanchJoin a Native Plant Master and Metro District Park Ranger on a hike up to Highlands Point. Take in the view from the highest point in Highlands Ranch while learning about some of the native wildflowers that grow in the area. Please leave your furry friends at home and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the Red-tail basketball courts.

telescope5/9 9am 12:30pm Mercury Transit
1. Crown Hill Park, Garland St. and 26th Ave., Lakewood 80215
2. Elk Meadow – Lewis Ridge Lot
3. Mount Falcon Park East
The smallest planet in our solar system will pass near the center of the sun at 9:00 am and reach its outer edge by 12:30 pm. Special solar viewing can be done at three different parks, so drop by at any point to observe this unique celestial event.
All ages. Registration is not required for this program. Please drop by anytime between 9:00 am – 12:30 pm to talk with a naturalist. The naturalist will be set up near the trailhead of Crown

note5/10 12 noon St John’s Cathedral Music at Noon – Polite Jazz Quartet
St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., Denver 80203
Playing in and around the Denver region, The Polite Jazz Quartet is one of the finest sets of musicians you will hear, adding a unique twist to the jazz standards and familiar songs. Music at Noon concerts are free performaces held on the second Tuesday of each month.

palette5/11, 5/20, 5/28 MOA – Museum of Outdoor Arts
1000 Englewood Parkway Suite 2-230 Englewood 80110
MOA offers indoor galleries, studios and special events and programs. http://www.moaonline.org/HOME/tabid/36/Default.aspx

5/12, 5/18, 5/24 Aurora History Museum
15051 E. Alameda Parkway Aurora, Colorado 80012 (map)
The only public, FREE museum in Aurora, Colorado, the Aurora History Museum is a community-based cultural center featuring changing history, natural history, culture, fine and decorative arts exhibits and programs. https://www.auroragov.org/ThingsToDo/ArtsandCulture/Museum/index.htm

light bulb5/12 6 – 7:30pm Social Security and Income Planning
FUEL Financial, 1st Bank of Belmar- 550 S Wadsworth Blvd Lakewood CO 80226
• NEW SOCIAL SECURITY LAW- what’s changed?
• How spousal filing options are changing
• Avoid the most common filing mistakes
• Find more benefits you didn’t realize you were eligible for
• Increase lifetime benefits by tens of thousands of dollars
• Strategies to reduce Social Security taxes
• How to maximize ex, current and deceased spousal benefits
• Retirement income sources: pros and cons
• How to ensure life-long income
• Q and A opportunity with Social Security expert
RSVP 720-287-5880

note5/13 7:30pm Lamont Steel Drum Ensemble
2344 East Iliff Ave., Denver 80208
Although they may not be what you might expect in Colorado, this ensemble provides a tour of the history and sounds of the carnival instruments of the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
*Ticket required

5/13 12noon – 4pm Four Mile Historic Park
715 S. Forest St. Denver 80246
Take a tour of the Four Mile House Museum, check out historic demonstrations, explore our 12-acre grounds, sample a treat from our summer kitchen, and greet our farm animals. Tours are at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30pm and are first come, first served. We’ll be offering our Hay Bales & Tall Tales story time from 12:00-1:00 pm.

5/13 Mizell Museum

dinosaur5/13 – 5/14 10am – 3pm Dinosaur Discovery Day – Earth & Sky
Dinosaur Ridge, 16831 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison 80465
Come join the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge on Saturday May 14th, 10am-3pm for a day of geology and fossil fun at Dinosaur Ridge.
Free hands-on activities such as gold panning, fossil sifting, and dinosaur track painting will be available at the Visitor Center!
Biking or hiking the trail is free or take the shuttle for $4/per person, 3 & under ride free. Dinosaur Ridge is located just west of the C-470 exit at Alameda Parkway

snake5/13 6 – 7:30pm For Goodness Snakes
Metro District Office Building, 62 W. Plaza Drive, Highlands Ranch
Curioussss about snakes or maybe just sssscared of them? Learn the facts about these legless reptiles and how they benefit our community. Get up close and personal with several kinds of live snakes!

trolly5/14 Castle Rock Historic Trolley Tour
Castle Rock Museum, 420 Elbert St. Castle Rock 80104
Join us for the 7th Annual Trolley Tour on Saturday, May 14, 2016. This year’s focus will be “History in our Neighborhood” visiting areas outside of Downtown Castle Rock including Rhyolite Park and other quarries, the old towns of Douglas & New Memphis and other points of interest along the way. Meet at the Castle Rock Museum to board the trolley. Tour times are at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm and are approximately 45 minutes long. Reservations recommended as seating is limited. Please call or email the museum to reserve your spot at (303)814-3164 or museum@castlerockhistoricalsociety.org.

note5/14 2pm Englewood Arts Concert – Spring Serenade
Hampden Hall, Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway, Englewood
Englewood Arts presents Spring Serenade featuring the music of Haydn, Elgar, and Grieg with Yi Zhao, CSO Assistant Concertmaster and the Up Close and Musical String Ensemble.
http://englewoodarts.org

5/14 8am 35th Annual High Line Canal Run 5K & 10K
deKoevend Park, 6301 S. University Blvd., Centennial 80121
Race includes pancake breakfast, 2 complimentary beers from the Breckenridge Brewery Beer Garden, goody bag, raffle prizes, awards, and awesome post-race expo! Long sleeve tech shirt, or long sleeve quarter zip pullover available for purchase. For more information & to register visit: http://bit.ly/1RpGWsn

mustang5/14 11am – 4pm Spring Open House at The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary
The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary, 42132 Ridge Rd., Deer Trail 80105

tulips5/14 8am Sat., 10am Sun Denver Master Gardener 11th Annual Spring Plant Sale
CSU Denver Extension, Harvard Gulch Park, 888 E. Iliff Ave., Denver 80210

5/19 5:30 – 8:30pm Thirsty Thursday
American Mountaineering Museum, 710 10th St. Golden 80401
Join us at the American Mountaineering Museum for a free event featuring live music, local craft beer, free museum admission, a gear giveaway.

flag5/21 10 – 11am Armed Forces Day Ceremony
Armed Forces Tribute Garden, 6001 W. 104th Ave.
Westminster honors those who serve or have served in the military. A flag ceremony, keynote address, patriotic entertainment and a reading of names of the new brick honorees are planned for this outdoor event. The Tribute Garden salutes the sacrifices, commitment and patriotism of those in our countrys armed services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. For Tribute Garden information visit www.tributegarden.org.
For further information please contact Leah Krumpholz
Phone: 303 658 2192
Send email to: lkrumpho@cityofwestminster.us

movie5/21 2 – 4pm Family Movie at Conifer Public Library
Relax on the first and third Saturdays with an afternoon movie for the whole family. These G and PG rated films will be a mix of recent movies and some classics from childhood that parents may want to share
http://jefferson.lib.co.us/locations/conifer-library

5/21 1pm Family Nature Games
Morrison Nature Center,,, 16002 E. Smith Rd., Aurora 80011
Join us for an afternoon of game playing family fun and challenge yourself to see how much you know about Aurora’s true nature. Call 303.326.8650 to register or go online www.auroragov.org/recreation. For more information call 303.326.8445.

note5/21 7 – 10pm Celebration Concert Series
Amphitheather at Philip S. Miller Park, West Plum Creek Pkwy, Castle Rock
Rejoice in our community with the Celebration Concert Series.
Soon to be a signature part of Summer, listen and dance to music under the stars at the New Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park. Think a miniature version of Red Rocks. These concerts by nationally known bands will be May 21, June 11, July 30, Aug. 27 & Sept 24.
Various music genres along with complimentary programming and vendor opportunities are the ingredients for perfect a summer evening at the park.

tulips5/23 9am – 5pm Hudson Gardens
6115 S Santa Fe Dr. Littleton 80120
http://www.hudsongardens.org/content/hoursandprices.php

5/27 – 5/28 The Big Wonderful
Downtown Littleton
An outdoor sustainable market that blends food, flea and entertainment, The Big Wonderful features a large outdoor craft beer garden built out of a storage container, beach volleyball, an urban farm, a full stage and much more. This is built for the whole family, but cool enough for everyone.

note5/28 2:30 – 9:30pm Denver Day of Rock
Downtown Denver , 16th Street Mall
For the seventh year in a row, the 16th Street pedestrian mall will be transformed into a massive block party with more than two dozen free rock concerts throughout the day. Food and beer gardens will be set up throughout downtown for the fundraising event. Amp the Cause, a Denver-based, non-profit organization raises funds for more than 50 children’s charities.
DenverDayofRock.com.

flag5/28 11am Memorial Day Celebration
756 Telluride Street Aurora, Colorado 80011
The Colorado Remembers Memorial Day celebration will be held at the Colorado Freedom Memorial. Activities begin at 11 a.m. with a ceremony followed by musical performances by talented entertainers. The concert is free and begins at 2 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the show. 303-739-7163

palette5/28 11am – 7pm ArtStir Denver
Denver Pavillions, 500 16th St., Denver 80202
An art market exclusively showcasing Colorado Creatives designed to stir up the artist in all of us with a spirited blend of Colorado art, music and style. ArtStir Denver 2016 will be at the Denver Pavilions along the 16th Street Mall in the heart of Downtown Denver over Memorial Day Weekend. Featured works include painting sculpture, photography, illustration, textiles, furnishings, mixed media and more.

flag5/28 10am – 12 noon 17th Annual VETERANS MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE
1340 Sherman St., Denver
Denver’s rite of spring observation of Memorial Day is held at the historic POF Hall just south of the state capitol. The respected “Tribute” ceremony honors Colorado’s fallen heroes in the presence of families, friends, entertainers, military / political figures and the public.
Features: All Branch military color guard, touching biographies & stories, all war wreath remembrance ceremony, music, patriotic inspiration & Navy bell “toll”.
The popular Tribute was founded in 2000 to honor veterans and military sacrifice from all wars. After 2001, the ceremonies focused on in on casualties from the Iraq, Afghanistan & War on Terror. The annual non profit Tribute is free & open to the public.

snake5/28 10am 12 noon Snake Awareness
Standley Lake
Standley Lake has partnered with Colorado Native Reptile Company to bring you a live educational animal program. We invite you to discover the importance of snakes in their environment, their identification, and snake bite first aid and treatment. All ages. Cost is $4 per person. Class is limited to 30 spaces. Sully Tun Ake Phone: 303-658-2790
stunake@cityofwestminster.us

flag5/30 Memorial Day

 

note5/30 5 – 8pm Prospect Sound Bites
Prospect New Town, Longmont 80504
Free Music & Food Truck Event at the Downtown Park in Prospect New Town, Longmont Colorado.
Dozens of food trucks and live music from bands such as Hazel Miller, FACE, Arcoda & more!

note6/4 6 – 10pm Kickoff Concert Feat. USAF Falconaires
Centennial Center Park, 13050 E. Peakview Ave., Centennial 80112

How 6 Types of Retirement Income are Taxed

tax dayHow 6 Types of Retirement Income Are Taxed

Consider the tax tab your income sources will generate in retirement.

By Sandra Block, Updated January 2015, Kiplinger

One of the biggest mistakes retirees make when calculating their living expenses is forgetting how big a bite state and federal taxes can take out of savings. And how you tap your accounts can make a big difference in what you ultimately pay to Uncle Sam.

Conventional wisdom has long held that you should tap taxable accounts first, followed by tax-deferred retirement accounts and then your Roth. This strategy makes sense for many retirees, but be careful if you have a lot of money in a traditional IRA or 401(k). When you turn 70 1/2, you’ll have to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from the accounts. If the accounts grow too large, mandatory withdrawals could push you into a higher tax bracket. To avoid this problem, you may want to take withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts earlier.

Here’s how retirement assets are taxed.

Tax-deferred accounts. Prepare to feel pain. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs and your 401(k) will be taxed as ordinary income, which means at your top tax bracket.
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Taxable accounts. Profits from the sale of investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate, are taxed at capital-gains rates, which vary depending on how long you’ve owned the investments. Long-term capital-gains rates, which apply to assets you have held longer than a year, can be quite favorable: If you’re in the 10% or 15% tax bracket, you’ll pay 0% on those gains. Most other taxpayers pay 15% on long-term gains. Short-term capital gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.

Interest on savings accounts and CDs and dividends paid by your money market mutual funds is taxed at your ordinary income rate. Interest from municipal bonds is tax-free at the federal level.

Roth IRAs. Give yourself a high five if your retirement portfolio includes one of these accounts. As long as the Roth has been open for at least five years and you’re 59 1/2 or older, all withdrawals are tax-free. In addition, you don’t have to take RMDs from your Roth when you turn 70 1/2.

Social Security. Many retirees are surprised—and dismayed—to discover that a portion of their Social Security benefits could be taxable. Whether or not you’re taxed depends on what’s known as your provisional income: your adjusted gross income plus any tax-free interest plus 50% of your benefits. If provisional income is between $25,000 and $34,000 if you’re single, or between $32,000 and $44,000 if you’re married, up to 50% of your benefits is taxable. If it exceeds $34,000 if you’re single or $44,000 if you’re married, up to 85% of your benefits is taxable.

Pensions. Payments from private and government pensions are usually taxable at your ordinary income rate, assuming you made no after-tax contributions to the plan.

Annuities. If you purchased an annuity that provides income in retirement, the portion of the payment that represents your principal is tax-free; the rest is taxable. The insurance company that sold you the annuity is required to tell you what is taxable. Different rules apply if you bought the annuity with pretax funds (such as from a traditional IRA). In that case, 100% of your payment will be taxed as ordinary income.  (If this is a ROTH, it grows tax deferred and comes out tax free!)

5 Things You Should Do Now That You Have Filed Your Income Taxes

tax day5 Things You Should Do Now That You Have Filed Your Income Taxes

1-Review Your Withholding.
It’s next to impossible to have exactly the right amount of money taken out of your check to leave you with a zero balance on your tax return. Far too little taken out of your paycheck can lead to costly penalties. A large refund may be nice, but it is really an interest-free loan to the government.
To adjust your withholding, fill out a new W-4 form with your employer or adjust your quarterly payment.

2-Prepare for Claiming All Your Tax Breaks
You may have noticed tax deductions and credits when preparing your 2015 taxes. Most people wait until the last minute to document their tax breaks. With the deductions and credits fresh in your mind, start collecting the documents and keep them in a central location now. This will make tax preparation time go much faster and you have less chance of losing a deduction. (I do this monthly so I don’t forget mileage, supplies or any other deduction.)

3-Review Your Investments
Tax rules change from year to year, however, your strategies can make the tax impact minimal. It is time to review how your 401(k), IRA, ROTH, etc. did from last year. Were they winners or losers? With most of 2016 ahead of you, at least knowing your options will help you save at tax time.

4-Check the Status of Your Tax Return
Before you check to see where you tax refund is, you should check the status of your tax return to make sure that your return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally you can get tax refund information 72 hours after the IRS has acknowledged the receipt of your efiled tax return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper tax return. If you return was rejected by the IRS, correct any errors. The amount of time it takes to get your refund depends on how you choose to receive it. Direct deposit take 7-21 days and check by mail at least 3-4 weeks after IRS approval.
http://www.efile.com/tax-refund/tax-refund-status/

If you’ve got all these ducks in a row, take a break.
Relax. Breathe. Do something fun.
You definitely deserve it.

5-Review Your Saving Strategies With a Professional
Do you already have a financial adviser? Then get a second opinion! If you are doing the same strategies as you did 10 or 20 years ago, it is definitely time for a fresh look at your options. The economy has changed and so should your strategies.
I can help you through a private consultation or attend one or more of our classes. Consultations and classes are free. Know your options so you can make an informed decision about your financial future.