5 tax moves investors retiring in 2017 should make now: Retirement Scan

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Retiring in 2017? Here are 5 tax moves to make now
Clients who intend to retire next year are advised to max out tax-deductible contributions to their 401(k) plan and IRA to pay less in taxes this year, according to this article on Motley Fool. They may also want to accelerate medical expenses and make charitable donations to qualify for tax deductions, and they may consider selling depreciated securities to realize losses that they can use to offset capital gains and reduce their tax bill. Those who are close to 70 1/2 by the time they retire next year should prepare to take required minimum distributions from their tax-deferred retirement accounts, as they face a hefty tax penalty if they fail to take a distribution on time.
40% of Americans don’t know how their investments are allocated; here’s help
Forty-two percent of retirement investors polled by Prudential Investments claim they don't know the asset allocation in their investment portfolios, according to this article on MarketWatch. The survey also shows that 74% of the respondents feel they should have more involvement in their accounts, with 40% saying that they know nothing about retirement preparation. “For most Americans, logging into their typical 401(k) screen is a lot like reading a foreign language or math formula,” says an expert.

How to boost your Social Security check by 85 percent
Many experts say that seniors can expect a 76% increase in Social Security retirement benefits if they opt to delay their claims until they turn 70, according to this article on Bloomberg. A study by researchers at Boston College's Center for Retirement Research has found that the increase could even be as high as 85% for older people who decide to continue working past their retirement age. This is because working retirees are receiving bigger pay that can replace their low-earning years, allowing them to boost their 35 years of employment income, which is the basis for computing their benefits.

Ask Larry: Is money from an invention counted under the Social Security earnings test?
A senior on Social Security who intends to sell his invention to a company should weigh his options because of the program's Earnings Test, according to this article on Forbes. Seniors who are subject to this test can expect a reduction in their retirement benefits until they reach their full retirement age.

How should near-retirees deploy their net worth?
Couples who are approaching retirement are advised to shift their thinking from saving and investing to creating reliable sources of retirement income and dealing with the financial risks associated with retirement, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. This means that they should create a sufficient emergency fund and supplement Medicare by holding medical coverage. They should also build a diversified portfolio that provides enough income to cover their needs throughout retirement, develop strategies to fund their long-term care expenses, and include their home equity as part of their retirement resources.

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