You also have a lot of decisions to make. For example, the full retirement age to receive Social Security benefits used to be 65, but that’s changed to 66 ½ for people turning 65 in 2019. You must decide if you want to retire or continue working to receive full benefits. If you don’t make a decision, you could be missing out on a lot of money. Use this list of four things to do on your 65th birthday to save money now.
1. Enroll in a Medicare Plan.
You can potentially save thousands of dollars if you enroll in the right kind of Medicare plan on time.
When You Can Enroll in Medicare
Many people are eligible to enroll in Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and the three months after your 65th birthday. Note: That IEP is only for people who qualify for Medicare because of their age. If you qualify for Medicare because you’ve been diagnosed with ALS, ESRD or you’ve received SSDI for at least 25 months, your IEP will begin when you become eligible.
If you don’t enroll during your IEP, you may face up to 10 percent of your premium costs in late enrollment penalties. However, you may be able to delay Medicare Part B enrollment if you receive coverage through your or your spouse’s employer.
If you lose employer coverage you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which will allow you to enroll in a new plan.
That covers when you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare insurance, but you may not know what kind of policy you need. Original Medicare helps pay for many hospital and outpatient services, but it doesn’t cover everything. Many Medicare enrollees choose to add private insurance coverage to Original Medicare in order to cover the services they need.
Should I Choose Medicare Advantage or Medigap?
You may have the option of choosing a Medicare Advantage or a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan. Both options can help pay for items that Original Medicare does not. You cannot have both a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and a Medicare Supplement plan, so it’s important to understand the distinction between the two:
- Medicare Advantage can add additional benefits such as prescription drugs, hearing, dental, vision, and even fitness classes! MA plans help pay for healthcare services.
- Medicare Supplement plans cover financial items such as coinsurance and deductibles.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide which type of plan you need, and it might be confusing. If you want help deciding which plan is right for you, a licensed agent with Medicare Plan Finder can help. Your agent will discuss your needs and can help you find a plan that fits your budget and lifestyle. Call 833-438-3676 or contact us here to set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment.
2. Consider Purchasing Long-Term Care, Life, and Final Expense Insurance.
Even though it may seem uncomfortable, considering long-term care, life, and final expense insurance may be one of the most important things to do on your 65th birthday. Planning ahead can help you and your loved ones save a lot of money in the long-run.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Many people will need long-term care at some point in their lives, and it can be expensive. You may be able to save money by purchasing an insurance plan to help pay for your needs.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care unless it follows a hospital stay or it’s medically necessary. While you can use a Medicare Supplement plan to help pay for copays, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer a long-term care benefit.
A life insurance policy can help your loved ones financially after you pass away. You can save money in monthly premiums the earlier you enroll depending on your type of policy.
Final Expense Insurance
While long-term care insurance can help cover medical expenses and life insurance can help your loved ones after you die, final expense insurance helps cover funeral and burial costs. A final expense policy can help your loved ones carry out your last wishes after you pass away.
3. Sort out Your Legal Affairs.
If you haven’t already, getting your legal affairs in order is a crucial thing to do on your 65th birthday. Even though the average life expectancy in the United States is over 79 years old in 2019, accidents and chronic illnesses can happen at any moment, unfortunately. Now is the time to get your wishes sorted out regarding healthcare and your estate.
Think about what choices you have and how they will affect your and your loved ones’ future. Then organize your personal and medical files.
Power of Attorney
Find an elder law attorney and meet about drafting a legal will and designating your power of attorney, which is a document that allows a person of your choosing to make legal decisions on your behalf. There are different types of power of attorney that take effect in different circumstances. Your lawyer will help you assign the right kind of power of attorney to the person you choose.
You may also want to discuss a living will (medical directive), which is a document that ensures your medical wishes are carried out, with your lawyer.
4. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts!
Many companies offer discounts to people just for turning 65. You can receive discounts on items ranging from restaurant meals to plane tickets. According to SeniorLiving.org, Southwest Airlines offers reduced fares for anyone 65 and older.
You can also get discounts on prescription drugs from many pharmacies! Download this prescription drug discount card to receive huge savings on the prescriptions you use every day.
You’re Turning 65 and Medicare Plan Finder Can Help.
If you’re turning 65, Medicare Plan Finder can help you get the insurance coverage you need. Our agents can help you determine what plan will help you save the most money. Want to learn more? Call 833-438-3676 or contact us here to arrange an appointment today.