Five Key Takeaways of The Power of Zero Message with David McKnight

the power of zero

The five key takeaways of The Power of Zero message have evolved considerably, especially since the recent Trump tax cuts.

The first takeaway is that tax rates in the future are likely to be dramatically higher than they are today. Politicians are extremely averse to cutting spending in any way because cutting the programs that are going to consume the most in terms of resources like Medicare and Medicaid is the third rail of politics.

We are at $22 trillion in debt and it will continue to grow because we are not able to even broach the subject of cutting spending. This means the only option at this point will be to double taxes, cut spending in half, or some combination of the two.

Tom McClintock believes that if the US doesn’t change course in a serious way, it will end up like Venezuela in 8 years.

The only way to insulate yourself from the effect of higher taxes is to get to the zero percent tax bracket. Worry about the things you can control, not the things you can’t. If you have money in an IRA and 401(k), why not shift all that money to tax free at the lowest tax brackets you are likely to experience in your lifetime?

It is nearly impossible to get to the zero percent tax bracket by relying on just one stream of tax free income. Putting your eggs all in one basket is terrible advice, you need multiple streams of income to get the zero percent tax bracket. Each stream of income strategy has its own advantages that others don’t.

Leaving a small amount of money in your IRA in retirement can lead you to the holy grail of financial planning. You get a deduction on the front end and your required minimum distributions on that account get offset by your standard deduction. When it is low enough, it won’t cause your social security to be taxed. 

Social security can be tax free, it functions like an annuity in that the longer you live the greater the investment you get out of it. It also functions as a volatility shield by providing you money to rely on for your lifestyle, instead of drawing from your portfolio in down years. 

The Life Insurance Retirement Plan gives you safe and productive growth, is tax free, and it can also give you a death benefit that can solve your long term care insurance problem. 

As of January 1st, 2018, tax rates went on sale. Given the Trump tax cuts and the sunset provisions on those cuts we now know the exact day that tax rates will go up. People are afraid to do things like Roth conversions because of the possibility of tax rates going down in the future, but at this point taxes going up is all but guaranteed by 2026. 

You want to pay as little tax as possible and stretch out the tax liability over the next seven years, but you also want to do it quickly enough to get all the heavy lifting done before tax rates go up. [

Whether you did your financial planning wrong is up to you. If you treat the next seven years perfectly you have a chance to make it right. You now have the next seven years to move your money from tax deferred to tax free and wring the most out of your retirement dollars.

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