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Jim Puplava's Key Retirement Dates You Don’t Want to Forget

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 6:03 PM EDT

For well-prepared investors, retirement milestones are something to be celebrated. However, getting to the big day stress-free takes a lot of organization and planning.

Keeping key dates in mind is one of the most important aspects of planning ahead and mitigating stress. We’ve covered these retirement milestones in the past, and we receive so many requests for this information, we decided to put it all together in one place for our readers.

Retirement Planning Milestones

In preparing for retirement, there are nine deadlines everyone should keep in mind. These affect your retirement, taxes, Social Security, Medicare and other aspects of your financial health.

Age 50: When you turn 50, you can begin contributing an additional tax-deferred amount of $6,000 to your 401k.

As of 2019, the limit is $19,000 each year before you turn 50, but after this age you can add up to $25,000 a year. All contributions reduce your overall taxable income in a given year.

Age 55: You can now withdraw funds from your 401k without incurring the usual 10 percent penalty. You will have to pay income taxes on any amount you pull from your retirement account but avoiding the 10 percent penalty can be a valuable tool.

Also, at 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000 into your health savings account, if you qualify and have a high deductible health insurance plan. The cap is $4,350 for an individual health savings account and $7,650 for a family HSA.

Because so many itemized deductions were done away with by the 2018 tax overhaul, one nice aspect of this additional $1,000 is that it comes off the top for tax purposes, which may really help mitigate some of the pain from the loss of deductions.

Age 59 ½ : At this age, you may start withdrawing money from your IRA pension program without paying an additional 10 percent penalty.

Age 60: Once you hit the sexagenarian mark, you can begin collecting survivor benefits on a deceased spouse’s Social Security. It’s important to remember, however, that if you begin collecting at this point in your life, you are likely going to only take home 71 percent of the full benefit.

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