And among the birthday cake and cards, there may be some lingering questions about Medicare. Retirement is an exciting time where you can switch gears and focus on yourself and the things that you enjoy most. But, you also want to feel prepared for what’s ahead.
Preparing for retirement and Medicare can be confusing. Taking simple steps ahead of time can help you feel more comfortable as you near the big 6-5.
- Create a free “my Social Security” account on the Social Security website. Keeping this site handy will allow you to track your earnings and verify them yearly. Wondering how much you’ll get from Social Security when you retire? You can use this account to get an estimate of your monthly Social Security benefit. And when you’re ready to start receiving your benefits, go to gov or visit any SSA office to apply.
Tip: It’s important to make sure your earnings are recorded accurately because they will be used to determine your Social Security benefits in retirement.
- Talk to a trusted financial advisor to discuss your expected income and expenses and determine the best financial plan to ensure you can afford your lifestyle during retirement. Gather statements from your 401K, IRA or other retirement savings accounts.
Tip: Look for a financial advisor who is certified financial planner (CFP). This means they are licensed and regulated and have undergone special training. You can use this tool to verify an individual’s certification and background.
- You’ll be able to sign up for Medicare as early as 64 and 9 months. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. Otherwise, you need to take action to sign up. Visit gov or call 800.772.1213 (TTY 800.325.0778) to enroll. As you get closer to becoming eligible, review your options. If you will not have employer sponsored coverage, decide if Original Medicare (Parts A & B) offers enough coverage or if you’d like more coverage (Parts C & D) with a Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap.
Tip: Read how to decide what Medicare plan type may be right for you.
With a little preparation, you can ease any anxieties you may be feeling and be ready to enjoy your hard earned retirement.
For more help, visit our Retirement Starter, where you’ll get a customized timeline based on your estimated retirement date and more.