Could Financial Planning Reduce Your Tax Bill?

Could Financial Planning Reduce Your Tax Bill_.jpg

By Brett Gottlieb and John Mc Kean

Taxes are no fun. Just thinking about it can make you sick to your stomach. Did you know you spend almost four months of every year working to pay the IRS? (1) That’s January through April, all your time and energy straight to the government. Ouch.

But taxes are a necessary evil. You may not always agree with how your tax money is spent, but there’s no denying it improves your quality of life. That being said, paying your taxes diligently is one thing. Paying more than you have to is another. Overpaying should be avoided at all costs. And, surprisingly, it’s not. Most people can’t be bothered to spend time financial planning, and they pay more taxes as a result.

You want to enjoy your hard-earned money, not hand it over to the government. Well, here’s a few easy ways to make that happen.

Make The Government Pay For You

Want to save for retirement and lower your tax bill at the same time? Here’s how. Good ol’ Uncle Sam eliminates taxes on the money you contribute to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA or Roth IRA). If possible, aim to contribute the maximum amount of $6,000 per year ($7,000 for those 50 and older). (2)

Know Your Tax Brackets

This one can make a huge difference. By familiarizing yourself with the different tax brackets, you can accelerate or delay your income to avoid falling at the low end of a tax bracket. Keeping yourself at the high end of a bracket can lower your tax rate. 

Harvest Your Losses

Normally, selling your losing investments isn’t a good idea. However, if you do it to offset the gains from your high-performing investments, it can be an effective tax-reducing strategy. Then, after 30 days, you can re-purchase the stocks you sold.

Build Up Your Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you’re eligible for an HSA, this is something you definitely should be doing. The 2019 annual contribution limit is $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families. Healthcare expenses are inevitable—you might as well pay for them with tax-sheltered funds. (3)

Create A 529 Plan

U.S. education costs are ridiculously expensive. If you’re planning on helping your children (or grandchildren) with those costs, opening a 529 plan is the way to go. Not only will this fund grow tax-free, but you’ll also be able to deduct contributions and lower your tax bill (state-dependent).

Next Steps

These are just a few of the many ways to reduce your tax bill. Each one will allow you to work more days for yourself—and fewer days for the IRS. That said, if you want to be sure you’re not giving Uncle Sam more than his fair share, your best bet is to get expert help. In most cases, the cost to work with a professional advisor will pay for itself many times over in tax savings.

At Comprehensive Advisor, we’ll not only help reduce your tax bill, but we’ll also create a personalized plan to help you achieve your financial goals. To learn more about how we can help, email us at or call (760) 813-2125.

About Brett and John

Brett Gottlieb is the founder of Comprehensive Advisor and a financial advisor with nearly two decades of industry experience. He graduated from California State University-Chico with two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Economics. Brett is Life Insurance licensed in several states.

John Mc Kean, financial advisor, joined Comprehensive Advisor in 2016. He has been in the financial services and retirement planning industry for over six years. John is Life Insurance licensed in California.

Brett and John previously worked as Registered Representatives with Securities America, one of the largest independent broker/dealers in the country, and currently offer advisory services through Legacy Road, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Both are passionate about educating clients on retirement planning. They take a common-sense approach to the planning process and work with clients to create a retirement road map to help ensure their assets are protected and they receive the income needed to enjoy their future. Based in Carlsbad, California, they work with clients throughout San Diego County. Learn more by connecting with Brett on LinkedIn or email them at

Advisory services offered through Legacy Road, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Brett Gottlieb, Investment Advisor Representative. California Insurance License #0C68886.
John Mc Kean, Investment Advisor Representative. California Insurance License #0K37445.
Comprehensive Advisor and Legacy Road, LLC are not affiliated.





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