Recently, I went to a free seminar (sales pitch) on retirement income. The speaker claimed that he has a method where you can defer the income tax on your Social Security payments to age 85. However, he refused to tell us how to do it unless we came in for a one on one session.

Is there a way to defer taxes on Social Security payments?

I am in the United States.

1 Answer 1


An AARP document suggests considering:

  • Prioritize withdrawals from tax-free retirement accounts.
  • Donate your RMDs to charity.
  • Take IRA or 401(k) withdrawals before claiming Social Security.
  • Make tax-deductible contributions to retirement accounts
  • Defer gig-work income.
  • Offset investment gains with losses
  • Pivot to a tax-efficient investment portfolio.

I suspect one or more of these is the secret ingredient in this character's snake oil.

  • I suspect you are on the right track. What you are really telling me is that once I start taking Social Security benefits, I need to pay tax on them. So the answer to my question is no.
    – Bob
    Aug 31, 2023 at 13:35
  • 6
    I may be wrong, but that's my best guess. "I have a secret financial strategy" rarely turns out well.
    – keshlam
    Aug 31, 2023 at 14:44
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    @keshlam Especially when it's "I have a secret to avoid federal income taxes." Those 'secrets' usually fall into one of two camps: things that are relatively well-known and things that may get you arrested.
    – reirab
    Aug 31, 2023 at 21:07
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    Note that even if one could defer taxes somehow, unless you can predict your finances, and tax laws, far into the future it is extremely unclear that this would actually benefit you significantly.
    – keshlam
    Sep 1, 2023 at 2:36

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