Delray Beach, FL

Boutique Advisor Provides Some Unique Tax Strategies to Her Clients

Mark Hake

This is not financial advice and you should not rely on my analysis to buy or sell any stock. I am not undertaking to induce you to buy or sell any securities. I am relying on the “publisher’s exclusion” in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide this information without any personalized or individualized investment advice.

Nancy Curtin is an interesting financial planner with a boutique investment firm, Manhattan-based KBK Wealth Management. She is based in Delray Beach, Florida, where she helps her retiree and young professional clientele with their finances.

Nancy puts out a periodic newsletter and I wanted to highlight some of her points in a recent piece called "Reviewing Your Tax Strategies."

Many of her recommendations make a good deal of sense. Keep in mind she says that this is not investment advice but just for educational purposes.

From "Nancy Curtin's Newsletter":
Nancy Curtin, KBK Wealth ManagementPhoto byKBK Wealth Mgmt

Strategies to Consider

Although your tax picture is unique to you, there are common strategies to consider and discuss with your financial and tax advisors.

Here are a few:

• Minimize taxable income while saving for retirement

– If you are an employee, you make contributions to your 401(k) plan with pretax dollars, thus reducing your current income and, possibly, your current-year taxes. You can also reduce current-year taxes by making tax-deductible contributions to an IRA, if you qualify.

– If you are self-employed, you can use a Keogh, SEP (Simplified Employee Pension), or SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plan to shelter income.

Maximize deductions

Some deductible items, like medical expenses, must meet a specific threshold before deductions can be taken. If you fall short of the minimum, you may be able to time discretionary expenses so that you exceed the threshold one year but not the next.

Consider charitable donations

Depending on your specific tax picture, charitable donations could provide a good source of income tax deductions. One tax-saving strategy is to donate appreciated property. You can take a deduction for the fair market value and avoid capital gains tax on the sale.

Review interest expenses

If you pay interest that is not tax deductible (e.g., interest on auto loans or credit cards), consider paying off the debt.

Review social security benefits

If you collect social security, you may benefit from strategies to reduce or defer taxable income. If your non-social security income exceeds certain levels, it triggers taxation of a higher percentage of your social security benefits.

Pay attention to recordkeeping

Keeping complete records may help you save on taxes, especially if it prevents having to locate or recreate information.

Review Form 1040 for missed tax opportunities

Reviewing your 1040 could help you spot opportunities for making investments that provide greater after-tax savings. Pay special attention to the Taxable Interest, Tax-Exempt Income, and Dividend Income sections of the form.

Municipal bonds

Tax-exempt municipal bonds are an excellent tax-advantaged investment, especially if you are in a high-income tax bracket or have moved into a higher tax bracket after a promotion or career change. Interest earned on municipal bonds is exempt from federal income taxes and, in most states, from state and local taxes for residents of the issuing states (although income on certain bonds for particular investors may be subject to the alternative minimum tax).

Plan capital gains and/or losses

Determining when to recognize capital gains or losses depends on whether you want to postpone tax liability (by postponing recognition of gains) or recognize capital gains or losses during the current year. If the gains will be subject to a higher rate of tax next year (because of a change in tax bracket), or if you cannot use capital losses to offset capital gains, you may recognize capital gains this year.

Review IRA opportunities

If you want to maximize the timing and amount of IRA distributions as long as possible for your heirs, understanding IRA rules is critical. If you are retiring or changing jobs, consider rolling over the assets in your company’s pension and 401(k) plan to an IRA. If you have a traditional IRA, evaluate whether it would be beneficial to convert it to a Roth IRA.

Estate planning strategies

Review and update your estate plan to minimize potential estate and gift taxes.

Life insurance

Life insurance may provide liquidity to pay estate taxes and could be an attractive solution to other liquidity problems, such as family-owned businesses, large real estate holdings, and collectibles. Life insurance proceeds can pass free of income and estate taxes when structured properly.

These are just a few of the most common tax planning strategies.


Don't forget to hit the "Thumbs up" button and also the "Follow" button below. You can also download the Newsbreak app to become a Registered Follower. That way you can see all my prior articles. Click on the link underneath my profile name above.

Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at,,, and as well as TalkMarkets.

Comments / 0

Published by

Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ

More from Mark Hake

Comments / 0