PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2012) - Financial planner Rick Rodgers offers practical advice for retirement planning in uncertain times in his new how-to guide, "The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach To Retirement Planning" (www.RodgersSpeaks.com).
The key to planning in this environment of looming tax increases is diversification, he writes.
"Don't abandon the great tax-deferred tools we have, but don't make them the cornerstone of a long-term strategy," he says. "Tax planning should be built around three types of savings -- tax-deferred, tax-free (Roth IRA) and after-tax. This is called the New Three-Legged Stool approach to achieving tax efficiency."
The goal is to hold your savings equally among the three legs. The tax-deferred leg gives you immediate tax benefits but will be the most costly place to take money from in the future. The tax-free leg offers the best source of future income, and the after-tax leg has the least amount of restrictions.
For instance, by converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you pay taxes at today's lower rates and all future earnings in the account are tax-free, if you wait five years and are age 59 1/2 or older when you take withdrawals.
"Taxpayers have been told deferring their income will minimize taxes. A common recommendation is to maximize 401(k) plan and IRA contributions because you will be in a lower tax bracket when you retire," Rodgers says. "This strategy has worked over the past 25 years as tax rates have come down. It may not work as we move forward."
"Three-Legged Tax Stool" has been hailed as an easy-to-digest guide for a complex topic:
"Along with tax savings, Rick also discusses methods of minimizing risk through asset allocations," writes Amazon reviewer E. Godshalk. "I suspect that many investors would have fared far more favorably in the latest economic downturn in the financial markets, if they had better diversification in asset allocations, and a smart plan in place."
About Rick Rodgers
Certified Financial Planner Rick Rodgers is president of Rodgers & Associates, "The Retirement Specialists," in Lancaster, Pa. He's a Certified Retirement Counselor and member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. Rodgers has been featured on national radio and TV shows, including "FOX Business News" and "The 700 Club," and is available to speak at conferences and corporate events (www.RodgersSpeaks.com).