Whether you are already retired or still part of the workforce, planning is still something that needs to be done throughout the year. That’s right, even after you are retired there are dates and events that you need to plan for and because your “earning days” may have ended, it may be critically important to make sure things are done correctly.
Since breaking any goal into smaller steps is usually a good idea, mark these dates on your calendar as a reminder of important milestones.
December 31… Every year. Your retirement fund doesn’t just allow you to save money for retirement. It also offers valuable tax benefits. But in order to earn the largest deduction possible, you must make your contributions by December 31 every year.
Mid-April… Every year. Keep an eye on the income tax filing deadline each spring. This is also the deadline for making your IRA contributions for the previous year.
Your 62nd birthday. Age 62 is the earliest that anyone can claim Social Security benefits. It’s not necessarily the best idea, since your payments will be reduced by about 25 percent. However, in some cases you might need to retire early, so it is good to know your options.
Your 65’th birthday. At 65, you become eligible for Medicare. In fact, you can begin the enrollment process three months prior to your birthday, so you might prefer to mark that date on your calendar instead. Just remember to enroll within four months after you turn 65, or you could be charged higher Medicare premiums for life.
October 15 to December 7… Every year. Now that you’re enrolled in Medicare, you can use this annual Open Enrollment period to review your plan and make changes. In some cases it makes sense to switch plans or pick up a supplemental insurance policy.
Your first required minimum distribution. Many people wait as long as possible to begin taking distributions from their retirement accounts. This is a smart idea, since compounding interest can help you build more principal. However, you are required to begin distributions by April 1 of the year in which you turn 70½. These rules can get complicated, and some of those who wait too late will trigger excessive tax penalties. So, make sure to discuss the timing of this distribution with us before marking it on your calendar.
For help with any of these retirement planning milestones, or anything else regarding this time in your life, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.