Are you having a milestone birthday this year?!
There are a set of important ages when it comes to retirement planning and we thought it would be a great way to kick off our newsletters this year with a reminder for all of those who might be having a key birthday in 2019!
50! – Happy birthday to everyone turning 50 this year! As a present the government will allow you to make “catch-up” contributions to your retirement accounts. Here’s what the breakdown looks like:
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55! – A big happy birthday to these folks as well, as you’re getting a bit older and perhaps a little more worried about healthcare costs the government allows catch up contributions to the accounts listed here:
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59 ½! – This is a big year for you! You’re now allowed to take money out of your retirement accounts without incurring a 10% penalty! This is the year your retirement assets become available to you for income if you need it. It’s important to remember that any money you distribute from a tax deferred account will be classified as taxable income so plan on writing uncle sam a check at the end of the year if you do make distributions. It’s important to coordinate accounts for retirement income to minimize your tax obligation, remember to speak to an advisor if you aren’t sure how to do this.
62! – This is the age when you’re eligible for your reduced social security benefits. If you turn 62 in 2019, you’re entitled to roughly 75% of your full retirement benefits. Be careful though, if you elect to take your benefit early, you’ll be locked into a lower monthly income and miss out on your full benefit. A sound financial plan should be in place before you decide to collect your benefit (especially early at a reduced amount!).
65! – Congrats! You’re now eligible for Medicare! Medicare enrollment begins 3 months prior to your 65th birthday and spans from that date until 3 months after the month you turn 65 so don’t forget to enroll! If you miss that window, you’ll have to wait for general enrollment which will delay your coverage for several months and could leave you with a gap in health insurance (which you definitely do not want!). This is also a great time to begin looking into Medigap policies to fill certain “gaps” in the coverage Medicare provides on its own. We definitely recommend speaking to an advisor to see what might be appropriate for you.
66! – This is the year that you’re entitled to your full social security benefit! Once you hit this age, you’re no longer penalized for taking your benefit early! You can also earn as much as you’d like (if you’re still working) while collecting your benefit and not be penalized at all. Again, before you elect to claim your benefit be sure to have a plan in place so that all of your retirement income streams are coordinated and working well together.
70! – If you’ve delayed taking your social security benefit make sure that you’ve claimed it by your 70th birthday. After that age there are no more delayed retirement credits, your benefit no longer grows for delaying any further so if you wait past this birthday, you’re literally letting income slip through your fingers! Long story short – IF YOU HAVEN’T CLAIMED SS BENEFITS BY THE TIME YOU TURN 70 GO DO IT NOW!
70 ½! – This one’s a little tricky……if you turn 70 ½ this year you have until April 1st of next year to take your Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from your tax-deferred retirement accounts (401k, IRA, 403b, etc.). Failure to take the required amount results in a 50% penalty! That’s one you definitely want to avoid. Also make sure that you’re aware if you wait until April 1st of next year then you’ll have to take two RMDs in 2020 which will increase your income and could increase taxes. Speak to your advisor to find out what your RMD obligations might be this year and how you should plan accordingly for the tax implications of this additional income.