Countdown to Medicare and Social Security checklist

Here's what advisers should be reviewing with their clients each year between ages 62 and 70

Nov 24, 2018 @ 6:00 am

By Mary Beth Franklin

Age 62
Earliest age to apply for reduced Social Security retirement benefits, subject to earnings restrictions if working.
Age 64
Research Medicare options.
Age 65
Enroll in Medicare. Those who claim Social Security benefits early are automatically enrolled in Medicare. Others must sign up for Medicare during their initial seven-month enrollment period — which starts three months before their 65th birthday— or face lifelong delayed enrollment penalties.
Age 65+
Older workers with group health insurance through a current employer can delay enrolling in Medicare penalty-free for up to eight months after their job or group insurance ends.
Age 66
Full retirement age for people born from 1943 through 1954, gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1960 or later. Earnings restrictions disappear at full retirement age.
Age 66+
Those who postpone collecting Social Security beyond full retirement age earn delayed retirement credits of 8% per year.
Age 70
Delayed retirement credits end. Collect maximum Social Security benefits even if still working.


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