On October 18, 2022, the IRS announced tax year 2023 adjustments for tax returns filed in 2024.

The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2023 rises to $27,700 up $1,800 from the prior year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023, up $900, and for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $20,800 for tax year 2023, up $1,400 from the amount for tax year 2022.

Marginal Rates: For tax year 2023, the top tax rate remains 37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes greater than $578,125 ($693,750 for married couples filing jointly).

The 2023 Federal Brackets are:

  • 35% for incomes over $231,250 ($462,500 for married couples filing jointly);
  • 32% for incomes over $182,100 ($364,200 for married couples filing jointly);
  • 24% for incomes over $95,375 ($190,750 for married couples filing jointly);
  • 22% for incomes over $44,725 ($89,450 for married couples filing jointly);
  • 12% for incomes over $11,000 ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly);
  • The lowest rate is 10% for incomes of single individuals with incomes of $11,000 or less ($22,000 for married couples filing jointly).

YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNING TIMELINE

Recent surveys have indicated that many of us are rethinking our retirement plans because of the recent stock market pull-backs of 2022. In fact, one survey from the nonprofit group Life Happens suggests that a whopping 45% of Americans say they plan to postpone and continue working past their retirement date.

And while it’s impossible to make blanket statements or give advice that fits the masses, there are three important questions you need to ask yourself before delaying your retirement.

Ask yourself:

How is your health? Did you know that 4 out of 10 current retirees said they were forced to retire earlier than planned because of health issues? Of course you don’t know what the future holds for you in terms of your health, but an honest assessment is a great investment in you.

How is your asset allocation? More specifically, if you were expecting to retire in say 3 years, were you invested 100% in equities hoping for one or two “great” years from the stock market? Not reallocating your portfolio away from equities the closer you get to retirement is actually a pretty common mistake. But it can be devastating too.

Did you alter your financial plan because of the stock market declines in 2022? Asked another way: did you change your investments because you were scared? Trying to time the market based on fleeting emotions is a dangerous game.

Intuitively, working in your retirement years and saving more will add to your retirement nest egg because you’ll be adding money versus withdrawing. But, if your asset allocation remains inconsistent with your goals and risk profile, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

SOCIAL SECURITY SHOULD ALSO BE PART OF YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNING

Planning is the key to creating your best retirement. You need to plan, save, invest, and plan some more. And despite the naysayers suggesting that Social Security will be bankrupt, make sure you plan for it (or not).

Did you know that as of 2022 on average, retirement beneficiaries receive 40% of their pre-retirement income from Social Security? And do you really know how Social Security works? You know about the Social Security Credits?

From ssa.gov:

Social Security Credits

“You must earn at least 40 Social Security credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. You earn credits when you work and pay Social Security taxes.

The number of credits does not affect the amount of benefits you receive. We use the amount of credits you’ve earned to determine your eligibility for retirement or disability benefits, as well as your family’s eligibility for survivors benefits when you die.

How Credits Are Earned

Since 1978, you earn up to a maximum of four credits per year.

Credits are based on your total wages and self-employment income for the year. You might work all year to earn four credits, or you might earn enough for all four in much less time.

The amount of earnings it takes to earn a credit may change each year. In 2022, you earn one Social Security or Medicare credit for every $1,510 in covered earnings each year. You must earn $6,040 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

During your lifetime, you might earn more credits than the minimum number you need to be eligible for benefits. These extra credits do not increase your benefit amount. The average of your earnings over your working years, not the total number of credits you earn, determines how much your monthly payment will be when you receive benefits.”

Planning for Social Security

Of course, the amount of the Social Security benefits you or your family receives depends on the amount of earnings shown on your record, so it’s important to periodically check your Social Security earnings history to make sure its accurate. This will help you plan your retirement benefits so that there are no surprises.

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Nothing contained herein shall constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Material in this publication is original or from other sources published with express permission and is believed to be accurate. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assume no liability for any resulting damages. Readers are cautioned to consult their own tax and investment professionals with regard to their specific situations.

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