As you know, Congress and President Trump enacted a significant tax reform bill in December, so let’s briefly review how this new tax bill is going to affect individuals starting this year. The biggest thing you’ve probably heard about is the increase in the standard deduction. Married filers will see a $24,000 standard deduction in the 2018 tax year, and single filers will see a $12,000 standard deduction. This doubles the prior standard tax deduction, which will help many tax payers. The bill eliminates many deductions, but for families with kids, it increases the child tax credit and increases the number of people who can take advantage of it. Most tax brackets are dropping an average of 2-3 percent, which should save many taxpayers money while the middle-class provisions of the bill are in effect through 2027. People over age 70 ½ have a significant opportunity no one else has, where they can give a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) directly from their IRA to a church or charity and it will count towards their Minimum Required Distribution (RMD). On top of that, the increased standard deduction could lower your net income and save you on your Medicare premiums. One other important note, Roth re-characterizations are going away in the new tax bill, so if you convert a 401K or IRA to a Roth, make sure that is the correct strategy. Congress’s bi-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the tax bill will increase the nation’s deficit by $1 trillion, even after accounting for economic growth generated by the tax cuts. As a result, seniors may eventually see reduced Social Security and Medicare benefits, so it is more important than ever for individuals to save for retirement, protect their assets, and create life-long income streams that are not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market. At Penny Lane Financial, we’re here to help you navigate life’s changes. Call us to schedule your free 1-hour consultation, and get started on your path to better investing.