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Key numbers for 2014 retirees

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Monday, December 30, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

Are you getting ready for retirement in 2014? Here are some official retirement planning numbers that every 2014 retiree should know:

Limits on earnings from employment. If you plan to retire before Social Security full retirement age, which is 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954, you can't earn more than $15,480 a year from employment without losing $1 in benefits for every $2 you earn. The year you reach full retirement age, the limit on earnings before your actual birth date rises to $41,400. After the month you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can make while collecting Social Security checks.

Average Social Security earnings. The average retired worker in 2014 will get $1,294 and the average couple will receive $2,111. The maximum that a worker retiring at full retirement age can get from Social Security is $2,642, but workers who postpone retirement past full retirement age get an 8 percent bonus for every year they delay. That means a worker reaching age 70 in 2014 who had steady earnings at the maximum level since age 22 can get a monthly maximum of $3,425, according to the Social Security website.

The price of Medicare. Medicare Part A hospitalization doesn't cost anything for most people, but there are fees for Part B, which covers doctor bills and other services. What you pay depends on how much money you earn.

  • Single persons earning $85,000 or less, and married couples filing jointly earning $170,000 or less, each pay $104.90 per month. Usually this gets deducted directly from your Social Security check.
  • A single person earning from $85,000 up to $107,000, and married couples making frm $170,000 up to $214,000 will pay $146.90 per person per month.
  • Single earners making from $107,000 up to $160,000 and couples making $214,000 up to $320,000 each pay $209.80 per month.
  • Single earners making above $160,000 up to $214,000 and joint filers earning above $320,000 up to $428,000 each pay $272.70.
  • Single filers making more than $214,000 and couples earning above $428,000 each pay $335.70.

There also are fees for Part D prescription drug coverage and penalties for people earning more than $85,000 or $170,000 as a couple. Here's the breakdown:

  • Single people earning $85,000 or less and married spouses filing jointly who earn $170,000 or less pay only the Part D plan premium, which varies based on the plan they choose.
  • Single people earning from $85,000 up to $107,000 and couples making from $170,000 up to $214,000 will each pay $12.10 per month plus the plan premiums.
  • Single earners above $107,000 up to $160,000 and couples making $214,000 up to $320,000 pay $31.10 per month each plus their plan premiums.
  • Single earners making above $160,000 up to $214,000 and joint filers earning above $320,000 up to $428,000 each pay $50.20 plus the plan premiums.
  • Single filers making more than $214,000 and couples earning above $428,000 each pay $69.30 plus their plan premiums.

Lots of people are shocked when their first Social Security check arrives and they see that it doesn't go nearly as far as they had hoped. If you earn less than the federal poverty level -- about $958 a month for an individual or $1,293 for a couple -- you'll be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. The government calls these people "dual eligibles." You can make more than this and still be eligible for Medicaid or other help in some states. If you think you might qualify, use BenefitsCheckup.org to find out where to turn for assistance.

Retiring and signing up for these programs isn't simple. Make sure you start three months before your retirement date and be prepared to spend plenty of time getting it right.

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32 Comments
GRETA PUURI
December 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm

if a husband of 3 wives dies do all 3 wives get his full s.s.check?

Carolyn Kenner
December 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I need to know at 62 what percentage will I get from SS? When can I go and apply, how mean how soon, so I can receive checks when I turn 62, I am 61 right now. I would like to know dollar amount but you can't give me that without my SS#.

Derry Murphy
December 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm

What form and publication do I need to report the sale of a single family rental real estate?

Mike D
December 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I'm in the same boat with "Mike" the second commenter. How will my SS benefits (not "entitlement") at 66 be impacted since I'm 59 and been on SSDI for the last 5 years due to medical conditions?

C, Novoa
December 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I am older than my husband. We file a joint return each year. I have not been employed since the fall of 2011 and have no income, except my husband's earnings. I have just turned 65 in Dec. 2013 and will be filing for Medicare.( I have until March.) This year my husbands income was three times his usual income since he sold stock and paid off our mortgage (2013). My question is will I have to pay a higher premium for Part B if I file later in the future. My husbands income will drop significantly in 2014. I will have to file for part A within the open enrollment. (Oct. 2013-Mar. 2014) If I file for Part A, will the date I file affect the premium to Part B even if I do not file for part B until a later year. Is part B's premium based on your income for the year you file? Presently I am covered by his group company ins. and it is primary. Are the premiums to part B adjustable by yearly income which can fluctuate, or are you locked into a premium based on the year you file for part B?

Bruce Lingle
December 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

For every month that I wait to retire after 62, my full retirement is at 66, does that reduce the % of my reduction? Due to back problems I believe I will have to retire soon, I will be 62 and 6 months. thank you

Mike
December 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I am a 55 year old male. Have worked full time since age 16 , after age 21 become a full time truck driver. in 2012 I was diagnosed to have a brain tumor and a biopsy was performed causing stroke like paralysis leaving me unable to work. I applied for and receive SS Disability of 1344.00 which seems incorrect but i'm finding the system difficult to navigate though I did initially from hospital since I have a mortgage that needed to be paid. i
'm wondering now how will collecting SSDI impact my SS benefits at 66?

Ronald Bevans
December 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I retired with a police pension in 2000 and was hired back as a civilian employee doing the same job. I am currently 64 and have been thinking about retiring at the end of 2014. I have been told by other retired members that I will be penalized because I get a police pension. One member only receives 400.00 a month and trust me, you can't live on a police pension and 400.00 a month. Are we penalized because it is a police pension when other retired persons from civilian companies who receive pensions are not penalized?

Lewis Gustavel
December 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I have a question about Medicare. I am a Federal Govt. retired employee as of Dec. 2010. I and my wife just turned 65 this summer and signed-up for Medicare Parts A and B. The money we are paying for Part B is not being offset by my Federal Civil Service (CSRS) monthly payment of nearly $500 I pay for my health benefits with Group Health Plan, which, by the way I have had for over 45 years. This plan will continue till we both die. I shouldn't have to pay for Part B medicare, should I ? Should I cancel Part B, as Group Health already covers that same services, plus, they cover my prescriptions aswell?

J. Goodin
December 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Limits on earnings from employment. If you plan to retire before Social Security full retirement age, which is 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954, you can't earn more than $15,480 a year from employment without losing $1 in benefits for every $2 you earn. The year you reach full retirement age, the limit on earnings before your actual birth date rises to $41,400. After the month you reach full retirement age, there is no limit on how much you can make while collecting Social Security checks

Does this mean I'll draw less social security if I'm also drawing a mil. pension of $24K?

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