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Most Americans think of 65 as the standard age for retirement and can soon receive the full social security benefit. People who reach this important milestone are considered senior citizens, and they can qualify for government programs and discounts from many businesses. Here are some useful tips for people turning 65 soon.
1. Take Advantage of Medicare
As you get older, your healthcare costs are likely to rise. The prevalence of many health problems increases with age, including pneumonia, heart disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Fortunately, the Federal government offers Medicare, a health insurance program generally for people 65 or over.
Medicare Part A covers hospital and hospice care, and it’s free for most Americans. Part B includes doctor visits for a low monthly fee, and you can add dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage as well with Parts C and D.
You can complete your Medicare application within a seven-month window called the Initial Enrollment Period. It starts three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
People receiving Social Security benefits will be enrolled in Part A automatically; everyone else should apply. Even if you’re still working and you have an insurance plan through your employer or your spouse’s company, you can use Medicare to cover many things your policy won’t pay for.
2. Decide When to Retire and Get Social Security Benefits
If you have plenty of money saved in your retirement accounts, you can retire before you turn 65. According to the Social Security Administration, you can apply for Social Security benefits when you become 62.
However, people who turn 65 in 2020 won’t receive their full benefit until they’re 66 years and two months old. Some individuals keep working while receiving Social Security payments, and others wait to apply.
After you reach full retirement age, your monthly benefit will continue to increase until you turn 70. That’s when you should apply for Social Security benefits whether or not you’re still working.
3. Maximize Catch-Up Contributions for Your Retirement Plans
When you retire, you should have about ten times your annual earning saved to maintain your standard of living. The exact amount you’ll need depends on when you decide to start receiving Social Security, how long you keep working, your spending habits, and how you invest your money.
If you waited to start saving, preparing for retirement can be tough. You should invest as much as you can now to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle later.
Fortunately, the IRS allows catch-up contributions for many retirement plans. People under 50 can invest $6,000 per year in an IRA and $19,500 per year in a 401(k).
After you turn 50, the contribution limits increase to $7,000 for IRAs and $26,000 for 401(k)s, allowing you to make up for years when you didn’t invest much.
4. Start Using Senior Discounts
After you turn 65, you can start paying less for food, hotels, entertainment, public transportation, gym memberships, utilities, car repair, and more. The extra cash will help your retirement savings last longer and make many fun activities more affordable.
Before you make a purchase, ask an employee if a discount is available, or check the company’s website.
Turning 65 often means big changes, and preparing is essential. Using these tips will help you make sure that the years you spend as a senior are happy and healthy.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.