The most important retirement date is the actual date you get to stop working — but there are other retirement planning dates that are extremely important as well. Keep these deadlines in mind as you plan for your retirement:
Required minimum distributions: You must start taking minimum distributions from 401(k) and traditional IRA accounts when you are 70.5 years old, but you can wait until April 1 of the year after you turn 70.5 to take your first required minimum distribution from your retirement accounts. (Then all subsequent distributions are due by Dec. 31.) Delaying your first required distribution could mean taking two required withdrawals in the same year, potentially increasing your tax burden.
Keep in mind you do not have to take minimum distributions from your Roth IRA.
Stop contributing to a traditional IRA: Once you begin to take required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA at age 70.5 you can no longer contribute to a traditional IRA. But if your spouse is younger and still eligible to make contributions, he or she can contribute to your IRA by making a spousal contribution.
You can continue contributing to a Roth IRA. There are no age restrictions for contributions.
Sign up for Medicare: Sign up for Medicare Parts B and D in the seven-month window that begins three months before your 65th birthday. Change prescription plans between October 15 and December 7 each year.
Start taking Social Security: You become eligible at age 62 (but you can delay in order to increase monthly benefits.) Full retirement age starts when you are 66 (or later, depending on your date of birth.) Maximum benefits are granted at age 70. See our office for help in determining when is the best time for you to apply for Social Security benefits.
Purchase a fixed annuity: Most financial providers do not allow you to purchase a fixed annuity past a certain age, but since that limitation often falls between 85 and 95 years old, that is often not a problem. And of course the longer you wait to purchase a fixed annuity, the less likely it might be that you have sufficient assets to do so.
Purchase long-term care insurance: Qualifying for a long-term care insurance policy is based on your health; if you have certain medical conditions, you may not be able to purchase a policy. Of course as you age the likelihood of having a medical condition that could increase the likelihood of your needing to make a claim increases… so in general terms, deciding when (and if) to purchase long-term care insurance is something of a numbers game.
Many people choose to purchase LTC insurance when they are in their 40s or 50s, if only because premiums typically increase sharply once you reach your 60s. So if you’re interested in long term care insurance, start thinking about it now. You may decide to wait, but at least you will have a good sense of the possibilities and the cost.
Article Published by Forbes June 29 2017
Written by Mark Eghrari