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3 Steps to Take When You Turn 65

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, February 21, 2022

For those reaching age 65 this year, you’re probably in your final stages of retirement planning. Or some of you might already have retired early, but you still have a few retirement-related tasks to accomplish. Either way, age 65 is a major milestone. Here’s what you need to know as that birthday approaches.

Seek a reliable estimate of your Social Security benefits. You will be reaching full retirement age soon, as defined by Social Security. Now is a great time to get an accurate estimate of your future Social Security benefits, if you haven’t already claimed them early.

You can also request an estimate based on waiting longer to file your claim. Since benefits rise a bit for each year that you delay claiming them, taking this step can help you to decide upon the right time to retire and collect your checks.

Make a plan for income taxes. If you’re nearing retirement, don’t forget to estimate potential income taxes. They don’t go away just because we stop working! And in many cases, part of your Social Security benefits can be taxed. Discuss this topic with your financial professional so that you don’t face any unpleasant surprises after retiring.

Assess your Medicare options. You become eligible for Medicare at age 65. In fact, you must enroll at this time, unless you have creditable coverage through another plan (such as an employer’s group benefits plan). Failing to enroll on time will mean higher premiums later.

You essentially have two options: You can enroll in Original Medicare, which is administered by the government, or a Medicare Advantage plan which is administered by private insurance companies. These plans work on a network, similar to other healthcare plans you might have utilized in the past, and they roll a number of benefits into one plan that is easier to manage.

There is no single choice that is right for everyone but working with a Licensed Agent can help you learn about your options.  Together we will decide what type of care best suits your preferences, and help you enroll during your initial enrollment window.

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