Winning and Losing the Tax Game

Written by Doug Dahmer  |  April 10, 2015

business trapMany of my clients and friends still believe that there is inherent fairness in government programs.

When I point out disparities in medical services, government contracts, municipal board decisions, welfare payments and the greatest of them all- taxation- I, sadly, waken them to the painful reality that lots of government programs just aren’t fair.

Too often in our first world, enlightened, democratic society it is still “What you know”, “Who you know” and “When you know”.

While I cannot help with many of the program disparities, I can help in one and that one is the most important to you anyway. Taxation.

I can tell you without a doubt that taxation will be your greatest expense in retirement. That many of the things you are doing in your accumulation years in the run up to retirement are laying the groundwork for costly tax traps that will cost you a lot and I mean a lot, of money. That how you draw down savings and access your various pools of assets and income sources can add hundreds of thousands of incremental dollars to your lifetime cash flow and assets. That few people realize that their draw down years provide the greatest opportunity for strategic tax management because their cash flow comes from so many different sources. That no one at the CRA is going to tell you how to do it.

One of Emeritus’ core business strengths is to help clients navigate the tax system. We use proprietary financial modeling tools to build effective individual retirement draw down strategies. In short, we help our clients to make their money work harder and last longer…  so they can do more and worry less.

To show interested people (and who isn’t when you think about it) the magnitude of the impact of the pitfalls and opportunities in tax planning and income draw down we developed a game. In a moment of low creativity I named it The Retirement Tax Game. This game allows users to see how different tax strategies and draw down executions can impact their financial worth. The Retirement Tax Game uses a prepared case study and we have put it on the public section of our Emeritus website.  Through the game you will see how some strategies drive up ones’ tax rate while creating claw backs from entitlements. You will see how some keep rates lower and extend the life of your assets. It’s that simple.

Take a moment and see how better planning leads to better results. The retirement tax game will help you to discover how easy it is to fall into retirement tax traps and provide you with guidance of how to avoid these tax traps while minimizing the taxes you will pay over the balance of your life.

If you choose not to and wish to play your own game, well, I hope you win but I am afraid you won’t.

Now is the time to start protecting yourself from needless over payment. Tax planning starts early and runs long. With a little knowledge and a bit of help you can keep more of your money.

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