Many people call retirement the golden years, and they look forward to it for decades. However, those who make the wrong decisions before and during retirement could find that it’s not as pleasant as they anticipated. Here are some useful tips to help you start your retirement right and increase your happiness and health.
1. Decide When to Start Getting Social Security Benefits
When you retire, you may not want to start withdrawing your Social Security benefits. People who retire early could have to wait to apply for Social Security benefits, and others might not receive the full benefit. According to the Social Security Administration, you can start getting Social Security benefits when you turn 62, but you’ll get about 30% less every month. If you wait and use your retirement savings alone or continue to work for a while, your benefits will increase.
If you were born before 1937, you’ll be able to get the full amount when you turn 65. People born later have higher retirement ages, but everyone born after 1960 has a full retirement age of 67. Waiting to receive Social Security benefits until you turn 70 will increase your benefits even more, and it can enhance your financial security in retirement. People over 70 who keep working will still receive the same benefits.
2. Find Fun Ways to Spend Your Days
Relaxing at home with a movie or a good book is great on weekends or after you get done with a tough day at work, but these activities can become monotonous during retirement if you’re not doing much else. Take advantage of your additional free time to travel, visit local attractions, exercise, and spend time outdoors. You can also spend time with family members and care for grandchildren or other young family members while their parents are at work.
To meet new people, take a class on a new hobby at a local museum or community college. You can learn drawing, painting, woodworking, knitting, and more. Many retired individuals volunteer at animal shelters, museums, historic sites, food banks, zoos, and libraries as well. That way, you can stay active and learn new skills while helping others. You can even deduct any related transportation or other expenses when you file your taxes.
3. Make Sure You Have Medical Coverage
As people get older, they become more likely to suffer from health issues like heart disease, pneumonia, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Even if you feel healthy now, you should be prepared for problems. If you’re under 65, enroll in a health insurance plan for individuals. Most people are eligible for Medicare at 65. This low-cost plan is provided by the government, and it covers hospital stays, hospice care, some in-home care, doctor visits, tests, and medical supplies. You can also add prescription drug coverage, dental and vision insurance, and supplemental coverage for co-pays and deductibles.
If you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll be enrolled in basic Medicare automatically. Otherwise, you should sign up and decide what coverage is right for you.
Fortunately, modern technology makes deciding when to get Social Security, finding fun things to do, and signing up for Medicare easier than ever. You can enroll and find all the information you need online. Good luck!