Working at 70, Social Security and Taxes

Paying 2014 Taxes Has Me Pondering My “Entitlement”

Turning 70 this year, I’ve certainly read plenty about the selfish, entitled, senior citizen. I have waffled back and forth on this issue, feeling sometimes deserving, other times guilty.

Then it finally dawned on me! I’ve been paying taxes as long as I’ve been accepting Social Security. I’ve worked part-time jobs (sometimes two, creating a full-time schedule). I also am self-employed in publishing, writing and some web design as well as small business consulting. I’m a little person – no big wealth picture here. But certainly no freeloader.

This year I had to pay taxes on $1165 of my Social Security. But, like so many others, I usually only paid attention to what I might ‘owe’ or ‘get back’ as a refund. (Yes, refunding my own money!) But I’m getting off track. The sudden ‘Gestalt’ was this:

photo of money with social security cardMy total taxes for 2014 included:

  • Federal: $1,092
  • State:  $995
  • Social Security: $1321.22 (out of 2014 earnings)
  • Medicare:  $309.00 (out of 2014 earnings)
  • Medicare Part B:  $1258.80 (deducted from my Soc. Sec.)

That’s a total of $4976.02

I never really paid attention to the ‘total’ before this year. And I’ve been doing similarly since I started taking my Social Security at 62. So I now graciously accept my Social Security (accepting it at 62 years of age after 44 years of working). The next 8 years, I continued to appreciate the Social Security while also paying into the system since I’ve earned income every year. I might add that I have been lucky enough to need no health care other than an antibiotic now and then for a sinus infection. So I’ve not taken any money out of the health till either.

I am not unique. There are several million seniors doing exactly the same. I’m guessing many more will continue. After all, who wants to live another 20, 30, 40 years and be bored silly. Along with volunteering, mentoring, social engagement, travel, I believe there will be many more seniors who will either continue working or become self-employed. Let me share a bit of the research I’ve found.

The following video is from NextAvenue.org with the video below from PBS.

Another site offers BabyBoomers news and tips including articles about starting your own business.

Another consideration is this quote from Kerry Hannon in a Forbes article.

As the economy gains momentum, plenty of jobs will be created between now and 2030, and there will not be enough younger workers to fill the need as millions of boomers leave the workforce.

In a statement by The Gerontological Society of America they state:

Members of the large baby boom generations are moving into the years when they are more likely to become self-employed. Aging boomers also are more likely to work longer since they tend to be healthier and better-educated than previous generations of retirees. Yet, despite its important implications for older adults’ retirement well-being and national economic growth, self-employment and entrepreneurship at older ages is a relatively understudied area.

So, as I send my checks to the Federal and State Treasuries for my 2014 Income Taxes, I will raise a glass of wine and toast the ‘baby boomers’!

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