Retirement

Turning 65 Soon? How to Prepare for Medicare

Imagine (and maybe you don’t have to imagine) you are turning 65 years old later this year. A significant milestone, if for no other reason than becoming eligible to receive Medicare. What do you do? How should you prepare for it? What is next? Read Up On Medicare Eligibility And Coverage Individuals who turn 65 and have been paying into the Medicare system for at least 10 years (or have spouses who have paid) are among those automatically eligible for Medicare Part A. This part of Medicare covers inpatient hospital insurance, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Inform yourself on what’s covered, what might require additional coverage and how you fit in. Enroll in Medicare Part B Getting covered in Medicare Part B — medical insurance — requires enrolling in the program three months before you turn 65. Delaying enrollment could mean having to pay a…

What You Need to Know About Your Medicare Card

When you enroll in Medicare, you’ll receive a card that proves your enrollment. Like most other health insurance cards, you present the card when you get medical care. Social Security and Your Medicare Card If you’re turning 65 and you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll get a Medicare card automatically – it should show up in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. If you’re turning 65 and not yet getting Social Security benefits, or if you need Medicare for other reasons, you can apply in three different ways: online at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling Social Security (800-772-1213) between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by going to your local Social Security office in person. What’s On Your Medicare Card Your Medicare card will be red, white and blue. It will show personal information about you – like your name and when your Medicare coverage took effect. It shows less…

What to Know About Retiring at 62 Versus Retiring at 70

Ah, retirement. That long-awaited life stage when all your hours of working, saving and family-raising efforts finally pay off. You’ll be free to travel, spend time with friends and family and enjoy the hobbies you never had time for. No worries, no stress, nobody to answer to. Except, without careful planning that scenario could be a fantasy. A 2017 Ipsos/USA Today poll found 45- to 65-year-olds surveyed, 30 percent had less than $100,000 in savings. Another 30 percent had no savings at all. No matter how much money you have invested for your retirement, deciding when to make the leap can drastically affect how far those investments can carry you. Trying to decide when to retire? Here are some things to consider if you decide to retire at age 62 versus age 70. Your Social Security Benefits At age 62: More people (42 percent of men and 48 percent of…

What To Know About Taxes and Retirement

Retirement. No more workday grind. No more being a slave to the clock. No more having to worry so much about taxes. Just a second. What was that about taxes? Sorry, but it’s not true. A lot of people go into retirement thinking keeping track of taxes practically disappears. The reality is dealing with taxes may actually get more complicated. In fact, taxes can be a retiree’s biggest budget item. How could taxes possibly get more complicated? Situations vary, but let’s take a simple example. In your working life, odds are you’ve got income from essentially one source—your job. Taxes were taken from your paycheck and you didn’t think about it. Every April, you file a few fairly similar forms and there you go. In retirement, however income streams vary—social security, retirement plan payouts, post-retirement jobs, etc. And there are taxes along the path of enjoying that income. While you…

Are You Being Careful With Your 401(k)?

In time where traditional pensions are all but extinct, 401(k) accounts are key to many people’s retirement strategies. You just set them up, make sure you put money in and that’s it. Right? Trick question. A 401(k) needs management in order to be the retirement nest egg you want it to be. Your employer put it in place for you, but it’s up to you to make it work for you. There’s plenty of information out there on managing a 401(k) and the mistakes people make with their accounts. Even the IRS has some definite opinions on how you should go about making 401(k) decisions. We’ve assembled some of the more common things people don’t realize about their 401(k) accounts, along with some resources to help you make the most of yours. It Costs You Money to Have a 401(k) “Employer-provided” doesn’t mean “100 percent employer-funded.” There are personal costs…

How to Talk to Adult Children About Your Estate Planning

If you have adult children, you’ve probably done some planning about what you’d like to leave for them when you’re gone. You may even have a will and keep your paperwork and electronic files in places they know how to access. Many parents, however, have not actually talked to their older or adult children about their retirement years and end-of-life financial plans. It’s a subject that many find intimidating and uncomfortable. Or you may think your children don’t want to have such a conversation about that eventual day just yet. If you’re a good planner, take it to the next level and talk with your adult children about your plans and how they should carry out your wishes. The last thing you want to leave them with is uncertainty or possible disputes because of unanswered questions. It’s a given that talking about what will happen to your family after you…

How to Apply for Social Security

What most people think of as Social Security is just one part of a much larger program. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act—legislation that provided for Retired Worker Benefits, Survivor Benefits and Disabled Worker Benefits. This post focuses on Retired Worker Benefits—that money you’re expecting to see after all those years of payroll deductions. What Do I Need to Know to Get Social Security? So, the day has finally arrived. You’ve decided to sign up and start collecting your Social Security benefits. Before you start the process, ask yourself an important question: Is this the right time? Be sure you understand what your retirement needs are going to be. You can start collecting at age 62, which is definitely the right move for some people. However, the standard retirement age set by the government is several years older and depends on the year you were…

What You Should Think About When Thinking About Retiring

A Gallup Poll in 2016 reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans worried they did not have enough money for retirement. With other polls showing the retirement age is rising and more data showing Americans should expect to retire even later in life than previous generations, what effect does that have on your future plans? Check Your Savings and Create a Budget It seems to be an obvious first question: Do you have enough money socked away in savings? A majority of pre-retirees probably don’t have enough in savings if they wanted to quit working tomorrow. Life expectancies are growing, yes, but many Americans simply don’t save enough of their income to begin with. Savings should be at least 10 percent, if not more. For whatever reason, and it’s not always for reasons we can control, people tend to save less. How do you know if you’ve saved enough? And what…

Should Women Save for Retirement Differently Than Men?

With cost of living outpacing salary growth and an ever-increasing average lifespan, saving enough for retirement is daunting for anyone. Women, in particular, face challenges on the road to retirement that men do not, which result in reduced quality of living during their later years. A survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found only 12 percent of working women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably. An additional 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not at all confident.” This lack of confidence is, unfortunately, warranted. The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is less than $14,000 per year, compared with $18,000 for men. As a result of this disparity, Women over 65 are 80 percent more likely than men to be living in poverty, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. TIAA Chief Income Strategist Diane Garnick authored a report in…

How to Face Off With Debt Before Retirement

As you enter your 50s and 60s, hopefully you find yourself coming face-to-face with retirement. You may also find yourself still in debt. You are not alone. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people over 55 are in debt. To really make the most of your retirement years, it is essential you do whatever you can to ditch your debt now. Still, it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. Following these tips can help you pay down your debt before retirement. Reconsider Housing No one is saying you have to hole up in the wilderness or live in a tiny house. But what you do need to do is think about where you live and why. Give particular consideration to housing extras like property taxes and homeowners insurance. Typically, housing is the biggest expense in a budget, but people often only think mortgage payments when it comes…

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