There are many milestone birthdays in your lifetime and turning 65 is no exception, especially when it comes to Medicare and other key items. This is a pivotal year for finances, healthcare, and retirement planning – even if you don’t plan on retiring yet. It is important to be prepared for this milestone birthday to make the most of your benefits and avoid costly mistakes.
- There is a specific enrollment period for Medicare. Your initial enrollment period is seven months long, beginning three months before the month of your 65th birthday and extending three months after the month you turn 65. Enrolling in Medicare can be a bit overwhelming. There are penalties for late enrollment, but some workers qualify for a special enrollment period based on their work status and employer health care coverage. There are also decisions to make about the type of Medicare coverage you sign up for such as a Medicare Advantage Plan. You can choose to throw caution to the wind and buy your Medicare supplement policy online or let Team SJB take all the worry and guesswork out. You can depend on us to personally spend time getting to know your needs and design a policy for you. We have partnerships with all the major insurance providers, so we can manage the lowest cost policy or a policy that provides extra benefits or security.
- The magic age for Social Security benefits is 66, but you have options. You can start collecting at age 62, the minimum retirement age, but you’ll get a bigger monthly payment if you wait until full retirement age, which is 66 but is gradually moving to 67 for people born in 1960 or after. If you can wait until 70 to start collecting, you’ll receive your maximum monthly benefit. Everyone’s financial situation is unique, but before you turn 65, it pays to have a plan for how you’re going to approach Social Security.
- Before you turn 65 is the time to investigate if a long-term care policy is right for you. This policy will help you pay for any assisted living care needs you’ll require in the future. The premium will jump on your birthday, and the annual premium for a 65-year-old person can be 8 to 10% higher than what a 64-year-old would pay.
- Just because you are eligible for retirement at age 65 doesn’t mean you’re truly ready. The first step is to check in on all your financial information and assets and figure out where you stand. By discussing your situation with a qualified financial advisor, you can get a much better handle on when you should retire financially. Some people choose to continue working, desiring the company of co-workers and the routine of going to work every day. Many people feel they still have a lot more living to do. Even if you retire from your lifelong career at 65, you could start a new venture.
- Senior discounts apply to more than just meals at restaurants and travel expenses. You can find senior discounts on cell phone plans, prescription services, and at retail stores. It never hurts to ask. Did you know you also get a senior discount on your taxes? Starting in the year you turn 65, you qualify for a larger standard deduction when you file your federal income-tax return. Another tax break comes in the form of your HSA plan. You usually have to pay taxes and a 20 percent penalty if you withdraw HSA money for anything other than qualified medical expenses, but the penalty goes away at 65. At that point, you just have to pay taxes on nonmedical withdrawals.
Most importantly, enjoy every minute of turning 65! Reflect on the highs and lows of the last 65 years and plan to enjoy every moment of the rest of your life to the fullest. Our team of experts know what it’s like to make important decisions during big life moments. We will always put ourselves in your shoes to help find solutions for your specific needs.