8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

April 12, 2021

Couples need to think about how their joint earnings are handled by the IRS during their earning years as well as in retirement.

Depending on your situation, it’s possible that you might owe a “marriage penalty” on your tax bill. It’s not an actual penalty. But sometimes a married couple can end up owing more taxes together than if each were single — while some couples can owe less, a so-called “marriage bonus.”

You’ll also need to pay attention to RMDs, or required minimum distributions. These are the withdrawals that retirees must take from tax-deferred savings accounts starting in the year they turn 72. RMDs have the potential to increase your income, affecting how much tax you owe.

Even if your 72nd birthday is far away, planning now can save you money.

A good plan considers how you will handle withdrawals from all of your accounts, how those will coordinate with Social Security benefits and what the tax implications will be.