Each year some of the retirement planning rules and limits change, as most are indexed to inflation. Below I've gathered the 2013 rules and limits that are most relevant to your retirement planning.
Whether you are already retired, or still saving, understanding 2013 tax rates can help you get more out of the money you have. 2013 tax changes were generally favorable to lower income tax payers and less favorable to higher income filers. Either way, smart tax planning can help you keep more of your retirement money.
Many retirees are caught off guard by something called the Social Security earnings limit. If you collect your Social Security retirement benefits early, and then go back to work, if you make too much, you may owe some of your benefits back. Make sure you understand how the earnings limit works before you begin your own Social Security benefits.
Although Medicare Part A is free, Medicare Part B is not. The more income you have, the higher your premium. A year where you show a larger than normal amount of income (due to the sale of a piece of property or a large bonus for example) can catch up with you later resulting in higher Medicare Part B premiums.
If you're still working, and can participate in a 401k plan, it's likely you'll want to take full advantage of it. 2013 401(k) contribution limits rose slightly from 2012 levels. You may want to adjust your contribution amounts to take advantage of the higher allowable contributions.
Did you know you can sometimes contribute to an IRA even if you have a 401(k) plan? In addition, IRA contributions are allowed for non-working spouses. Of course there are rules and limitations that apply. The 2013 rules are covered in this article.
I consider the ROTH IRA the superhero of all retirement accounts. You can grow money tax-free with a ROTH and if need be, you can get your original contributions back out without paying the 10% penalty tax, even if you are not yet 59 1/2. Check out the 2013 ROTH contribution limits to see if you can put this superhero to work for you.
A health savings account
can be a smart way to save for retirement. You can contribute money on a tax deductible basis and later use it tax-free. This is pretty amazing. You have to pair it with a high deductible insurance plan, so it won't work for everyone. If you're in charge of your own health insurance, take the time to see if an HSA is right for you.