For more than a century, 65 has been considered the official age for retirement. Many people work for decades and have a goal of leaving their careers and enjoying their golden years by that age. Whether you plan on retiring at age 65 or not, you should take some crucial steps to prepare for your senior years.
1. Have Hearing and Vision Checked
The cochlear hair cells in your inner ear transform sounds into electrical signals sent to your brain. This is a crucial part of the hearing process. Without your cochlear hair cells, you will not be able to hear. As people age, cochlear hair cells can be damaged or die. 25% of people between the ages of 64 and 74 have experienced significant hearing loss. Book an appointment at a health center that specializes in hearing loss, such as Hearing Health USA. Their audiologists can perform an audiogram test. Once you have a hearing test, your audiologist can provide a diagnosis, and determine what treatment options are available.
The lenses in your eyes lose their flexibility as you age, making it difficult to see objects clearly. Visit your optometrist to ensure you get glasses if you need them. Your optometrist can also instruct you about how to care for your eyes so that you retain your vision for years to come.
2. Deal With Insurance
Life insurance pays benefits to your beneficiaries after you pass away. The benefits may be used to cover your debts and the cost of your funeral, if necessary. If you have no debts and have paid for your funeral in advance, your beneficiaries can use the benefits to cover their education or personal needs.
Your life insurance policy can also be a financial safety net if you have unexpected issues that arise. Companies such as American Life Fund specialize in negotiating viatical settlements. With a viatical settlement, a buyer purchases your life insurance policy for cash, which you receive. The buyer becomes the beneficiary of your policy, and you can use the money to pay for your medical or personal needs.
It’s a good idea to take out a long-term care insurance policy as well. You may develop health issues that will require you to live in a nursing home or receive in-home nursing or assistance. Long-term care policies can cover the cost of attending an adult day program, living in a nursing home, and in-home nursing.
3. Apply for Benefits
Apply for social security benefits. You can begin receiving social security when you turn 62, even if you’re still working. It’s essential to review how your benefits are calculated to determine when you want to start collecting social security. People who start collecting social security benefits early receive a reduced amount. If you can wait until you are 70 years of age or older, your benefits will increase. Review your budget and savings to determine when you will need to apply for social security.
Medicare is a health insurance plan provided by the federal government. It applies to individuals with disabilities and those who are 65 years of age or older. All individuals are expected to enroll for Medicare when they turn 65 unless they are still working. If you aren’t working and enroll late, you may be required to pay a surcharge.
4. Choose Your Destination
Many people opt to downsize when they retire. It’s common for people to experience joint pain and loss of balance as they age, so you may want to relocate to a house without stairs. You may also decide that you want to spend some or all of your time living in a warm climate. There are also communities designed for individuals over the age of 55. Determine where you would like to live when you retire. You may opt to move across town, into a retirement community, or across the country. You may also opt to split your time between summer and winter residences.
5. Work on a Bucket List
Bucket lists are lists of things you want to see or do before you die. Your list could include extravagant items, like visiting every continent on earth, or general activities, such as sleeping under the stars. Some people make seasonal bucket lists each year. Others wait until they are older. Whether you have a bucket list you are already working on or need to create one, work on checking some items off your list before you turn 65.