A Roth IRA is one of the best ways to minimize taxes. Many people earn too much to qualify for a Roth IRA. Not long ago, an alternative for high earners to minimize taxes while maximizing income came up that’s known as the “Rich Person’s Roth.”
What are the Income Limits for a Roth IRA?
As we mentioned in our quick guide to Roth IRAs, eligibility begins to phase out if you make more than $129,000 (for singles) and $204,000 (for those married filing jointly).
In that same post, we talked about the backdoor Roth conversion, which acts as a kind of loophole to allow anyone, regardless of their income level, to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.
Despite the nickname, the “Rich Person’s Roth” isn’t a retirement account at all. Instead, it’s a cash value life insurance policy that offers tax-free earnings on investments as well as tax-free withdrawals.
In certain cases, it’s possible to use the cash value of these policies to create a guaranteed stream of income, possibly for the rest of your life.
How Does the “Rich Person’s Roth” Work?
Another advantage is there are also no annual contribution maximums. Depending on how the policy is set up, you may be able to contribute an endless amount of money each year, which will not only grow tax-free, but will also be tax-free upon withdrawal. That means your tax bracket won’t be affected.
Considerations to Make
Since the core product behind the “Rich Person’s Roth” is still a life insurance policy, your overall health matters. The worse your health is, the higher the cost of the life insurance will be. People in poor health may not be the best candidates for this strategy as they may end up underwater on the cost of the policy.
Another consideration is the interest rate the insurance company charges on withdrawals from the policy. In order to get your money from the policy, you must take a loan against the death benefit from the insurance company, which will most likely charge you interest. Policies with zero net loans credit your interest payments as if the funds are still held in the policy. This acts almost like a wash on your interest costs.
Do You Have to Be Rich to Benefit?
High earners aren’t the only people who can benefit from the “Rich Person’s Roth.” It will consist of older workers in good health who are trying to play catch-up on their retirement savings. It will also be those who are already hitting annual contribution maximums in other retirement savings vehicles could also benefit.
Roth IRA vs IUL (Indexed Universal Life Insurance)
The difference between a Roth IRA and IUL (Indexed Universal Life insurance) Policy are that both are tools that can be used to build and grow a substantial retirement savings. Since both of these products have already been taxed, withdrawals can be made as tax free retirement income.
The difference between IUL vs Roth IRA make each more popular for retirement planning for investors with different needs. You can determine the better fit by taking a look at these differing needs. Either chose, the policy grows based on the interest and dividends credited to the account owner.
Indexed Universal Life Insurance
IUL policies are tied to a specific stock index, examples being the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq. The IUL will provide returns based on market performance. Once you have earned to a considerable level you can start taking tax free withdrawals to supplement your income.
Only the premiums are not used towards life insurance coverage with an IUL. It is used to build a tax deferred cash value. All money put into a Roth IRA will grow tax deferred. IULs can generate a considerable amount of cash value, they must be well funded by you in order for it to perform as intended. If you allow the policy to lapse, it can leave you with a large tax bill, so you should e advised that this is a long-term planning strategy with potentially significant penalties if the policy is surrendered or lapses. (ARC)
Roth IRA and Tax Free Retirement Income
Roth IRAs make sense if you expect your tax rate to be higher during retirement. This makes Roth IRAs best for young, lower income workers who live in a lower tax bracket. They will benefit from decades of tax free, compounded growth that will result in a tax free income during the retirement years.
There is no minimum required contribution limits in a Roth IRA. Roth IRAs can give investors control over their goals and allow them to weigh the risk tolerance. There are no minimum required distribution at any age during the life of the policy of a Roth IRA.
The IRS does have strict caps for the amount that a policyholder can contribute to a Roth each year. This can make it difficult to accumulate a substantial amount in the Roth IRA if it is started later in life compared to the IUL. (ARC)
Financial planning and Retirement planning
Many retirees who invest savings early will find a Roth IRA more than sufficient. This will fulfill their retirement planning needs. For those seeking to leverage tax free withdrawals and income during retirement years, cash value life insurance can provide a very attractive supplemental income strategy.
Differing Needs for a Retirement Nest Egg
Before you purchase any insurance policy, be sure to make yourself familiar with all of the details and potential costs – and speak with a financial advisor first. Don’t have an advisor? We can he help. Request a complimentary, no-obligation conversation with one of our financial advisors today!