What You Should Know About Social Security Near Retirement
For roughly 50 years, American citizens could look forward to retiring at the age of 65 because it meant they didn’t have to work anymore. Thanks to the Social Security Act of 1935, they could retire at that age and get full retirement benefits that would help pay their living expenses.
However, the full age of retirement is no longer 65. That age has been increased up to age 67, although it really depends on the year that you were born. This is because Congress amended the law back in 1983 so that the retirement age would increase gradually throughout the next 22 years. The reason for this increase had to do with people living longer because of improvements in the field of medicine and health. Overall, the life expectancy of people increased which meant they’d keep getting those benefits for longer than originally intended by the government.
Of course, people who’ve paid enough into their Social Security from years of working can still retire at the age of 65. In some cases, they can even retire earlier at ages like 64, 63, or even 62. The only downside of retiring this early is that their monthly payments are lowered.
Therefore, if you want to find out the best age for collecting your Social Security retirement benefits, you should go to the Social Security website and read the online document entitled “When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits.”
You can easily apply for your Social Security benefits online too. Just visit www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits and fill out the online application.
Most people should still financially plan for age 65 as their age of retirement. Despite the age when you collect Social Security benefits, age 65 is when most working people are able to get their Medicare benefits. This is the health insurance coverage they’ll use for the rest of their life. But, you need to have enough work credits saved to get approved for Medicare at this age.
To find out if you have enough of these credits, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and review your Social Security account to see how many credits you have and how many you need to qualify for Medicare. If you don’t have an account, you can create one online too.
If you’re under 65 and already collecting Social Security benefits, hospital insurance (Medicare Part A) and supplemental medical insurance (Medicare Part B) will automatically be set up for you and ready to take effect immediately when you turn 65 years old. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you a couple of months prior to the day you turn 65.
If you’re not collecting benefits before 65 and you want to get Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65, then you can apply for it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits. You must do this within 3 months before turning 65. This is when the initial enrollment period begins for Medicare. This enrollment period lasts from 3 months prior to turning 65 to 3 months after turning 65.
To find out more information about this, visit www.socialsecurity.gov and use the array of tools on the website to figure out the best way to plan for your retirement.