The national debt is fast approaching $32 trillion dollars, nearly double from only a few short years ago. Neither parties are blame-free for the situation we find ourselves in as of 2023.
That $32 trillion does not include the unfunded liabilities and obligations that we will be paying for over the next ten years. We got to this point without including the added costs of Social Security, MediCare, and Medicaid.
Politicians are facing a situation where they either cut those programs, which is a surefire way to get kicked out of office, or dramatically raise taxes.
David Walker predicted that effective tax rates for Americans will rise to 45% by 2030. Right now, the effective tax rate for Americans on average is only 18%.
Rising tax rates aren’t just speculation, it’s in the tax code. The tax rates are scheduled to rise already unless the law is altered. In 2026, the steps between tax rate tiers are going to get much less steep.
The trust fund for MediCare is scheduled to go bust by 2027. The trust fund for Social Security is scheduled to go bust in 2032.
Many people think we can print our way out of our problems, but that’s not going to work with entitlement programs. Rising inflation due to printing money will ensure that we never really catch up with the problem.
Historically, the highest tax rate in America was 94%.
There is historical precedent for both raising taxes dramatically and cutting expenses. The trouble is that politicians haven’t had the backbone in the past to deal with these issues before they become crippling to the economy and average Americans.
Further trouble is due to the different circumstances in how we spend money. Unlike in the past, the debt-to-GDP ratio is worse and we are living beyond our means by a considerable margin.
We are spending money like drunken sailors and there doesn’t seem to be any willpower in Washington to change the direction.
Politicians also have the tendency to avoidtelling people what they really need to hear.
The Power of Zero strategy is basically the idea of systemically positioning your retirement savings to the tax-free bucket and protecting yourself from the ebb and flow of future tax rates.
We could see tax rates rival the 1970’s.
The Trump Tax Cuts are the tax sale of a lifetime. Most people that David works with are good at saving and find themselves in the 22% tax bracket. By converting up to the 24% tax bracket, those people have much better odds of converting the majority of their savings to tax-free before tax rates rise, possibly for good, once 2030 comes around.
2026 is an important date, but not as important as 2030. People should take advantage of historically low tax rates while they are still around and get their houses in order by 2030.
It can be especially challenging for widows in retirement when you factor in how the loss of a Social Security payment can impact cash flow and taxes.
Recent changes to inheritance laws are also making legacy planning more difficult. If you delay required minimum distributions from an IRA, there’s a good chance you can end up paying way more in taxes than expected.
Now is the time to look at your tax plan.
The antidote to all these issues is the Roth Conversion. If you die and your spouse inherits your Roth IRA, whatever the tax rates are at the time will no longer be an issue.
Roth Conversions aren’t the silver bullet. There are other strategies within the Power of Zero that allow you to truly reach the zero-percent tax bracket. Things like the Life Insurance Retirement Plan, Roth IRAs and 401(k)s, annuities, and multiple streams of tax-free income.
Mentioned in this episode:
David’s books: Power of Zero, Look Before You LIRP, The Volatility Shield, Tax-Free Income for Life and The Infinity Code
Come Back America by David Walker
PowerOfZero.com (free 3-part video series)
@mcknightandco on Twitter
@davidcmcknight on Instagram
David McKnight on YouTube
Get David’s Tax-free Tool Kit at taxfreetoolkit.com