Consider these tax-efficient strategies to maximize retirement savings

Right now is an ideal time to reevaluate your financial objectives and make sure you remain on track to achieve your goals. Here are the Top 10 planning considerations for you to take into account each year.

10. Make the most of your retirement contributions

In 2022, individuals can contribute up to $6,000 to an individual retirement account (IRA). Those who reach age 50 before the end of the year can contribute an additional $1,000 in catch-up contributions. This year’s 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan contribution limit is $20,500¹, with a catch-up option of up to an additional $6,500 for individuals age 50 and older.² It’s important to remember that the earlier in the year a contribution is made, the longer that contribution has to generate tax- deferred earnings. In addition, contributing to your IRA earlier in the year may provide an opportunity to make an extra contribution during the life of your IRA. For example, if you contribute early in the year and each year going forward (rather than waiting until the end of the year), you may have a chance to make one extra contribution prior to reaching age 72.

9. Consider whether a Roth IRA conversion makes sense

With a traditional IRA, contributions are generally tax deductible, and distributions are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. In contrast, contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, but earnings can be withdrawn income tax free if you are at least age 59½ and have had the Roth for at least five years. In addition, you are not required to take a minimum required distribution from a Roth IRA at age 72 as you are required to with a traditional IRA.

Converting a traditional IRA into a Roth doesn’t always make sense, but you may consider it if:

  • You have a long time until retirement
  • You anticipate being in the same or a higher tax bracket when you begin distributions
  • You can pay the tax from sources other than the IRA

8. Use appreciated securities for charitable giving

It is not unusual to look at contributions to charitable organizations as a tax strategy. From a financial planning standpoint, charitable planning offers a great opportunity to reduce one’s tax liability for the year.

An important consideration when planning contributions is whether to donate cash or appreciated securities. By donating appreciated securities, an investor can avoid capital gains on that long-held security, which increases the value of the donation compared to selling the stock, paying the capital gains tax and then giving the cash proceeds to charity.

Should you wish to make a charitable contribution, but are unsure of the particular charity you would like to support, you may consider establishing a donor-advised fund (DAF). Funding a DAF offers you the benefit of an immediate tax deduction while giving you time to decide which eligible charity you want to fund.

7. Review your insurance policies

If it’s been a few years since you’ve reviewed your insurance policies, meet with your wealth advisor and insurance professional to see if those policies still meet your needs for income replacement and asset protection. Whether your policies are related to disability, long-term care or life insurance, it’s important to review these policies following any major life event. Through the review process, your advisor can confirm that your ownership and beneficiary designations are consistent with the objectives of your financial plan. As tax laws continuously change, maintaining proper ownership of your life insurance is critical to ensuring that potential proceeds from life insurance death benefits are impacting your beneficiaries as intended. Because the interest rate environment can change, maintaining proper oversight of cash values within policies is critical to ensuring those policies remain properly funded. For term life insurance policies, your advisor can assist you with monitoring renewal periods and work with our in-house insurance team to research alternative coverage options. Whether your goal is to replace income or to transfer wealth to the next generation, an insurance review can provide peace of mind.

6. Review your estate plan

If you have experienced any significant life changes in the last 12 months, such as a marriage or the birth of a child, it’s important to consider the impact of those changes on your estate plan. Updating wills and durable powers of attorney is a critical first step for newly married couples and new parents. Additionally, if one of your children recently married, it can be beneficial to reexamine your beneficiary designations to confirm that assets are being directed in the manner intended. You may also want to review your estate distribution plan along with any creditor protection language, in case your children receive an inheritance.

In terms of generational estate planning, it’s important to check your estate documents to ensure that they contain language that covers after-born children. This ensures that any children in your family not initially named within your estate planning documents will be included in the transfer of assets at your death.

5. Take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion and make a gift to family

To reduce your taxable estate, consider giving annual gifts, such as contributing to a 529 plan for your child or grandchild. For 2022, the annual gift tax exclusion allows you to give up to $16,000 ($32,000 for married couples)³ free of gift tax and without counting toward the federal individual lifetime exclusion.

4. Consider ways to minimize taxes by spreading out income

If your income varies from year to year, or if you expect to be in a different tax bracket in the future, consider using multi-year projections to take advantage of long-term planning opportunities to minimize income taxes. Examples of such tax planning strategies include accelerating the timing of income or recognition of capital gains so that lower tax brackets can be filled or, conversely, postponing the receipt of income or capital gains and accelerating receipt of losses to reduce income in higher tax years.

3. Enroll for Medicare, if applicable

Medicare plans can also change from year to year, in regard to what they cost and cover. So, it’s a good idea to review your current coverage, even if your own needs have not changed. It’s also important to note that, if you are within three months of turning 65, the window for your initial Medicare enrollment period has opened and will remain open for seven months. Also, each state has a State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) offering free one-on- one counseling for Medicare recipients and their families. Individuals can visit for customized information related to Medicare.

2. Be Strategic About Social Security

You can begin taking Social Security as early as age 62. However, if you wait until your full retirement age, which varies according to the year you were born, you will receive 100% of your benefit. Work with your wealth advisor on the appropriate time for you to start receiving your benefit.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Whether your current goals involve health, finances or any other aspect of your life, writing your goals down using the S.M.A.R.T. system can help you focus on attaining your goals. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. For many people, goal setting can end up being a frustrating exercise because many of us have a tendency to set goals that are too vague or ambiguous. Using the S.M.A.R.T. system can be a helpful reminder to be more detailed in our approach. For example, if one of your goals is starting a college savings plan for your child or grandchild, the S.M.A.R.T. system can help you realize how much you ultimately want to save, how much time you have to save, as well as what capacity you currently have in your budget to allocate toward meeting that goal. By focusing on the details, you dramatically improve your likelihood of meeting your goals.


¹ IRS Announces Changes to Retirement Plans for 2022

² Retirement Topics: Catch-up Contributions

³ What’s New-Estate and Gift Tax


The views expressed are for commentary purposes only and do not take into account any individual personal, financial, legal or tax considerations. As such, the information contained herein is not intended to be personal legal, investment or tax advice. Nothing herein should be relied upon as such, and there is no guarantee that any claims made will come to pass. The opinions are based on information and sources of information deemed to be reliable, but Mariner Platform Solutions does not warrant the accuracy of the information.

Additional fees may also apply for tax planning and preparation services.

Investment advisory services provided through Mariner Platform Solutions, LLC (“MPS”). MPS is an investment adviser registered with the SEC, head quartered in Overland Park, Kansas. Registration of an investment advisor does not imply a certain level of skill or training. MPS is in compliance with the current notice filing requirements imposed upon registered investment advisers by those states in which MPS transacts business and maintains clients. MPS is either notice filed or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements in those states. Any subsequent, direct communication by MPS with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. For additional information about MPS, including fees and services, please contact MPS or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website ( Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.

Investment Adviser Representatives (“IARs”) are independent contractors of MPS and generally maintain or affiliate with a separate business entity through which they market their services. The separate business entity is not owned, controlled by or affiliated with MPS and is not registered with the SEC. Please refer to the disclosure statement of MPS for additional information.

© Mariner Advisor Network. All Rights Reserved