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Key numbers for 2014 retirees

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
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 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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Carol Davis
January 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

I am 70 ,my husband is 69. We receive social security & 1 small pension. We have mortgage payments ,medical ins.payments , prescription payments etc.
I am told I can get nothing back from IRS because I do not put anything in???????Everything I buy .Every bill I pay is taxable. Why can I not get anything back. Show me where I am not taxed?????
Thank You

January 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm

May not get answer quickly, but blog says maximum earnings for early retirement at 62 is $15,480 and penalty is $1 for every $2 earned. Is this after the $15,480 or total amount for year?

January 01, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Ken Reynolds -

Your military retirement will not be affected by SS at
any age. Taking SS at 62 means a 25% reduction in the
full benefit you would receive at 66. If you take
SS at 63, you would get 81.25%, at 64 you get 87.5%,
at 65, you get 93.75% and at 66, 100%. Something to
think about, if you would draw, for example, $12,000
a year at 62, you would draw $48,000 by age 66. Using
the same $12K example (75% at 62), you would get $16,000
at age 66. However, it would take you roughly 12 years
to make up the $48,000 you would have drawn between 62-66...
$48K divided by $4K = 12yrs It really boils down to
what your income needs are at 62 and what you think
they might be at 66... I am retired military and I
took my SS at 62 because I calculated it would take me
almost 13 years to "break even"(age 79!) by waiting to 66.
Hope this helps....

January 01, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I am planning of applying for my widows benefits this year. I am not able to find out via intranet or SS Office what the benefit will be. Can you help? My husband had been on disability before his death, does this impact the benefits?

jeffery leighton
January 01, 2014 at 1:36 pm

If my wife is 75 and I am 72 should we not be paying $43.90 for myself and $105 for my wife for pharmaceutical coverage?

January 01, 2014 at 1:07 pm

If you're living with a partner and both are collecting their respective SS benefits, what happens to their SS if the couple marries?

Ken Reynolds
January 01, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I am going to be 60 in March. I have 2 more years before I consider taking social security at 62. I am retired military and want to know a couple of things. One if I take social security at 62 will I still receive my full military pension? If I take social security at 66 years old will I still receive my full militiary pension? Two if I decide to take social security at 62 how much of a reduction in social security would that be since I can't receive full social security benefits until I am 66 years old?

January 01, 2014 at 10:20 am

I would like to know if it is possible to collect SS benefits when you are 65 and off work due to workman comp injury.

Vernon Johnson
January 01, 2014 at 1:47 am

keep for ref

December 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm

What happened to my post?
New Jersey