Irwin Consulting Solutions in Singapore and Tokyo, Japan: Top 6 Things No One Tells You about Retiring
To make your retirement years truly golden, understand what may be coming your way.
Many of us look forward to retirement as the reward for a lifetime of hard work. While the post-work years can truly be golden for those who plan for them, many retirees are caught off guard by the facts of their new life. Here are six things you should know about before you leave the working world for good.
1. Required minimum distributions can seriously raise your costs
Once you reach age 70 1/2, you're typically required to take money out of your traditional IRA and your traditional 401(k) plan each year. While those distributions start relatively small, they increase as a percentage of your account balance each year after that until you reach age 115.
Withdrawals from these account types are treated as taxable income, which means you'll owe income tax on the amount distributed. This increase in your taxable income may expose your Social Security benefits to taxation as well. As if that weren't enough, your Medicare Part B premium also rises along with your income. If your income is high enough, Part B can cost you as much as $428.60 per month.
Those are some tremendous costs to bear for accessing your own retirement savings.
2. Medicare premiums can eat up your Social Security increase
Most retirees are relieved to find out that their Social Security benefit can receive an inflation adjustment every year to help keep pace with rising costs. What few realize, however, is that raising Medicare Part B premiums may wind up chewing through most, if not all, of that entire increase. Thanks to the "hold harmless" provision, hikes in Medicare Part B premiums can eat up all -- but not more than -- the increase in a recipient's Social Security check.
The table below shows how that has worked in recent years. Standard Medicare Part B premiums increased from $104.90 per month in 2015 to as much as $134 per month in 2017. They're expected to remain at $134 in 2018, but that's cold comfort to a retiree whose net monthly Soci