3 Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Retirees will face a few surprises when it comes time to stop working.

The classic retirement fantasy is simple: Work until 65, get your gold watch and live happily ever after on your pension. Reality is a bit different.

Here are three things no one tells you about retirement.

First, Medicare isn’t free. You can and should enroll at 65, but brace yourself for premiums and co-pays. It also doesn’t cover everything, notably long-term care. Buying a medigap supplemental insurance policy can help with out-of-pocket costs. (See also 11 Common Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for more.)

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Second, you might owe taxes on Social Security. The feds can tax up to 85% of benefits, depending on your income. Thirteen states also tax Social Security. When budgeting for retirement, take income taxes into account. (See also 10 Things You Need to Know About Social Security for more.)

Third, some senior discounts can stink. Take hotels. While a senior rate might beat the standard rate, you could do better simply by booking on a discount travel site such as Hotels.com. A triple-A member discount might beat the senior rate, too. It pays to check. (See also 5 Senior Discounts to Avoid for more.)

These are just a few of the surprises that retirees might encounter. Check out more things no one tells you about retirement to see the rest.

Andrea Browne Taylor
Contributing Editor

Browne Taylor joined Kiplinger in 2011 and was a channel editor for Kiplinger.com covering living and family finance topics. She previously worked at the Washington Post as a Web producer in the Style section and prior to that covered the Jobs, Cars and Real Estate sections. She earned a BA in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is Director of Member Services, at the National Association of Home Builders.