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5 Things That Might Surprise You About Retirement

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, January 20, 2017

Think you’re ready for retirement? Or perhaps you are already retired? Either way, most people find themselves surprised by the reality, versus their vision. As you continue planning for the future, keep these retirement statistics in mind, and adjust your plans accordingly.

A majority of Americans plan to retire after age 65, although many continue to work part time after 65. Probably due to financial concerns, 56 percent of women and 59 percent of men say that either they plan to retire after age 65, or not at all. While a later retirement might work out for some people, the average age of retirement is 64 for men and 62 for women. You should probably prepare for the possibility that illness or disability could change your plans.

Social Security will replace less than half of your income. When you stop working, your regular paychecks will also stop. According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefits check will replace about 40 percent of that lost income. That means 60 percent of your income will be missing, if you don’t have another retirement income plan in place.

Your income taxes might surprise you. Income from retirement accounts is treated differently by the IRS, depending on the type of account. Withdrawals from a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) will be tax-free, assuming you follow the rules. Money from a traditional IRA or 401(k) is taxed as regular income, according to your tax bracket. If you have savings in a brokerage account, you could face capital gains taxes. Even Social Security income could be taxed, depending upon your overall income.

Many Americans are completely unprepared for retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 26 percent of survey respondents have saved less than $1,000 for retirement. And the numbers for the rest of us aren’t that great either; a surprising 64 percent said they have saved less than $50,000.

The cost of healthcare can be enormous. Fidelity Investments recently released an estimate on retirement spending. According to them, a 65-year-old couple retiring right now will spend (on average) $260,000 on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses throughout their retirement years. When you compare that number to the above statistics on savings, you can see a large discrepancy!

These statistics sound alarming, but we can help with some aspects of planning for the future. Give us a call, and we’ll help you identify ways to manage your healthcare costs in retirement.

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