If you want to max out your Social Security benefit you will need to plan ahead. You can begin receiving Social Security at age 62 but most baby boomers will come out ahead to wait until FRA (full retirement age) at 66. Regardless of when you begin Social Security, most of us will go on Medicare A & B when we turn 65. How much is the spouse benefit?
How much does Medicare cost? Should I stay on my group plan or is it better to begin Medicare at age 65? Can I have Medicare without Social Security?
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Social Security at age 62 or wait?
If you need to begin Social Security at age 62 for financial reasons, go ahead. It is your money. But if you want to max out your benefits the longer you wait the more you will receive each month.
The Catch 22 in your benefit is this. How long will you live?
If you are in relatively good health and your family has a history of living into their 80’s or older there’s a good chance you will have a long life too.
But we never know until we get there.
CNN Money addresses the question, “Should you tap your Social Security benefits early or wait?”.
Many people want to get their hands on their benefits as soon as possible, fearing (incorrectly) that Social Security will go broke. Others enjoy the sense of control they get from investing those funds instead of passively waiting for a higher payment down the road.
In spite of some claims, Social Security will not go broke. Technically, it already is. Excess payroll tax collections have mostly been borrowed by Congress to pay current obligations. The Trust fund is full of IOU’s but that does not mean Social Security will implode.
There are too many of us boomers out there and we are old enough to vote if they try and take Social Security away from us. Yes, I said us. I will turn 65 in September of 2015 and will go on Medicare. My plan is to delay SS until age 66 or possibly later.
Social Security planning
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. There is a lot to be said for that old saw.
Back in the old days when we wanted to go on vacation we planned ahead. Many of us ordered at trip planning kit from AAA that contained maps, information on lodging and restaurants and even included brochures of places to see.
That was then.
Now we go on the internet and let Google be our friend. We may map out our trip to get an idea of trip times but rather than bulky maps that never can be folded up neatly we rely on GPS to get us from point A to point B.
We don’t have a retirement GPS and we do need to plan ahead.
Of the items mentioned in the video, long term care planning is often the one that is most overlooked. I have a business associate that handles long term care for me. Let me know if you need an introduction.
Turn 65, go on Medicare?
At one time you had no choice. Most people retired at age 65 and some even a few years earlier. If you worked for a “big company” like AT&T or IBM you had a retiree health insurance plan.
But those days are mostly gone.
Many large employers have cancelled their retiree health plan and shuttled their employees off to consultants like Aon or Towers Watson. Instead of a company health insurance plan you are forced onto Medicare. Your former employer may have set up a retiree HRA and made a deposit to help you pay for your Medicare Part B and either a Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap plus Part D.
The advice given by the service reps at Aon or Towers Watson is mostly inadequate. You may have also been told the only way to participate in the HRA was to buy your coverage through the consulting firm.
In many cases that may not have been completely accurate.
We helped several retirees find a plan that fit their needs and budget and still retain access to the HRA funding. In every case the premiums for plans we suggested were lower than those for comparable plans through Aon or Towers.
With more than 170 different Medicare supplement plans in Georgia, how do you find the right one for you? I will be glad to discuss the plans I considered as well as the one I will pick when I go on Medicare.
You can begin your search on our site. View plans side by side to compare benefits and rates. Of course we are always available to answer any questions you may have.
Still have questions?
Social Security can be confusing, even more so than Medicare. You are not the only one with questions.
Here are a few links to help you find your path and max out your Social Security benefits.
If you found this post to be of benefit please share it with your friends. Let us know how we can help.
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