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When I retired in 2020, I was still paying taxes on earned income, plus Social Security and Medicare taxes

You will certainly pay FICA on income earned in 2020, but once retired, you should discontinue FICA tax unless you received deferred comp distributions under Sec. 409(A) contributions made in the past by your employer, as those have not yet been subject to FICA tax. But earned inccome in 2020 could certainly keep you in the 22% bracket for that year.


That's true about 2020, but the point I was trying to make was that I still was in the mindset of needing enough income to cover those expenses, which I would not need for unearned income going forward.

The part that's not as simple for 2021, is that severance *is* subject to SS and Medicare taxes. I got some severance monthly from late 2020 through part of 2021. Thanks to having kids graduate from college and go off our expenses, plus having a couple family medical situations that made us hit the out-of-pocket maximum for two years, it's been difficult to estimate our true minimum income needed. We may be closer to the 22%/12% line than I assumed.

The gist of my post was that by converting IRA money to Roth prior to taking SS can save taxes on that social security. Plus, if you're in the same tax bracket before and after, it could be a nice upside with no downside, but you need to model it to see if it applies.
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