Retirement Planning

Social Security and Medicare

Social Security

Part of the Core4 strategy includes focusing on maximizing your Social Security benefits to receive the most amount of income possible. Not only should your Social Security strategy maximize your retirement income, it should help to maximize your total wealth and retirement security.

For most families, taking Social Security sometime between 62 and 70 isn’t a black and white decision. Neither is when to take spousal benefits, or possibly to take personal or spousal benefits first, before switching to the other later.

And there are questions. Should you supplement your income from your IRA’s or Non-IRA’s during this time? How does that affect the taxation of your benefits and your other income?

All these decisions matter!

To have the biggest impact with your Social Security election strategy, individual and families should consider all relevant factors, including overall investment plan, income strategy, longevity, and others. Looking singularly at any of them and making decisions based on a too narrow of a perspective could be a mistake. Like pieces to a puzzle, all these elements fit together for the purposes of maximizing your Social Security benefits.

We believe our Core4 strategy, as part of your Customized Retirement Plan, seamlessly integrates all these decisions into a clear design. Working with Oak Harvest may provide you peace of mind knowing that we make every effort to understand and address these nuances.

At Oak Harvest, our professionals have experience and expertise at Social Security planning, and integrating different Social Security strategies into overall financial plans to attempt to maximize retirement income streams, security, and overall wealth.


Medicare and retirement income planning are closely aligned. In our view, the average retiree should expect to spend $5,000 per year on out of pocket medical expenses not covered by Medicare.

Research quoted in USA Today in 2018 indicates that the average couple is expected to spend about $280,000 in today’s dollars throughout retirement on out of pocket medical expenses.

It’s important to note that this figure does not include long term care insurance or care.

Planning for income throughout retirement to keep up with the medical costs is one of the biggest advantages of working with a retirement professional and having a written retirement income plan.

At Oak Harvest, we don’t just attempt to plan for our clients to have enough income throughout retirement, we also plan for taxes and how making certain income decisions and strategies may impact facets of retirement, such as Medicare.

One of the biggest surprise medical costs for many in retirement may be IRMAA surcharges. Many individuals may not aware that big taxes like this can really increase your long-term out of pocket medical costs.

IRMAA stands for “Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount.” Depending on your income levels in retirement, your premiums could increase from the standard $135.50 per spouse per month in 2019 to anywhere between and up to $460.50 per spouse per month.

On top of the IRMAA charges, retirees should be aware that according to the 2018 Medicare Trustees report, Part B premiums are expected to increase about 8% per year over each of the next 5 years. As more people hit age 65 and become a beneficiary of Medicare, (10,000 every day), Medicare costs will continue to increase.

We believe a lot of planning must take place before the age of 72 when Required Minimum Distributions commence. From this point forward, mandatory distributions from IRA’s will bump many people into these IRMAA surcharge brackets. Without a plan or a guide, many people will inadvertently be forced into these surcharges and potentially have to pay tens of thousands more in Medicare costs.

2021 Medicare Part B Premium Rates


Your Customized Retirement Plan from Oak Harvest will help you tailor an income and tax strategy that considers Medicare and related health care costs throughout retirement. We strongly believe that this type of in-depth planning and knowledge is part of what separates Oak Harvest from our competitors.

The Retirement Income Show Logo


Listen to our radio show hosted by Troy Sharpe at 12 p.m. every Sunday on 740 AM Newsradio 740KTRH.

Retirement Videos on YouTube


Concerned about how market activity could affect your retirement? Get the latest market updates on our youtube channel.

Stock Talk

Stock Talk

Listen to Stock Talk to learn more about OHFG's view of the capital markets.