How 12 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed

Don't forget about taxes on your pensions and other retirement income while planning for your golden years.

elderly couple working on their taxes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you're planning for retirement, it's fun to contemplate all the travel, rounds of golf, entertainment and restaurant meals you have ahead of you. You've earned it! You may also want to financially help your children and grandchildren. However, many retirees don't take into consideration the cumulative impact of federal and state income taxes on withdrawals from their nest eggs. That's a mistake, because how retirement income is taxed is an important consideration.

The U.S. tax laws consider most forms of retirement income fair game, including Social Security benefits, pensions and withdrawals from your 401(k)s and traditional IRAs. And unless you live in a state without an income tax, you can expect your home state to ding you in retirement as well. (Taxes on retirees vary from state to state, so make sure you check our Retiree Tax Map for each state's overall tax impact on your retirement income.) Do yourself a favor before you retire and take a look at how 12 common sources of retirement income are taxed.

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Joy Taylor
Editor, The Kiplinger Tax Letter

Joy is an experienced CPA and tax attorney with an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. After many years working for big law and accounting firms, Joy saw the light and now puts her education, legal experience and in-depth knowledge of federal tax law to use writing for Kiplinger. She writes and edits The Kiplinger Tax Letter and contributes federal tax and retirement stories to and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. Her articles have been picked up by the Washington Post and other media outlets. Joy has also appeared as a tax expert in newspapers, on television and on radio discussing federal tax developments.