Decisions around Medicare and Social Security are important ones. What you decide can impact your finances for the rest of your life.
Mary Beth Franklin, an expert on Medicare and Social Security, recently published an article in one of our trade magazines that I found very helpful. I want to share with you a timeline she gave as to the timing of when certain decisions need to be made:
“Age 62: Earliest age to apply for reduced social security retirement benefits, subject to earnings restrictions if working.
Age 64: Research Medicare options.
Age 65: Enroll in Medicare. Those who claim Social Security benefits early are automatically enrolled in Medicare. Others must sign up for Medicare during their initial seven-month enrollment period — which starts three months before their 65th birthday — or face lifelong delayed enrollment penalties.
Age 65+: Older workers with group health insurance through a current employer can delay enrolling in Medicare penalty-free for up to eight months after their job or group insurance ends.
Age 66: Full retirement age for people born from 1943 through 1954, gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Earnings restrictions disappear at full retirement age.
Age 66+: Those who postpone collecting Social Security beyond full retirement age earn delayed retirement credits of 8% per year.
Age 70: Delayed retirement credits end. Collect maximum Social Security benefits even if still working.”
As you can see there are several decisions to be made here, and there is no one right way to go. Your individual situation should be taken into consideration before deciding on whether or not to take Social Security early, at your normal retirement age, or postpone to age 70.
And keep in mind that your decisions cannot be changed.
If you are a client and would like to talk through these issues, I’d be happy to schedule a time we can talk.
If you are not a current client but would like some help making these decisions, I would be happy to discuss with you how we can help. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.