Does your vision of retirement align with the facts? Here are some noteworthy financial and lifestyle facts about life after 50 that might surprise you.
Up to 85% of a retiree’s Social Security income can be taxed. Some retirees are taken aback when they discover this. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service, 13 states currently levy taxes on some or all Social Security retirement benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. (West Virginia, incidentally, is phasing out such taxation.)
Actually, this is true for all taxpayers aged 65 and older, whether they are retired or not. Right now, the standard deduction for a single filer in this age bracket is $13,850, compared to $12,200 for those 64 or younger. It is scheduled to rise to $14,050 in 2020.
There is no age limit for contributing to a Roth IRA, as long as the owner earns income. So, a retiree can keep directing money into a Roth IRA for life, provided they are not earning too much. A senior can potentially contribute to a traditional IRA until the year they turn 70½.
Looking at data from the Federal Reserve’s triennial Surveys of Consumer Finances, the median debt of senior households (age 65+) has more than doubled since the start of the century.
The most stressful debt for seniors, according to a 2019 study from Ohio State University researchers, is credit card debt. The study calculates that each new dollar of credit card debt taken on by a senior household creates financial stress approximating an additional $14-20 of home loan debt.
Moreover, a sudden financial liability may delay retirement. Another 2019 study, co-authored by researchers from the Urban Institute and the Congressional Budget Office, looks at the potential impact of a new $10,000 debt on an individual between 55-70 years old carrying the median amount of credit card debt for their age. The researchers concluded that this jump in debt would make a baby boomer 9% more likely to put off retiring.
The Administration for Community Living (a federal agency) says around 14% of older adults (65+) live by themselves. With millennials living at home and blended and extended families becoming common, perhaps this is not so surprising. The ACL does note that nearly half of women older than age 75 are on their own.
This factoid comes from the 2019 Transamerica Retirement Survey`of American Workers. Another 42% say they have unwritten strategies. The remaining 43%? No strategy at all.
While retirees certainly love to travel, a Merrill Lynch study says that only about a third of people aged 50 and older earmark funds for their trips.
What monetary realities might you need to acknowledge as your retirement progresses from one phase to the next? The reality of retirement may surprise you. If you have not met with a financial advisor about your retirement savings and income needs, you may wish to do so. When it comes to retirement, the more information you have, the better.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the target rate by 75 basis points (bp) to a 3.25% upper bound and delivered a more pessimistic outlook in their published Summary of Economic Projections.
You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”
Investors are routinely warned about allowing emotion to influence their decisions. However, they are less routinely cautioned about their preconceptions and biases that may color their financial choices. In a battle between the facts & biases, our biases may win. If we acknowledge this tendency, we may be able to avoid some unexamined choices when … Continue reading “Do Our Emotion or Biases Affect Our Financial Choice”
At one point or another, you may realize capital gains, which is a taxable event. What can you do about them? You can do what some investors do – you could recognize investments with a loss and practice “tax-loss harvesting.”
Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach? It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent as well as … Continue reading “Rebalancing Your Portfolio”
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