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5 Things You Should Do When You Turn 65 Thumbnail

5 Things You Should Do When You Turn 65


By Eric Chetwood, CFP®

You’re turning 65—congratulations! 65 is a huge milestone in your life and it should be celebrated with all the festivities you can muster. But turning 65 also means some important financial tasks are showing up on your to-do list. If you’re turning 65 this year, here are 5 things you should pay attention to as soon as possible.

1. Create a Social Security Strategy

If you haven’t already enrolled in Social Security benefits, now is the time to start planning for your strategy. Depending on your birth year, you reach your full retirement age at either 66 or 67, which means that you can now claim your Social Security benefits without penalty. And if you wait until age 70 to take your Social Security benefits, your monthly benefits will increase by 8% each year and remain at that increased amount for the rest of your life.

But waiting until age 70 isn’t the right strategy for everyone. Some people take a different approach depending on their growth strategies for other assets or if they have different spousal needs. For others, it doesn’t make sense to wait to enroll in benefits due to expected longevity. This is why it’s important to have a Social Security strategy. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® can help review your unique circumstances and design a strategy that works best for you. 

2. Plan for Your Medicare Benefits

Three months before you turn 65, you become eligible to enroll in Medicare, and then your window remains open until three months after your birth month. If you or your spouse are still working and are enrolled in an employer’s health benefits plan, you may want to wait longer to enroll in Medicare Part B. But if you’re not careful and you plan to enroll in Medicare at any point in the future, you could end up paying hefty penalties for the rest of your life.

You also have to sift through the Parts of Medicare that you’d like to enroll in. If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, but you also have to determine whether you need Part D. 

Even more complicated, you may want to enroll for Medicare Part C in place of Original Medicare. We know these decisions and timelines can feel overwhelming, but this is yet another component of your retirement plan that a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® can help you with.

3. Review Your Retirement Plan

Turning 65 is also a good time to review your existing retirement plan and update your portfolio allocations to reflect your current stage of life. 65 used to be considered the traditional retirement age, but unfortunately, that is no longer the case for many people. 

However, whether you retired early or are working a bit longer to ensure your absolute security in retirement, age 65 is a time when every pre-retiree or retiree will want to review their plan and update as needed. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® can help you determine an appropriate asset allocation strategy that doesn’t position you for too much risk, but may also pursue the growth you need for the next decades of your life.

4. Review Your Long-Term Care Plan

Unfortunately, 65 is the age when most of us have to start thinking a bit more seriously about our long-term care plans. Long-term care is extraordinarily expensive, but there are alternative ways to pay for long-term care that can help lessen the burden on your invested assets.

For example, you can add long-term care riders to whole life insurance policies or certain types of annuities. If these options aren’t right for you, you can also look into a standalone long-term care policy. Partnering with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® may reveal long-term care planning options that you didn’t know about before.

5. Learn About All the New Deals Available to You!

More fortunately, turning 65 isn’t all about administrative nuisances! Because 65 used to be the traditional birthday in which people retired from their careers, tons of American companies celebrate this milestone and offer well-earned discounts to anyone who has reached this landmark age.

In addition to restaurant and movie ticket discounts, several airlines and travel companies offer discounts to pre-retirees and retirees who are 65 and above. If you’ve been planning to travel during retirement, it’s always worth looking into the discounts offered to people who are just entering their sunset years.

How We Help

At Adams Chetwood Wealth Management, our goal is to help pre-retirees and retirees make the sound financial decisions they need to pursue a secure, fulfilling, and relaxing retirement. At age 65, you have a new list of tasks to complete that will help you reach the retirement you want, but these tasks can be overwhelming and confusing.

The good news is, you don’t have to muddle through these tasks alone. As specialized CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS®, we can help create a Social Security strategy for you and your spouse, help you enroll for Medicare benefits, review your retirement plan, and develop a plan for long-term care needs. Schedule a complimentary introductory meeting online or reach out to us at audra.grice@adamschetwood.com or (919) 287-5660.

About Eric

Eric Chetwood is managing partner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) at Adams Chetwood Wealth Management Group, a faith-based Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm located in Durham, North Carolina. Eric graduated from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has been on the Adams Chetwood team for over 15 years. Eric spends his days helping clients with comprehensive financial planning and portfolio construction and helping them navigate the opportunities and challenges of each stage of life. Away from the office, Eric enjoys effecting change in the local community. He was chosen to participate in the 2007 Leadership Durham program and the 2009 Leadership Triangle program. Currently, Eric serves as a directional Elder at the Summit Church. He also serves on the board of directors for the NC Study Center at UNC-CH and previously served on the board of Samaritan Health Center, an organization that provides medical care to uninsured and low-income families in Durham. He and his wife, Allison, have two sons, and are passionate about adoption advocacy as well as leveraging their gifts and resources to alleviate physical and spiritual poverty through microfinance and social businesses. To learn more about Eric, connect with him on LinkedIn.