Life Expectancy Calculator at Social Security Can
Help Retirement Planning
Social Security provides some information on Medicare
Open Enrollment that begins this wee
12, 2014 Did you know that Social Security provides a Life Expectancy
Calculator on their website? It can come in pretty handy for planning
your retirement and Social Security strategy. It is just one of the top
answers in this weeks Social Security Q&A. Another big one is about
Medicare Open Enrollment that begins this week and the opportunity for
My wife and I are doing some retirement
planning. We are both healthy and have relatives that have lived well
into their nineties. As a result, we are both planning to delay our
Social Security benefits as long as possible. We are undecided whether
to apply at age 66 or wait until age 70. How can we get our respective
benefit estimates at full retirement age?
The Social Security website has just the resources
you are looking for.
When you are considering when to collect retirement
benefits, one important factor to take into account is how long you
might live. According to data compiled by the Social Security
Administration, a man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on
average, until age 84.3.
In addition, a woman turning age 65 today can
expect to live, on average, until age 86.6. Those are just averages.
About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90,
and one out of 10 will live past age 95.
Do you want to know your life expectancy? You can
use our simple Life Expectancy Calculator to get a rough estimate of how
long you (or your spouse) may live. Knowing this information can help
you make a more informed choice regarding when to collect Social
Security retirement benefits.
After you use our
Life Expectancy Calculator, please go to our
Retirement Estimator to get estimates of your future benefits.
You can also create your own my Social Security
account to get a more detailed benefit estimate.
I am waiting for the Medicare open enrollment
period to arrive so I can look into a Medicare Part D (prescription drug
coverage) plan. When will that occur?
The Medicare open enrollment period runs from
October 15 to December 7. October is the perfect time to talk about
Medicare prescriptions and the Extra Help available from Social
Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries and current
beneficiaries who are considering changes to their Medicare Part D plan,
should act now. The Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is available
to all Medicare beneficiaries to help with the costs of medications.
Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and participants
pay an additional monthly premium for the prescription drug coverage.
About Extra Help
While all Medicare beneficiaries can participate in
the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, some people with limited
income and resources may be eligible for Extra Help to pay for monthly
premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. The Extra
Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year.
Many Medicare beneficiaries qualify for these big
savings and do not even know it. To figure out whether you are eligible
for the Extra Help, Social Security needs to know your income and the
value of any savings, investments, and real estate (other than the home
you live in).
To qualify, you must be receiving Medicare and have
income limited to $17,235 for an individual or $23,265 for a married
couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still
may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles,
and prescription co-payments. Resources limited to $13,440 for an
individual or $26,860 for a married couple living together. Resources
include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count
your house or car as resources.
You can complete an easy-to-use online application
or get more information by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare. To
apply for the Extra Help by phone or have an application mailed to you,
call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for
the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Costs. While we are on the subject of open seasons, the open enrollment
period for qualified health plans under the Affordable Care Act is
November 15 to February 15. Learn more about it at
Can I change the date I receive my benefits?
No. If you were receiving or applied for Social
Security benefits on or before April 30, 1997, or if you receive both
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you receive your
benefit on the third of the month.
If you receive only SSI, you get your benefit on
the first of the month. If you applied for Social Security benefits
after April 30, 1997, the birthday of the person on whose record you
receive benefits determines your payment date.
You can see the Schedule of Social Security
Payments for 2014 by visiting our website at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031-2014.pdf.
The document shows the payment dates for Social Security and
Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries for this year.
What is the special rule about earnings in the
first year of retirement?
Sometimes people younger than full retirement age
retire in the middle of the year and have already earned more than the
yearly earnings limit. There is a special rule that applies to earnings
for one year, usually the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you
can get a full Social Security benefit for any whole month you are
retired, regardless of your yearly earnings.
You can find out more on this subject by visiting
website . When you are ready to apply for retirement benefits, use
our online retirement application, the quickest, easiest, and most
convenient way to apply.
>> Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with
the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him
at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can
also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.