Nowadays, 65 is practically the new 45. However, with increasing life expectancies, it is becoming increasingly necessary to change the way you think about your retirement – especially in terms of finances and health.
How do you picture your retirement years? How do you plan to find fulfillment? Do you intend to work as long as possible? Do you imagine being active – taking care of grandkids, enjoying the outdoors, traveling?
It's easy to think about just how we picture these years, but the hard part is focusing on actually making it happen. Unfortunately, the reality is that aging can be challenging. Just picturing what you want isn’t enough, it’s time to be proactive and make a plan so your retirement years can be everything that you want them to be.
These are some of the key areas in your life that need planning for the retirement life you want:
Now is a good time to look at your current health status and risk factors. If you haven’t gotten a physical in a while, now is a good time to get a full physical examination which will provide a baseline to create a health plan that fits your needs.
You may feel fine, or you may even want to avoid finding out about anything bad, but health is the top factor in determining quality of life. So, don’t ignore your health, you can still make small lifestyle changes that could have a big impact.
- Use It or Lose It
Staying fit plays a major role in maintaining and even improving your health. If your goal is to live out your days as enjoyably as possible, then strength, flexibility, and balance will go a long way towards helping you maintain your health and independence. Plus, you’ve got to be fit to keep up with those grandkids and complete your bucket list!
- Sign Up forMedicare and Medigap
For most people, turning 65 means you’re eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. You can also choose to enroll in Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. Medigap supplemental insurance policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill some of the gaps in expenses that standard Medicare won’t cover. If you’ll no longer have employee-sponsored healthcare, you’ll definitely want to look into getting one.
- Change Your HSA
If you have a high-deductible health insurance policy, you’ll need to stop making HSA contributions when you enroll in Medicare. However, you can keep contributing to an HSA after 65 if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B.
- Long-Term Care
While no one ever wants to think that they might need help someday, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your assets. Long-term care can have a huge impact on how you live in retirement. Without proper planning, your options may be severely limited.
In addition to determining just where you stand with your physical health, you’ll also need to get a checkup on your financial and legal health. Financial planning shouldn’t wait until you turn 65, but it’s a good time to evaluate where things stand.
- Legal Documents
Do you have all the necessary legal documents such as a power of attorney, an advanced medical directive, a will, an estate plans, a trust? While many people tend to find these topics unpleasant to discuss, the consequences of avoiding them can be much more than unpleasant.
- Continuing Employment
Do you want to retire early, stay on the job, or work beyond retirement age? If you’re still working when you turn 65, you need to go over all your financial information and assets and figure out where you stand. After all, just because you’re eligible for retirement doesn’t mean you have to retire just yet… You must determine if you can live a comfortable life without the employment income. Also, you might still genuinely enjoy your job and don’t want to lose the social connections, physical and mental stimulation, and personal fulfillment it provides.
- Social Security Benefits
Now that you’re turning 65, you’ll need to plan when you want to start taking your Social Security benefits. 66 is considered Social Security’s “full retirement age,” meaning the age when you can claim your full retirement benefits without penalty. Some start to claim reduced benefits at age 62, while others wait until up to age 70 to claim higher benefits.
Whether you plan on retiring now or later, there are still some important matters to take care of. But as long as you prepare properly, you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way. As an experienced and Certified Retirement Counselor®, I am your go-to resource for all things retirement planning.
CONTACT ME today to schedule a retirement review to discuss your situation.