What To Do When You Turn 65?

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If you felt the earth rumble on January 1st,   2011, it wasn’t an earthquake.  It was the mad rush of Baby Boomers who were turning 65 plowing through the Social Security doors like a crazed shopper on Black Friday!  As the New Year rolled in, the most famous generation in American history turned a corner that ushered in a shocking retirement crisis.  After years of blood, sweat and tears, it’s finally time for them to collect.  Unfortunately, the money they were counting on from the federal government just isn’t there in many cases.

 

If you were born between January 1st, 1946 and December 31st, 1964 you’re a Baby Boomer.  If you were born on the front end of the range, retirement probably has you knocking on the Social Security Office’s front door.  It may feel like the lights are on, but no one’s home to hand out your hard earned dough.  Lump in the fact that most Baby Boomers have not saved enough money to live on after they retire, and those who did lost it all when the stock market went belly up, and it’s not a pretty picture.  Here are 16 statistics about the American Dream that might make your jaw hit the floor.

 

Of course the million dollar question on everyone’s mind is, “Will I get my Social Security check?”  CNN Money addressed the impact the debt ceiling may have on Social Security checks on July 28, 2011 for seniors who were concerned they wouldn’t get a check in August.  To remain current on the latest news, you can visit the “Social Security News” blog.

 

So what are retiring Boomers to do?  Allan Eckmann with Baycrest Insurance Services reminds us that everyone is entitled to Medicare and Social Security at this point, and it’s wise to get a jump start on things before the milestone occurs.  There is always quite a bit more to Medicare then just the Open Enrollment Period, knowing all the rules and how to utilize the rules properly will save money, time and hardship.

 

Eckmann recommends that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 three months before your 65th birthday.  You have three months after your birthday to sign up or you’ll get a 10% penalty forever.  For example, if the base price of Medicare for an individual is $115.40 and the person signs up 91 days after their birthday, they will pay $11.40 more per month (or $126.80 per month) for the rest of their life.  If you have questions, give Allan a ring at (408) 249-4611.  He can give you some good guidance and direction.  You can also read a Social Security Update for 2011 which provides information for people who are working, who receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and who are on Medicare.

 

Here is a list of helpful resources for seniors:

  • Medicare
  • 1-800-medicare (633-4227)
  • Medicare.gov
  • IHHS (877)933-4477

 

  • Social Security Administration
  • 1-800-772-1213 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon – Fri.  All calls are confidential.)
  • www.ssa.gov

 

  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Long term care insurance National Advisory Center
  • http://www.longtermcareinsurance.org/

 

  • AARP Long Term Care Insurance FREE booklet
  • www.genworth.com/LongTermCare

 

  • State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
  • 1-800-677-1116
  • www.shiptalk.org

 

  • Veteran’s Enhanced Pension Benefits
  • http://www.vba.va.gov

 

Since a part of every good retirement plan includes complicated estate and elder law matters, don’t hesitate to contact me, as well.  Your first consultation is always free at Parrish Law.  You can get scheduled now by calling (408) 741-3500.  Here, the lights are on – and someone’s home!

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