What to Do if You’re Turning 65 This Year
If you’re turning 65 this year, congratulations! You’ve hit a milestone in your retirement planning, and you might be getting close to your target retirement date (if you haven’t already taken that leap). But before you make any permanent decisions, take these steps to keep your financial plans in line with your goals.
Estimate your Social Security benefits. Contact the Social Security Administration, or talk with your financial advisor. You can estimate your future Social Security benefits, based on full retirement age (66 or 67, depending upon when you were born). You can also receive an estimate on that those benefits would look like if you retire this year (checks will be a bit reduced), or if you wait beyond your full retirement age (checks will increase somewhat). It’s good to know exactly what you can expect from the program, because it will comprise a meaningful part of your retirement income.
Consider income taxes. Income taxes still impact us after retirement. As you assess your Social Security benefits along with other potential retirement income, make sure you understand the tax implications of any decisions that you consider. It’s better to know ahead of time, than to face an unpleasant surprise after retiring.
Enroll in Medicare. You’re eligible to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. Most people take advantage of that opportunity, unless they are still working and covered by a group health insurance plan. Even so, you might consider enrolling in Medicare and allowing it to supplement that plan. Remember that if you’re not covered by an employer’s plan, you must enroll in Medicare when you turn 65 or else face higher premiums later when you do enroll.
You will face a number of choices with regard to Medicare, such as Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage. You should also decide whether to enroll in a Medigap plan or a Part D (prescription) plan if you opt for Original Medicare. These decisions will impact your budget for a long time in the future, so take advantage of free, expert advice when offered. Call us to discuss all of the different Medicare plan options available to you, and one of our friendly experts will guide you through these choices.