Turning 65 this year? Well, we’re here to make sure that life keeps getting better with age. These 6 steps can help to ensure that you’re on track to take easy street through the next steps of your life:
You might be under the impression that medical screenings are for diagnosing issues once symptoms present themselves.
This is absolutely not the case. Individuals who schedule routine physicals and screenings can get an early diagnosis if they are developing a medical condition – increasing the likelihood of success for medical intervention and thus life expectancy.
Regularly scheduling tests creates a basis for physicians to compare results as time passes, which helps them get a more well-rounded perspective of your individual needs.
Talk to your doctor to determine which regular screenings you should take based upon your age, family medical history, and more. While you’re at it, also talk to your doctor about what Medicare plans they accept. This will be important to know when you select a Medicare plan when you turn 65.
As you age, your medical coverage needs will change. For example, if you have risk factors for certain diseases, you might want to consider the need to treat those if they do, in fact, develop later in life.
Being proactive starts by having the right conversations with your doctor to determine how to best plan for your future health so that you're covered – regardless of what life throws your way.
One important factor to take into account when considering your long-term health is having the right healthcare coverage. Choosing a plan simply based on their current health needs is one mistake many newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries make. Talking with your doctor as well as a Medicare advisor can help you prepare for the future.
While financial planning may feel overwhelming, it's important to have a handle on your finances in this stage of life.
Start by making sure you have a budget to grasp the full range of expenses you will have each month.
Financial planners suggest that you need to replace 80% of your income once you retire. Likely, your Social Security benefits will not meet that benchmark. Social Security provides a standard of living comparable to the bottom quarter of earners in the United States. If your standard of living requires an income higher than $30,000 a year, you need to consider how you will supplement your benefits.
Additionally, turning 65 also means you become eligible for Medicare, which impacts your finances in more ways than you may realize. For example, there are different Medicare plan options, including plans with $0 premiums but high out of pocket costs or vice versa.
Choosing a plan that fits your budget needs in this stage of life is important. You may be eligible for Medicare costs savings programs or a Medicare Supplement plan that helps cover your out of pocket expenses, like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.
If you’re concerned about how Medicare will impact your finances, consider meeting with a Medicare advisor.
Beyond basic expenses, it’s also important to understand your taxes in this stage of life.
For example, where you live can impact what taxes you pay in retirement. Some states offer better tax implications for seniors, such as Florida and New Hampshire – if you’re considering moving when you retire check out the best states for seniors to retire in.
Furthermore, your taxes can impact your Medicare costs. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) reported on your taxes is above a certain level, you may incur a surcharge on your Medicare Part B and Part D plan premiums. This surcharge, referred to as IRMAA, can significantly impact your health coverage costs.
The surprising part?
IRMAA is based on your taxes from 2 years prior! For this reason, it’s important to understand how IRMAA works and what you might be able to do to avoid the costly surcharge.
Ultimately, it’s crucial that you have a full picture of your finances as you enter this new stage of life.
It is essential to enroll in Medicare benefits as soon as you become eligible during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
The IEP is the seven-month window around your 65th birthday (three months before and the three months after). If you miss your window, you could face gaps in health insurance coverage, incur late enrollment penalties, and have to wait for another enrollment period such as the Annual Enrollment Period.
If you have entered your Medicare eligibility window, schedule an appointment with a Medicare Advisor in your community who can help you in this transition.
Not eligible yet, but turning 65 in the near future? Explore more of our Medicare Resources. We cover everything from Medicare Advantage to Part D Prescription Drug plans and more! Being familiar with the ins and outs of Medicare will help you make the best decision when you do become eligible.