After celebrating your 65th birthday, you may find yourself questioning what you should do to prepare for the next phase of your life. You may be a little confused and unsure of where to start, but this helpful guide is going to take away your uncertainty and show you what you should do next.
See What Medicare Benefits You Qualify For:
Once you turn 65, you are eligible for many Medicare benefits. There are several Medicare programs available to seniors, including Medicare Part A,B, C and D. Each plan has its benefits and drawbacks, so it is essential to spend time learning everything about each one before signing up.
Parts A and B are specifically for inpatient/outpatient services. Part C is a health care program that can replace your Part A or B plan. While it is cheaper, it does have more severe limitations, so be sure to read over the fine print carefully. Medicare Part D is a prescription medicine plan that can help provide some financial relief if you need medication that is expensive. Medicare can be confusing, so take the time to look through all the information available before making a choice.
Find Out About Social Security Options:
Social Security considers 66 as the age of full retirement. The earliest a person can begin collecting Social Security benefits is 62, however, the benefit amount will be reduced. 66 is the age a person can collect full Social Security benefits, without penalty. Waiting until 70 to collect the benefit could mean a higher monthly benefit amount. How much of a benefit will be available to your spouse, dependents, and survivors will also be a consideration that will help determine the right time to begin claiming Social Security. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead, to know exactly what you can anticipate in the future.
Additional Benefits Available for Low Income and Limited Assets:
Additional financial assistance may be available for those over the age of 65 that are low income or have limited assets. Supplemental Social Security are direct cash benefits that may be available, in addition to Social Security benefits, for those that qualify. Medicaid can provide benefits to cover healthcare costs for low-income seniors. Now is the time to explore these options, before you need the benefits. Find out if you qualify!
If You Haven’t Already Made A Will, Now Is The Time:
It is not a pleasant pastime to think about when you will pass away, but it is important to make any decisions you want and commit them to paper. Writing a will is one of the most significant actions you can take as a senior citizen. This is the time to consider what you would like done with your money, your belongings and of course, your funeral. A will should include anything you want to happen after you have passed away, otherwise your loved ones may be clueless and may choose a song you hate to be played at your funeral.
Explore Options for Long-Term Care Insurance:
While it is often an expensive option to consider, long-term care insurance is something worth considering. Long-term care insurance can cover some of the costly expenses of residential care or in-home care, in the event everyday tasks cannot be performed by oneself. Long-term care insurance can help pay for the long-term care that is some times needed to assist with disability, injury, chronic illness—such as Alzheimer’s disease or severe cognitive impairment, or assistance with the aging process. New policies are more affordable, the earlier they are purchased. Purchasing a new policy in the early to mid sixties is the last age in which it may be affordable.
Prepare Important Legal Documents in Case of Emergency:
When thinking of the future, it is important to make sure decisions, such as end of life care and medical directives are in place, before an emergency happens. Power of Attorney for financial purposes and a Living Will are helpful to assure your wishes are carried out, in the event of an accident or sudden illness. Make sure your desires are well-documented, so loved ones know what financial, medical, and estate decisions you would wish to have carried out.
Do Things You Always Wanted To, But Didn’t:
Now that you have reached the wonderful age of 65, you may realize you spent your life pleasing others, putting yourself last or just being way too busy to do the things you wanted to, but didn’t have time for. For most seniors, the children have moved out of the family home and have children of their own. You may find that your only responsibility is making sure the dog gets fed each night. Embrace that freedom, go out and try new and exciting things that you’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t before.
Now that it’s time to focus on you, think about taking the painting class you’ve been dreaming of for 20 years, learn how to do yoga or attend a laughter therapy program. Whatever you’ve been wishing about, now is the time to go out and enjoy life.
As you approach what could be the best years of your life, remember that planning for your current and future life is going to make things much easier for you. After you have made all the essential choices and plans, go out and have the best time of your life.