A Few Key Dates in 2016 for Retirees

While retirement can be a time for relaxation or days filled with travel, hobbies and family visits, there are some key dates that should be highlighted in your 2016 calendar. Here (below) is a list of important dates, which may be applicable to you.


CLAIM SPOUSAL BENEFITS If you are 62 or older by Jan. 1, 2016, retain the right to claim only spousal benefits when you file for Social Security at age 66 or later, allowing your own retirement benefit to grow up to age 70, assuming your spouse has already filed for benefits. Under a new law, younger retirees lose this valuable claiming option.

April 1 TAKE REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION If you turned 70 ½ in 2015, you must take your first required minimum distribution from your IRA, 401(k) or other traditional retirement accounts by April 1, 2016. But if you wait until then, you will have to take a second distribution by Dec. 31, 2016, and by each Dec. 31 thereafter. The penalty for missing an RMD is 50% of the amount that was not withdrawn.

April 18


The federal tax filing deadline is three days later than usual this year because of the celebration of Emancipation Day on April 15 in Washington, D.C. Some state tax filing deadlines differ. A six month extension is available to file a federal tax return, but any taxes owed are still due by April 18. It's also the deadline for the first quarterly estimated federal tax payment for 2016.

April 30


The deadline to file and suspend Social Security benefits under existing rules if you are 66 or older is May 1, 2016. That allows you to trigger benefits for a spouse while your own retirement benefits continue to grow by 8% per year up to age 70. Beginning May 1, no one will be able to collect Social Security benefits during a suspension period, and the ability to request a lump sum payout of suspended benefits will disappear.

June 15 DEADLINE FOR QUARTERLY TAXES Second quarterly estimated tax payment due.

September 15 DEADLINE FOR QUARTERLY TAXES Third quarterly estimated tax payment due.

October 15 OPEN MEDICARE ENROLLMENT BEGINS Open enrollment begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and all-inclusive Medicare Advantage plans, and ends December 7. Plans can change their list of covered drugs and prices from year to year, so you should review your coverage and shop for best-priced plans.

December 31

DEADLINE FOR END-OF-YEAR TAX MOVES A crucial deadline for several tax moves including taking annual required minimum distributions from retirement plans, making charitable donations that qualify for a tax deduction if you itemize, and selling depreciated securities that can be used to offset investment gains must be finalize by December 31.

January 15 (2017)


The final payment for 2016 is due on January 15, 2017. You can skip the final estimated payment if you file your 2016 federal tax return and pay the entire balance due by February 1, 2017. Note: You may want to try and reduce or eliminate your quarterly tax obligations by having income taxes withheld from your Social Security benefits, pensions and retirement plan distributions.

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