Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Unexpected Costs: Five Things That Could Surprise You After Retirement

For well over 30 years analysts and demographers have spoke of the years when the Baby Boomer generation would hit retirement age. That has now come to pass, with more than 5,500 individuals in the United States hitting 65 every day. Those seeking senior living Mesa AZ, offers are arriving in that city by the thousands each year. For those who have planned well, the golden years lay before them. For over half of those new seniors, however, they are financially unprepared for the prospects of retirement. 

In addition, even those who tried to plan financially are finding that there are a number of potential surprises in retirement that upset those plans. Their experiences serve as a cautionary tale of financial issues that can disrupt your retirement plans. Below are five of those potential additional costs of which you should be aware. 

Unanticipated health care costs.

Many retirees have not borne the brunt of their personal health care expenses until they are on their own. Additionally, people that have been healthy all their lives are surprised by sudden diseases and ailments that come with the aging process. With the new Affordable Care Act, there is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about how best to manage medical costs. One unpleasant irony for many is the more they have prepared and have adequate financial resources, the more they are often charged for their care. This includes surcharges for Medicare patients with higher incomes (currently $85,000 single and $170,000) filing jointly.

Taxes on income.

The fact that social security benefits are subject to taxes above a certain income threshold both surprise and aggravate many. Instead of being seen as the fruit of after-tax dollars, the government stands ready to again rake another share of the income you receive. 

Loss of income

Couples who plan to retire together make plans that deal with average life expectancies. When one spouse passes earlier than planned, the survival benefits lost can upset those budgets. Experiencing injury within the workplace could also effect this loss of income and could create a decrease in investments funds. 

Taxes on withdrawals.

There are very explicit rules concerning the taxation of withdrawals from different retirement savings plans. Aside from the risk of extra taxes and penalties, many find the taxes to be a larger burden than built into their budget. Creating alternative sources of funds will be able to maintain the investment path while decreasing the taxation seen on the withdrawals. 

Greater than anticipated spending.

Financial planners work with individuals to set up spending for 20 to 30 years in the future. Even with allowances for inflation, many retirees find that it simply costs more to live and enjoy their freedom than they ever anticipated. Rather than living a sedentary lifestyle sitting at home, individuals find they enjoy traveling and visiting with grandchildren. Everything from dinner out to giving more gifts than planned can cause shortfalls in the budgets that were established when much younger.

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