Do you have something planned for your retirement?

Retirement: Active and conscious preparation

Many people can retirement hardly wait: finally do what you otherwise would not be able to do with all the work, finally reap the fruits of years of work and have a good time - if you can. Some aspiring retirees don't think much about their retirement beforehand. He also wants to be prepared, otherwise there is a risk of boredom and dissatisfaction; in the worst case, some even slide into a crisis. There are also some financial preparations to be made. Just because you are leaving the world of work does not mean that you are automatically exempt from tax liability. We give you the most important tips about retirement and show you what to look out for ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

When does retirement start?

Retirement is the time after working life. The Retirement from professional activity is also referred to as retirement, retirement or, for civil servants, as a pension.

Since retirement with the last phase of a person's life connected, the retiree status is retained even if the person takes up marginal employment, for example.

Depending on the year of birth, retirement occurs in the mid-60s, when former employees have completed the waiting period to receive statutory pension insurance and the Standard retirement age has been reached. This has been gradually increased since 2012 in order to cushion demographic changes.

Those born before 1947 retired at the age of 65, and the retirement age has been increasing since the birth cohort in 1948 raised to 67 years. An early retirement without an advance payment is still possible if an employee has been insured for 45 years.

Reasons for dissatisfaction in retirement

Regardless of whether you retire at 65 or 67, it comes as a surprise to some. For many decades, the work has set the pace and the Day structured: After all, even with flexitime there are core working hours.

You were just in the prime of your life, suddenly you belong to the old iron. And last but not least, retirement means a change for couples: roles have been established over the years that now have to be renegotiated. Those who are now at home all the time can also take part in the household as the other part may have been before.

And that now both partners a lot spend more time together, can also become a challenge, after all, there is no longer any free space. But there are other reasons why retirement is not without it:

  • Work is meaningful

    Quite a few employees work full-time. Those who still have family and friends, who do sports here and there, do not necessarily need demanding hobbies - the remaining time is so short that it can easily be bridged with reading, watching TV or playing computer games.

  • Work enables standard of living

    Everyone has specific desires and goals. Further training not only serves intellectual growth, but also often enables professional advancement. This in turn gives you the opportunity to increase your own standard of living: a (larger) car, your own house, expensive vacations ...

  • Work is networking

    We expand our network through working contacts. This has professional advantages - for example, by learning about vacancies or innovations and trends in the industry. Very often, however, friendships also arise through shared experiences and interests.

All of that falls gone overnight without replacement and if you do not deal with the approaching retirement, crises are inevitable.

Specialists and managers in particular suffer from the empty desk syndrome. They usually are though financially secure in retirement.

But sometimes they mainly had work contacts, over-defined themselves their professional successes and attached great importance to insignia of power such as an imposing company car and a spacious office.

Farewell words and quotes on retirement

Your colleague is about to retire and you want to write a few nice farewell words on a card?

Farewell words

Dear Karl,

a legend is retiring - you really deserve it. The many moments in which you always supported us when the software did not work as planned will remain unforgettable. Thanks again for that too! We will miss you!

Dear Kirsten,

The daily stress with dissatisfied customers is now over, now you can devote yourself fully to your husband and your grandchildren! We wish you all the best for your retirement!

Funny sayings

Or maybe even something funny? You can use it to print a mug or T-shirt for your colleague to say goodbye to.

For example:

In retirement, I finally can't do everything that I always wanted to do when I was still working!

Retirement: The ability to do what you want, when you want.

A retired man is a full time job for the wife!

Warning, retired: But I still work part-time as a pain in the ass.


Quotes are especially useful when you want to introduce some kind words to say goodbye.

  • Saying goodbye always hurts, even if you've been looking forward to it for a long time.Arthur Schnitzler
  • You already know in your youth that everything passes away; But how quickly everything goes by, you only learn in old age.Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
  • What someone “has in himself” never benefits him more than in old age.Arthur Schopenhauer
  • A man has to divorce before tears come into his eyes.Christian Friedrich Hebbel
  • How wonderful it is to do nothing and then rest from doing nothing.Heinrich Zille
  • Retirement is not a standstill, but an opportunity to enjoy life.Unknown

Planning for retirement

The best way to counter unsightly surprises in retirement is by yourself plan early. Young professionals in particular tend to waste fewer thoughts on it - retirement is still decades away for them. That's true, but it's more important than ever to grapple with retirement.

Today's generations of employees are getting older: statistically speaking, those who are retiring now still have one Quarter of his life in front of you. How well this neighborhood turns out also depends on your retirement savings.

(Temporary) poverty starts at a young age when you are still physically fit are much easier to cope with than in old age with various ailments. Therefore the following tips:

  • Sort your finances

    Think about your financial security in old age. The statutory pension alone will not be enough. Experts usually recommend the 3-pillar model, which means: a mixture of statutory, company and private pension schemes. One form of company pension plan that your employer must support in any case is deferred compensation.

  • Talk to your partner

    Anyone who is married or lives in a community should come to an understanding with their partner about what the end of their life together could look like. If things are never addressed, both sides quickly assume that there is amicable harmony and that, as a matter of course, both agree - this can, however, prove to be a dangerous fallacy. While one dreams of a barrier-free converted home, the other may want to move into an expensive senior citizens' residence in the future.

  • Pick your hobbies

    Think about what you enjoyed in the past or what you always wanted to try. Perhaps you can take up old hobbies and start new ones. Craft and creative hobbies are not only fun, they also train motor and cognitive skills.

  • Do something for your vitality

    In retirement, you should definitely spend time maintaining your physical and mental abilities. This includes a balanced, healthy diet and appropriate exercise. Some people still run marathons even in old age. But healthy sports such as swimming, hiking and walking also keep you fit.

Tax tips: are you liable for tax as a retired person?

The background is the Retirement Income Act from 2005. This is part of the Pension income that must be taxed, increased from year to year.

Example: You retired in 2005 (or earlier). 50 percent of your income is taxable. Pensioners who retired in 2010 already have to pay tax on 60 percent of their income. For 2015 the rate was already 70 percent, in 2016 it was 72 percent. This tax base will now continue to be increased annually by two percentage points until employees who retired in 2040 go, the complete Tax 100 percent of their pension have to.

Incidentally, the assessment base will no longer change for you, you is measured for life after your entry to retire. A pensioner who retired in 2005 will only have to pay tax on 50 percent of his pension income annually until he dies. But: He can still slip into tax liability. Under the following conditions:

  • tax declaration

    As a pensioner, you are liable for tax if your income exceeds the basic tax-free allowance. This was increased again - from 9,168 euros to currently 9,408 euros for single persons and from 18,336 euros to 18,816 euros for jointly assessed, married couples as a rule. If your income is lower, you do not have to file an income tax return. Lie over it, then already. Two pointers: First, a pension increase could bring you over the threshold for the first time. And secondly, in addition to pension payments, other income is also included in the tax assessment, for example capital, rental and lease income. So calculate your income as precisely as possible in advance to check your tax liability.

  • Review

    If you receive a request from the tax office, you are obliged to submit a tax return. If you do not comply with this, the tax office can estimate the tax base at its own discretion - usually to the detriment of the taxpayer. And: A statute of limitations only takes place after seven years from the assessment year. So if you fail to file a tax return, the tax office can repeat the money over the next few years - with annual late payment surcharges of six percent. In the worst case, the tax office will even interpret your failure to pay as tax evasion, and the statute of limitations will apply even later.

  • Pension payment notification procedure

    This bureaucratic German monster serves as a further clue not to willfully ignore the tax return. Because: Since 2009, the annuity notification procedure has ensured that pension funds, pension funds, professional pension institutions, direct insurance companies and providers of Riester pensions report to the tax authorities which pensions they have paid out in each case. In addition to the statutory pension, this also includes company and Riester pensions. The tax office can therefore very easily check what income went to your account - and whether you are taxable or not.

  • supporting documents

    The good news: Even as a pensioner, you can often deduct expenses from tax. These include special expenses such as contributions to health and long-term care insurance, extraordinary burdens such as medical bills, medication bills and funeral costs, donations, tradesman bills and advertising expenses. Hence the tip for retirees: meticulously collect your receipts.

For clarification one concrete example:

You retired in 2005, married and receive a pension of 25,000 euros a year. You have to pay tax on half of this, i.e. 12,500 euros. Since your wife / husband has no income, you are lying below the allowance for married couples of 18,816 euros. You don't have to file a tax return or pay any income tax. However, if you are unmarried - with an identical pension - you would be above the exemption for single persons of 9,408 euros and would have to pay tax on 3,092 euros.

In fact, tax professionals point out that one in the event of the death of the spouse, recalculate it from scratch got to. The tax offices often recognize the splitting tariff in the first year as a gesture of goodwill, but not afterwards. This is then followed by a change in the tax class.

And another example: You receive as a single person a pension of 12,000 euros per year. After deducting health and long-term care insurance contributions, donations, trade bills and advertising expenses, your taxable income is only 7,800 euros - and is therefore below the tax exemption. But: Since your income is higher than the basic tax-free allowance, you are obliged to submit a tax return. With the advantage that you ultimately do not have to pay any income tax.

Note: As always, all information without guarantee. For detailed advice on a case-by-case basis, please contact your tax advisor, a Lonsteuerhilfeverein or contact the tax office directly.

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May 20, 2020Author: Anja Rassek

Anja Rassek studied, among other things, German language and literature at the WWU in Münster. She worked for community radio and a publisher. Here she devotes herself to topics relating to the office, everyday work and studies.

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