A certified financial planner who advises many federal employees and retirees says he feels confident that any deal between Congress and the president to avoid the “fiscal cliff” will not substantially change the tax and retirement advice he gives his clients.
Wells Fargo Advisors’ vice president for investments Joseph Sullender appeared on this week’s edition of For Your Benefit, which airs Mondays at 10 a.m. on Federal News Radio.
“The rhetoric and the way this is being used politically in the media — my goodness! — is creating this scene that all of a sudden next year, you know, we’re all going to double our taxes,” Sullender said, “and it just isn’t true.”
Sullender gave an example of a federal dual-income couple who make $250,000 a year. If President Obama and the Democrats prevail, this couple will indeed pay more in taxes next year. However, Sullender said, in sitting down with the couple and going over their finances, he calculated that their income tax would rise by about $900. “You could just see the exhale,” Sullender said, as the couple found out that their tax burden would not go up nearly as much as they had feared.
Sullender added that most federal employees make less than $250,000 and “those brackets will likely stay as they are,” given that both Republicans and Democrats agree on not raising tax rates on the middle class.