The Social Security Administration states that full retirement age is between 65 and 67—depending on what year you were born. It is important to know the dates because depending on when you claim social security benefits impacts how much you will receive. If you were born before 1937 then your retirement age is set at 65. After that, 1943-54 would have you set to retire at 66. Lastly, from 1955 and every subsequent year, your retirement age will increase by two months starting from when you turn 66. The retirement age currently caps out at age 67.
While it may seem like just a few years in between partial and full retirement, depending on the type of work you do it can be difficult to decide when to retire. Too early and you may find yourself sorely lacking benefits you need. Many people are forced to retire early for financial aid when unexpected medical issues or financial issues arise late in life. While these scenarios are sometimes unavoidable, it is best to do all you can to ensure that you are set for retirement. Here’s a simple checklist to aid you in that regard:
- Get a Handle on Your Finances. – It may seem like a simple thing to consider, but many people often do not give the full extent of their attention to potential issues that may arise. Take stock on how much your take away is every month, consider every bill and potential expense that may arise. It’s a good idea to even go so far as to calculate the net worth of your assets and figure out just how much money you can extract in the worst-case scenario.
A big part of handling your finances is keeping tabs on your debt and cutting it down as much as possible month to month. If you don’t have any debt, congratulations! Unfortunately, according to this report by Experian, the average American has a debt of $6,506 in credit card debt alone. Many Americans incur this debt attempting to pay for basic necessities such as groceries or rent.
- Create a nest egg – A nest egg is an emergency stash of money that you hopefully never have to use. Social security is typically not enough to live off of even if you receive the max benefits. It is important for you to sort out any assistance you may receive whether that be from your family, your employer through a 401k or pension or passive income streams you have. While cutting debt is important, creating a retirement fund and contributing to it is just as crucial to having some breathing room in your retirement years.
- Learn the Ins and Outs of Health Insurance – It should come as no surprise that medical debt is very costly and tends to accrue as we age—where medical issues tend to become more frequent or pronounced. Due to this, you should make efforts to stay in the loop year to year as to how your medical coverage is changing or how the new legislation affects the insurance industry. This can help you avoid any unnecessary expenses or understand where and when you are covered so that you can either continue with the same coverage or find something more appropriate for your medical history or current health status. This is especially important if you decide to retire early and are not yet qualified to receive Medicare.
- Learn How to Occupy Your Time – After a lifetime of work, a worthy retirement can be a beautiful thing. Many retirees who are used to filling their calendars with work are now free from such obligations. It can be an overwhelming and unusual experience for anyone. From birth to retirement age, we are funneled into systems such as school or the workplace. Finding yourself with mostly free time in retirement may be more difficult than you imagine. It’s important to fill your time with the things you have always wanted to do but kept putting off. Actively pursue them, just because you are retired does not mean you stop living and growing as a person.
Group Retiree Medical Solutions
Benistar is a national leader in group retiree medical benefits. We administer prescription benefits and retiree medical solutions to employers so that they can offer the best help to their workers as they age. To learn more about our services, visit our contact page or give us a call at 860-408-7000.