Your 65th birthday is a wonderful milestone to celebrate, but it also means you’ve got some things to start planning for. Here are 6 things you should be thinking about ahead of your 65th birthday.
1. LOOK INTO MEDICARE COVERAGE
Medicare is complicated, so the sooner you start thinking about this, the better. You can enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B as soon as three months before your 65th birthday to make sure that coverage starts on your birthday. When you enroll, that’s a good time to look into other forms of Medicare coverage, including a Part D prescription drug plan or Medigap insurance. You will also want to check into how this might affect your current health insurance plan.
2. LOOK INTO LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE
Medicare is helpful, but it doesn’t cover everything — including long-term care. About 70 percent of people who are 65 or older will need some form of long-term care during their life. If you delay, you might not be eligible for long-term care insurance down the road or it may become too expensive.
3. PLAN YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS CLAIM
You can start claiming partial Social Security benefits when you’re 62 and can claim full benefits at 66, which is considered “retirement age.” However, if you can afford to put it off, you can increase your payments by as much as 8 percent for every year your claim is delayed. Don’t wait too long though. You must start receiving benefits when you’re 70 or younger.
4. PLAN YOUR END OF LIFE ARRANGEMENTS
This is a good time to finalize your end-of-life arrangements. This includes your living will (medical directives), selecting a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney and your last will and testament. You may also want to set your funeral plans. It may feel morbid, but planning ahead as much as possible will save time and stress for both you and your loved ones down the road.
5. TALK TO A FINANCIAL PLANNER ABOUT TAX CHANGES
Your 65th birthday can also have a big impact on your taxes. The standard deduction is higher and you might qualify for a tax credit for the elderly. You may also have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits. Working with a financial planner or CPA will help make sure you’re doing it right.
6. PLAN YOUR RETIREMENT
All of that sounds like a lot of work, but turning 65 can mean a lot of fun too! If you aren’t already retired, start planning your retirement. Think about what you want to do and how you want to spend your “golden years.” This can be a very exciting part of your life where you have a lot of freedom, so make sure to enjoy it.
Do you have questions about Medicare, Social Security or aging? Get answers from local experts by calling REAL Services at 574-233-8205 or toll-free at 800-552-2916.
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