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.
When you lose a spouse, partner, or parent, the grief can be overwhelming. In the midst of that grief, life goes on. There are arrangements to be made, things to be taken care of – and in recognition of this reality, here is a checklist that you may find useful at such a time. If … Continue reading “Estate Planning Checklist for When a Spouse or Parent Passes”
The first week of 2021 has already had many ups and downs. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that the 2020 issues go away, and so far, 2021 has been no exception to this rule. The markets opened on January 4 and traded lower out of the gate, with the S&P 500 dropping … Continue reading “2021 Opens With a Bang”
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After a bit of political posturing on stimulus details in December, the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (2021 CAA) was signed into law by President Trump as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact employers and employees. Here’s a quick recap of five key highlights providing stimulus to those that need it:
Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines. From current and previous IRA contribution deadlines, to RMD deadlines, keep an eye on the calendar. April 15, 2021 is the deadline to take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from certain individual retirement accounts. Keep in … Continue reading “IRA Contribution Deadlines are Approaching”
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