Sound and Practical Finance tips (SPF 15) for people in their 60’s

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With retirement becoming a reality for many people in their sixties, decisions about how much and when to apply the protection becomes the driving force behind many of the financial decisions they make. The following Sound and Practical Financial (SPF 15) tips can help:

  1. Understand your full retirement age, which is currently 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954 and increases by phases each birth year after. If you were born anytime after 1960, your full retirement age is currently 67. Your benefits and any applicable spousal benefit will be reduced incrementally if you choose to begin taking Social Security before you hit your full retirement age (FRA).
  2. Know exactly what your Social Security monthly benefit will be before you turn it on, and factor this into your retirement budget. According to the Social Security Administration, the benefits an average wage earner will receive is designed to replace about 40% of pre-retirement income.
  3. The maximum monthly benefit in 2021 for someone who retires at FRA is $3,113 and the average benefit will be $1,522. Ask yourself if you are ready to retire if this will be your main source of income.
  4. It is important to understand that you don’t have to claim Social Security when you retire. If you retire before you reach your FRA, and have other resources that will allow you to do so, you should consider delaying your Social Security benefit to allow that money to grow. This will increase the size of the benefit you will receive each month for the rest of your life.
  5. Delaying your payments until your reach FRA will also mean you can leave a higher benefit for your surviving spouse once you pass away.
  6. If you are married, you can take one spouse’s benefit early while letting the other’s grow.
  7. Sit down with a fiduciary advisor who can run a Social Security analysis on your accounts and offer you some specific strategies to maximize your benefits.
  8. Check the beneficiary designations on your accounts. This should be an annual habit because these designations are legally binding and take precedence over other documents, like a will, in the event of your passing.
  9. Determine your eligibility for Medicare, which is generally available to people aged 65 and older.
  10. Sit down with a license insurance agent to discuss supplemental policies and to understand your coverage. Medicare has two parts, Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medicare Insurance). Many people find they need supplemental policies for full coverage.
  11. Review your will.
  12. Make sure you are continuing healthy habits. Exercise regularly, eat nutritious food, and get plenty of good quality sleep.
  13. Do not avoid medical visits because you’re worried about what the doctor will tell you. Accurate diagnoses lead to treatment that could stave off or cure the very condition you’re worried you might have.
  14. Make sure you maintain strong social connections after you retire.
  15. Allow someone you trust to have access to your logins and passwords should something happen to you. You can keep a list in a safety deposit box.