For most of your career, your retirement planning might focus on saving money, paying off debt, or reaching the age at which you can claim your pension. Each time you reach a milestone, like eliminating your mortgage, you are one step closer to retirement. But aside from your personal financial goals, there are many important dates which you should mark on your calendar.
Your 62nd birthday. You can claim your Social Security benefits early, when you reach age 62. Of course, your full retirement age is actually 66 or 67, depending upon your year of birth. If you retire at age 62, your benefits checks will be permanently smaller than they would have been at full retirement age. But in some cases you may need to retire early, so keep in mind that you can first file for Social Security benefits when you turn 62.
Your 65th birthday. When you reach age 65, you are eligible for Medicare. If you have already filed for your Social Security benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A when you turn 65. You can also purchase Medicare Part B for a monthly premium. However, if you have not already claimed your Social Security benefits, you will not be automatically enrolled in Medicare. If you forget to apply, you will actually be charged a penalty for each year that you neglect to enroll in the program.
You can begin your Medicare application starting three months prior to your 65th birthday, and he enrollment period extends for three months afterward. Beyond that point, your application is considered late and you may be charged the penalty.
Your 70th birthday. If you haven’t claimed your Social Security benefits yet, go ahead and do so. Your check will increase by 7 percent for each year that you wait beyond full retirement age, up to age 70. There is no longer any benefit to waiting, so be sure to claim your benefits now.
Age 70 ½. You are required to begin taking withdrawals from your retirement account, if you have not already begun doing so by age 70 ½. Minimum distributions will be based upon your life expectancy.
Remember to mark these important dates on your calendar. Anticipating these milestones and planning for them will keep you on course for a successful retirement.Read More