“3. Remember, you must pay estimated taxes in retirement. If you’ve been working all your life, you’ve probably had taxes taken
out of your paycheck automatically. But when you retire, that’s not necessarily the case. If you’re getting pension payments and taking IRA withdrawals, you’re going to have to get used to writing a check to the government every quarter.
“’They [new retirees] are used to getting withholding’, says Paul Gevertzman, tax partner at Anchin, Block & Anchin in New York. ‘Now they have to make estimated tax payments. They can end up with a big tax bill in April that they never thought about’. There may also be a penalty for underpayment of tax.
“Some financial institutions will let you withhold taxes from retirement plan withdrawals, but you have to set those up. You can also set up withholding from Social Security checks.
“4. Even if you wait until 66, it may not pay to take Social Security the first year of eligibility. If you worked for part of the year, those earnings may push you over the limits and result in taxes on your Social Security, says Ted Sarenski, CEO of Blue Ocean Strategic Capital in Syracuse, N.Y.
“’My birthday is Sept. 5’, he says. ‘In the year I turn 66, I already have nine months of income. If I have earned $50,000, I am $10,000 over $40,000 limit. I have to give back $1 for every $3 over that. It may not pay for me to take Social Security (in the first year)’.”