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Taxation of Social Security Benefits

As the old saying goes, only two things are certain, and one of them is taxes. Many new Social Security beneficiaries are surprised (and perplexed) to learn that their benefits are subject to income tax if their combined income from all sources exceeds certain thresholds. Exceeding the income threshold for your tax filing status will result in between 50% and 85% of your Social Security benefits received during the tax year becoming part of your overall taxable income. The thresholds were set decades ago, and have never been adjusted to account for inflation. So, more than half of all beneficiaries are now subject to federal income tax on their monthly benefits.

With this in mind, and for retirement financial planning, it’s a good idea to be fully aware of the rules applicable to taxation of Social Security benefits. A post by personal finance columnist Liz Weston, CFP® appearing on provides a quick review of the topic. Read her post here.

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