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Old 03-19-2017, 04:56 PM   #61
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The "quick look" is all the more reason to reduce by the future tax liability, IMO.


If I convert $100K of my tIRA to a Roth, and pay 20% in fed+state taxes on the conversion, I suddenly have $20K less in total investments, even though my financial situation really didn't change. I'd rather than I always counted that as $80K so that my overall number doesn't change just because of conversion from one account to another.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:17 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
The "quick look" is all the more reason to reduce by the future tax liability, IMO.


If I convert $100K of my tIRA to a Roth, and pay 20% in fed+state taxes on the conversion, I suddenly have $20K less in total investments, even though my financial situation really didn't change. I'd rather than I always counted that as $80K so that my overall number doesn't change just because of conversion from one account to another.
I agree. I converted 61k last year with effective fed tax at 6%. I did not rework the state tax to see what the state effective tax rate was on the conversion. I pay the tax on the conversion with after tax $. For me this was close to the top of the 15% bracket.

I just can't really see planing this all out over the next 20 to 50 years.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:01 AM   #63
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Interesting thought, but what tax rate?
Right now, I am in the 0% tax rate, except for the additional premiums for the ACA. If I take very much from the IRA (or convert too much) then I am in the marginal 15%. When I take RMDs, i expect to be in the 15-25% tax bracket if the markets are up, the 0% to 15% if they are level or lower and I have been good on the ROTH conversions.
So I ask again what rate should we use?

BTW, the above assumes that we get no changes in the tax rates for the next 13 years!!
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:28 AM   #64
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Interesting thought, but what tax rate?
Right now, I am in the 0% tax rate, except for the additional premiums for the ACA. If I take very much from the IRA (or convert too much) then I am in the marginal 15%. When I take RMDs, i expect to be in the 15-25% tax bracket if the markets are up, the 0% to 15% if they are level or lower and I have been good on the ROTH conversions.
So I ask again what rate should we use?

BTW, the above assumes that we get no changes in the tax rates for the next 13 years!!
A good question, but as I tried to say before, irrelevant to the decision of where to account for taxes. If you don't take taxes off your net worth, you have to include them in your future expenses estimate, so either way you have to make your best estimate of the tax rate you'll pay.

Personally I use 15% for federal and 6% for state, even though some of it will be taxed at 0 or 10% federal. It's a nice buffer, though I'm thinking about changing it to closer to the real tax rate I tend to pay, to give me a more accurate picture.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #65
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Full value used

I treat our assets as a perpetual base, so I use full, pre-tax dollar estimates for all assets. I'm producing incomes from all of the assets and not intending to ever draw them down.

The incomes (REIT returns, dividends, bond fund yields, etc.) come out of the accounts on their own schedule and are taxed at the appropriate level of the day. I have an accurate estimate of the after-tax income the total asset base is producing so I know the tax situation very closely.

When assets have to be sold or are chosen for sale (for good reasons hopefully), the capital gains will be handled the same way.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:40 AM   #66
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I've converted over $200k over the last few years (to the top of the 15% tax bracket) and paid about 7.3% on average.

Before Roth conversions our taxes would be zero... no ACA subsidy in our case. So some is tax free since it is covered by deductions and exemptions, some is at 10%, and in some years some may be at 15%. We've paid as little as 2% and as much as 9.7%.

If I were to calculate deferred taxes then I would probably use 10% since there is no way we will convert all our tIRAs before SS starts and we are in a higher tax bracket.

The other interesting question is if were are in a higher tax bracket when SS starts, does the higher tax rate apply to SS (for which we do not reflect as an asset therefore no deferred taxes) or to our tIRA.... which came first, the chicken or the egg?.... a rabbit hole I don't care to go down now that I am retired and have much better things to do.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:12 AM   #67
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A good question, but as I tried to say before, irrelevant to the decision of where to account for taxes. If you don't take taxes off your net worth, you have to include them in your future expenses estimate, so either way you have to make your best estimate of the tax rate you'll pay.

Personally I use 15% for federal and 6% for state, even though some of it will be taxed at 0 or 10% federal. It's a nice buffer, though I'm thinking about changing it to closer to the real tax rate I tend to pay, to give me a more accurate picture.
When I run RIP I use 20% fed and 5% state. Since RE that has grossly over estimated taxes. I also ignore some of my assets sometimes.

When I calculate NW, I usually just sum all or most or all our investable assets and ignore embedded taxes.

When dealing with investments I place them in the accounts most suitable for the tax characteristics of the investments. I will harvest CG or CL as appropriate at the time. Try to realize taxable events when the tax is more modest.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:26 AM   #68
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I've converted over $200k over the last few years (to the top of the 15% tax bracket) and paid about 7.3% on average.

Before Roth conversions our taxes would be zero... no ACA subsidy in our case. So some is tax free since it is covered by deductions and exemptions, some is at 10%, and in some years some may be at 15%. We've paid as little as 2% and as much as 9.7%.

If I were to calculate deferred taxes then I would probably use 10% since there is no way we will convert all our tIRAs before SS starts and we are in a higher tax bracket.

The other interesting question is if were are in a higher tax bracket when SS starts, does the higher tax rate apply to SS (for which we do not reflect as an asset therefore no deferred taxes) or to our tIRA.... which came first, the chicken or the egg?.... a rabbit hole I don't care to go down now that I am retired and have much better things to do.
Like many of these tax discussion... "how much is the last dollar taxed". So they say if I increase my income by $1, then what is the tax difference. People do this all the time especially with regards to ACA subsidies. They don't often say I have $1 of LTCG or Q-Divys ... and how much tax does that add (including ACA subsidy).

I think after the % of SS that will be taxed, the tax is at the same taxing method for both SS and RMD -- with the exception of embedded tax basis in your IRAs. So it really doesn't matter. But you knew that
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:52 PM   #69
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Yes, I'm aware of the issues surrounding pensions, it's just that my pension is so big that to ignore it for net worth calculations would make any calculation of net worth meaningless. And after all, net worth calculations are really only useful (once retired) for making you feel good and comparisons, so..... Also, I have elected for full survivor benefits so the pension does continue till my spouse dies. Agree about not including SS (Canadian equivalent) as this would not be material.
OK, but 1) pension streams are income, not NW imo, & 2) NW isn't useless to me as it figures into understanding what we can spend, including gifting, in the future for us.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:56 PM   #70
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however the benefit of cost basis step-up would go away if estate tax is repealed.
Most likely, not for certain imo. But if your scenario is the case, most are better off with the estate tax.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #71
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Yep.

With RMD's kicking in, our retirement tax rate (effective, not marginal; fed + state) is sliding up into the 20% range. Planning spending without considering the impact of writing those checks would be capricious.

Generally, the details of how one calculates NW depends on what you're planning to use the answer for. There's no doubt that folks in medium or high tax brackets who have significant deferred savings need to consider the impact of taxes for some calculations.
Agree.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:07 PM   #72
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Interesting thought, but what tax rate?

BTW, the above assumes that we get no changes in the tax rates for the next 13 years!!
Since RMD's will happen & our income will be near-constant till then, including current IRA withdrawals, I guesstimate to the overall rate we'll be paying then. Now we pay and effective rate of 7-9% of MAGI depending on year, but expect that to move to near 15% since we get pushed up a bracket on marginal income. Need more M in MAGI!!

I can't anticipate how tax rates might change.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:42 PM   #73
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Yes we always include the NPV of pension to make our projections. We also exclude real estate.
Kind of what I do. Actually keep two different Net Worth values - one total NW and one retirement "NW". Both include the NPV of my projected pension, but the retirement "NW" excludes house value, college savings, HSA accounts, etc.

Track Net Worth, but dont use that in and of itself for anything.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:21 PM   #74
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One more point to make since I'm beating this into the ground anyway. I use a % of my NW as my target for expenses for the year. If I include all income taxes as an expense, that can vary quite a bit depending upon how much Roth conversion I do, and whether I liquidate some assets that yield a capital gain, or if I don't have to sell anything that year or take a capital loss. I don't want to manage my other expenses differently based on what I do with Roth conversions and cap gains.


Instead, I separate out the income taxes due to those events, and don't count them against my yearly expenses, and my % of NW is based on after tax value of my portfolio.


Practically speaking, I try to smooth out my income over the years, but things like taking the ACA subsidy while it's available, and perhaps not if the income limit is repealed does make for some variability.


This makes the most sense to me for my situation. It may not be a good model for others. In strict accounting terms it may not be "correct", but I answer to no one else (except the IRS) and I don't see how doing it my way would give me incorrect numbers that the other way wouldn't.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:06 PM   #75
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Since 2013's American Taxpayer Relief Act in the US there has been exemption portability, which is very similar, however the benefit of cost basis step-up would go away if estate tax is repealed.
Maybe, but not necessarily. Step-up applies today in cases where then exemption exceeds the estate so there is no estate tax, which is the majority of estates so it isn't a slam dunk that step-up would go away if the estate tax is repealed.

If step-up did go away, it might be a great, pretty-much under-the-radar way to raise revenue!
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:17 AM   #76
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OK, but 1) pension streams are income, not NW imo, & 2) NW isn't useless to me as it figures into understanding what we can spend, including gifting, in the future for us.
Agree. I am aware of this but still feel, for comparisons, including a capitalized pension value in my net worth calculation makes sense for me. I guess I can do this if I wish. Doesn't matter to me what others, (presumably with a much smaller pension) do.

Also agree that it is important to know what your tangible net worth is for estate and gifting purposes. After all you can't gift a pension.
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