Social Security Retirement Planning for Baby Boomers

Oct 17th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

The official Social Security website offers a valuable service for Baby Boomers needing assistance planning for their retirement.  The Social Security Retirement Planner goes beyond previous attempts to provide helpful information to pre-retirees.  The online tools can help you find your retirement age and estimate your life expectancy to estimate what your benefit amounts might be given specific age and life expectancy numbers.

You can begin by determining your retirement age, and then calculating what the estimated benefits will be based on whether you retire at 62 (the earliest possible) or 66 (the retirement age as of current law).  With this tool, you are able to compare the differences in benefit amounts for a more realistic choice about when to retire.

You can also estimate your life expectancy.  We all have most of the basic information.  That is, a man turning

65 today can expect to live, on average, to 83; a woman, to 85.  One out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past 90; one out of 10 will live past 95.  The life expectancy calculator on the SSA website it another tool to help you estimate your life expectancy based on gender and age.

The Retirement Estimator and Benefit Calculators give you information about different retirement ages and resulting benefits, or future earnings amounts based on input from your personal circumstances.  Both of these tools are helpful in determining when to retire.

If you work after you retire or are already receiving Medicare benefits, there is additional information you will need to put on the table for consideration in your unique circumstances.  These pages provide addidtional issues you may need to review.

In addition, the Retirement Planner provides information regarding your retirement options, how members of your family may qualify for benefits, how to apply for benefits and the supporting documents you may need to provide.  Most important, you can apply for retirement benefits online.  

Finally, if you are close to your 65th birthday and will not be retired by that time, you may want to apply for just Medicare.   Your Medicare Hospital Benefits (Part A) will start automatically when you turn 65.

All the links provided in this article are on the official Social Security website, http://www.ssa.gov.



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