Retirement in the Age of COVID-19

We’re now weeks into the Coronavirus pandemic and our government has responded to the economic downturn at a dizzying pace.
While our State continues working on its own recovery package, hundreds of thousands of retired North Carolinians are awaiting their federal stimulus money which will fuel individual reinvestments into our state and national economies.  It seems like we’re moving at the speed of light and at the same time in slow motion.  The “new normal” is anything but normal.
For you, whether you will receive a check and the amount of that check will depend on several factors.  Whether you qualify and for how much will be based on your 2018 or 2019 adjusted gross income and if (and how many dependent children) you still have at home under the age of 17.

Here are some numbers that may matter to you:

Individuals:  If your adjusted gross income is below $75,000 you will receive a full $1,200 stimulus incentive.
Heads of Households:  If your adjusted gross income is less than $112,500 you will receive a full $1,200 stimulus incentive.
Married Filing Jointly: If your adjusted gross income is less than $150,000 you will receive a full $2,400 incentive.
For individuals and couples with incomes above these thresholds, things become more complicated. Retirees lose $5 of credit per $100 of income.  For example, if you are a retiree with no children under 17, you will see a reduction in credit up to $99,000 in adjusted income. Individuals with more than $99,000 in adjusted gross income will not receive incentive money. The same rules will apply for married couples; a reduction will apply up to an income of $198,000, and then the stimulus goes away.
Some other items to note as we continue this journey

What if you are hurt financially because of the Coronavirus?  Right now, you can pull up to $100,000 from retirement accounts. Any tax liabilities because of the withdrawal will be spread over the next three years. Furthermore, a 10 percent early distribution penalty is now waived.
Does Medicare offer any additional coverage?  Yes. Pharmacies can now fill 90-day drug supplies for Medicare Part D participants, no questions asked.  In addition, as a Medicare subscriber, once a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, you can receive it at no cost.  

As our country ails and heals from COVID-19, we’re checking in with you more. We’re all in this together. We are proud to continue serving you and all North Carolina state and local retirees.  Please encourage friends and neighbors to sign up for our email communications.  

Stay safe and healthy out there.

Richard Rogers
NCRGEA Executive Director


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