Almost on a weekly basis, we are made aware of someone that went to file for Medicare and filed for Social Security at the same time – age 65. The filing dates are not the same readers…..please read on!!
Sure, it sounds logical to kill two birds with one stone. And, if this is what you plan to do, you have that option. One of the complexities of these two programs is that you become eligible at different times. Social Security benefits are available as early as age 62, but most people don’t become eligible to receive Medicare benefits until age 65. Also, what makes things confusing, is that if you file at the same time, it is one application process vs. two.
What we are saying is that you can file for Medicare and Social Security at different times. Make sure you file for Medicare coverage within the appropriate initial enrollment period, avoiding any potential penalties that can result from missing that deadline. Then, when the timing is appropriate for you, file for your Social Security benefit. Timing is critical when it comes to these benefits.
Remember that age 66 (your Full Retirement Age) is the magic age, when claiming strategies can be implemented to improve your income stream through your life expectancy. With only a one year difference (age 65 vs. age 66) you can change your Social Security future earnings quite a bit.
As we have reiterated in several articles filing before Full Retirement Age has the following implications: ELIMNATES Delayed Retirement Credits, REDUCES Spousal Benefits, REDUCES benefit amounts from 5% – 30%, INTRODUCES Earnings Limitations, ELIMINATES Claiming Strategies, and you could find yourself in the middle of a medical insurance gap. Think it through readers or better yet, let the professionals review your options with you.
Make a Plan – have your Medicare reviewed by a specialist, have your other assets reviewed by a specialist, and have your Social Security benefits reviewed by a specialist. In the scheme of things, you will be so glad that you took these small steps to make sure your choices are in your best interest.
Professional advice is simply a phone call away at 601-954-0699 or email us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.pillarsllc.com. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of 40 years. We are Corinth, MS residents, but we service clients nationwide.