Benchmarks in retirement start at 50

Benchmarks in retirement start at 50

Benchmarks in retirement start at 50

As you add birthdays your retirement planning possibilities change. You can contribute more in an employer sponsored retirement plan or Roth IRA at age 50 than age 49. Your age will also change the tax rules if you want to tap into tax deferred funds. At 60, you may avoid a tax penalty that will cost you before age 591/2.

Here is a look at years in your life that change retirement planning:

Age 50

If you will turn 50 by the end of the year, you can start making catch-up contributions to a retirement plan (such as a 401(k) or IRA). Catch-up contributions begin after contributions exceed the annual deferral limit, the employer plan's deferral limit, or the annual Actual Deferral Percentage limit for Highly Compensated Employees.

For example, in 2020 the limit for elective deferrals in a 401(k) is $19,500. Those who qualify for catch-up contributions can put an additional $6,500 (for a total of $26,000) in their retirement account. The catch-up amount is the same for a 403(b), SARSEP or 457(b) plan. If eligible and if your plan allows, you may be able to make additional contributions. 403(b) plans may have a 15-year catch-up and 457(b) plans may allow for a special 457(b) catch-up. Please ask your plan administrator for details. For a Roth IRA, the catch-up amount in 2020 is $1,000 for a total maximum investment of $7,000.

At age 59½

If you celebrate your half birthdays, then 59½ will give you the chance to withdraw money from your tax deferred retirement accounts, like a 401(k), without incurring an additional 10 percent tax penalty. Withdrawals will be taxed at your current income level. Also, if you are trying to withdraw the money from an employer’s plan and are still working for that company, there may be fees.

At age 62

The minimum age to receive Social Security benefits is age 62. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. You will receive 75 percent of the monthly benefit at age 62 because you will be getting benefits for an additional 48 months.

At age 65

At age 65, you are eligible for Medicare. There are four parts to Medicare that provide insurance for inpatient care, health care providers, and prescription drugs.

If you elect to receive Social Security benefits at this age and were born between 1943 and 1954, you will receive 93.3 percent of the monthly benefit because you will receive 12 months of benefits before your full retirement age of 66.

At age 66

Eligible for full Social Security benefits if born between 1943 and 1954. The full retirement age for those born between 1955 and 1959 is as follows: 1955 (66 and 2 months), 1956 (66 and 4 months), 1957 (66 and 6 months), 1958 (66 and 8 months), and 1959 (66 and 10 months).

At age 67

Eligible for full Social Security benefits if born after 1960 … at least for now. Expect changes in future years as life expectancies continue to climb and the ability of the current system to provide decreases. In fact, the Social Security Advisory Board has proposed several age limit changes.

At age 72

Please note, this used to be 70½ until the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019, and changed the required beginning age for RMDs from 70½ to 72.

Generally, a retirement plan participant must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) by the later of April 1 of the year following the year he or she reaches 72 or April 1 of the year following the year in which they retire. For IRA owners, the first RMD must be taken by April 1 of the year following the year he or she reaches 72. Participants who fail to take their RMD may receive a tax penalty of up to 50 percent of the amount not distributed.


Possible Social Security age limit changes

Check if you are eligible for Medicare or your Part B premium

NOTE: Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended as tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice. Not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or any governmental agency.

These concepts were derived under current laws and regulations. Changes in the law or regulations may affect the information provided. For answers to specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney, tax advisor, or financial professional.

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