Many people choose to work into their retirement years. If this is something you’re considering, here are some tips to make sure you get the greatest benefit from your efforts.
1) Consider delaying Social Security. You can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62, but if you continue to work, it may make sense to delay as late as age 70. Your Social Security monthly benefit increases approximately 8 percent for every year you delay receiving them. These increases in monthly benefits stop when you reach age 70. Social Security benefits may be reduced or be subject to income tax due to your other income.
2) Don’t get bracket-bumped. You may have multiple income streams during retirement that can bump you into a higher tax bracket and make other income taxable. For instance, Social Security benefits are only tax-free if you have less than a certain amount of adjusted gross income, otherwise up to 85 percent of your benefits are taxable. Required distributions from pensions and retirement accounts, which you are required to take at age 70½, can also add to your taxable income. Be aware of how close you are to the next tax bracket and adjust accordingly.
3) Be smart about health care. When you reach age 65, you’ll have the option of making Medicare your primary health insurance. If you continue to work, you may be able to stay on your employer’s health care plan, switch to Medicare, or adopt for a two-plan hybrid option that includes both. Consider these options to determine which makes the most sense.
4) Consider your expenses. If you’re reducing your working hours or taking a part-time job in retirement, consider the cost of your extra income stream. The costs of parking every day, meals, clothing, dry cleaning, and any other expenses should be considered in determining your pre-tax income.
These are just a few factors to consider. If you have questions, you can reach us at (360) 671-0700, or send us an email using the form below.