It’s still ‘I Kicked My Full-Time Gig To The Curb and Am Now Retired Month!’ (Yes, we already told you we made that up.) As promised, we have more retirement tips for those retiring and applying for their Social Security Retirement Benefits in 2019. Last week, we shared tips geared towards those who are under the age of 66. This week, we are sharing tips for those who have reached their full retirement age or otherwise over the age of 66, and plan to start receiving their Social Security Retirement in 2019.
Tip Number One: You should be aware that unlike those under full retirement or 66 years old, if you are working, you are not limited on how much you can earn. So, even if you didn’t say goodbye to the full-time gig on December 31, you’re still earning six or seven figures, you could still receive your Social Security retirement benefits. Your earnings will not impact your entitlement. In fact, they may even give you a boost, because you’re earning additional work credits.
Tip number two: If you are still working, and you have “active work” medical insurance coverage, you may decline or opt out of Medicare Part B. We are not going to dive into the details of the alphabet soup that is Medicare, but you should know that Medicare part B typically has a monthly premium. In 2019, the base premium is $139.50. I say base premium, because it can be higher if your income is higher… That’s a whole different conversation… For some, it’s just not worth it to have the extra coverage. Declining Medicare part B when you have “active work” coverage means if you need to enroll in Medicare Part B in the future, you would not be subject to a penalty for declining Medicare when you were first eligible. There are a lot of nuances that we will not dive into, but It’s VERY important to understand exactly what “active work” coverage is. Of course, you’re going to get the Soraya definition…
“Active work” coverage is medical insurance, that you have through a current employer (yours or a spouse’s), where you (or the policy holder) are right now, actively, currently working and paying Medicare taxes. If you have “active work” coverage and choose to decline or opt out of Medicare Part B however, you MUST enroll in Medicare timely once you stop working.
Again, please remember, “active work” coverage = coverage through a current employer where the policy holder is currently working and paying Medicare taxes.
This is very very important. So, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have “active work” coverage, because your employer provides insurance through your retirement years. That is not “active work” coverage for Medicare purposes, and it will not shield you from any penalty you may have.
Tip number three: Although your full retirement age is the point where you can receive your full benefits, that is without any reduction for age, it’s not the end all be all. You may choose to delay your benefits further or until age 70, and receive what’s called delayed retirement credits. Doing so could increase your benefits significantly. While this strategy is not appropriate for everyone, it is certainly something to consider.
Navigating through your retirement options can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. We got you covered! Check us out next week for tips geared towards those who are self-employed.