When you are planning for your retirement years there are many possibilities to consider and exactly how you go about it will depend on the specifics of your financial situation, your retirement objectives, and your anticipated expenses. Each situation is unique but the one thing that you can probably count on is that you will be receiving Social Security and have access to health care through Medicare during your retirement years.
The reason why we say you can “probably” count on Medicare and Social Security is the fact that you hear a lot of clamoring in Washington about bringing down the deficit, and Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are not on the strongest financial footing. Plus, due to the fact that the baby boomer generation is now reaching retirement age there are 10,000 new applicants for Social Security and Medicare every day and this is going to continue for the next 20 years. If you let that sink in for a second it is pretty profound.
As it stands right now the full retirement age as it is applies to Social Security eligibility varies depending on the year you were born. For those born from 1943 on the full retirement age is somewhere between the ages of 66 and 67. However, if you are interested in getting the most out of your Social Security benefits there is an interesting option available to you.
You don’t have to retire and apply for Social Security benefits on the day that you become eligible for your full benefit. In fact, you can retire when you are as young as 62 and receive a reduced benefit. But the way you can maximize your Social Security benefits is to delay retirement until you reach the age of 70. By doing so you receive delayed retirement credits that will increase your benefit by 8% per year for each year that you work past your full retirement age.