Retirement can be difficult to navigate—planning when to retire and making sure you’ll have enough money are just the tip of the iceberg. Meet key deadlines and avoid penalties to maximize your retirement benefits. Here are important milestones to add to your plan:
Age 50—Employees, age 50 and older, can defer paying income taxes with catch-up contributions to their 401(k), up to $27,000. That’s $6,500 more than younger employees. IRA-holders can defer taxes on $7,000, that’s $1,000 more than your younger coworkers.
Age 55—If you leave your job the year you turn 55, you can begin taking draws—but only from the 401(k) associated with your most recent company. Good news? You can use the money for any reason and there’s no 10% tax penalty like you’d be assessed if you dipped into your money before turning 55! You will, however, have to pay income tax on any withdrawal.
Age 59 ½—At this age, you’re no longer subject to the 10% penalty on your traditional 401(k) and IRA distributions. Again, you will be charged income tax on any withdrawal.
Age 62—Employees can start receiving Social Security at age 62. However, if you choose to start receiving these payments, they will be significantly smaller—up to 30% less than the maximum amount. If you continue working while receiving Social Security benefits at this age, part or all of your payments could be temporarily withheld.
Age 65—Sign up for Medicare benefits up to three months before your 65th birthday. If you don’t sign up on time (or within 8 months after leaving a job with group health coverage), your premiums could permanently increase. You may even be denied coverage.
Age 66—Those born between 1955 and 1959 are eligible for individual retirement at various times during their 66th year—visit ssa.gov to get your exact eligibility age. Once this milestone is reached, Social Security benefits are no longer withheld for those simultaneously working and collecting benefits.
Age 67—This is the age to receive full Social Security benefits for everyone born in 1960 or later.
Age 70—If you wait until age 70 to start collecting Social Security benefits, the payments will increase by about 8% per year. After age 70, there is no additional benefit to delaying your Social Security.
Age 72—Once you hit this milestone, you are required to take distributions from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. For 401(k)s only: If you’re still employed, you may be able to delay 401(k) distributions until April 1 of the year after you retire.
Want more information? Visit the IRS website and schedule a meeting with a financial advisor for professional advice and recommendations. Make these milestones work for you!