Can I Retire At Age 63

by Pension Forecast

Steven asks…

Social Security & age of retirement?

I know that one can retire at age 62. A person can also retire at age 66. Do Social Security benefits increase on sliding scale…say if one were to go to pasture at age 63…do they get more/month than they would if they were 62? Or is there only 2 choices 62 or 66?

Pension Forecast answers:

Yes. Every year you continute to work increases your benefits up to a certain point. Check with your local SS office or their web site for the details. The sliding scale depends on year in which you were born, so it is not easy to summarize.

Mandy asks…

RE: Health Insurance when there is age gap between husband and wife? What do other people do?

I‘ve received health care coverage through my husband’s company all these years. Now my husband, who is 5 years older than me, is about to retire from his company and go on Medicare, which means that if I want health care coverage I‘ll have to pay $4-$6,000.00 out of pocket/year for the next 2 years until I turn 65, at which time I myself also qualify for Medicare. I‘m basically healthy and don’t go to the doctor’s very often, except once in awhile to get my blood work checked.
I don’t do yearly physical exams, and since I‘m healthy now I can‘t imagine being diagnosed with something serious in the next 2 years, and statistically the odds are against someone ages 63-65 getting diagnosed with a major illness. [This may surprise many of you, but the American Medical Association itself refuses to take a stand regarding the frequency or need for any person to get physical exams except to say that ‘if someone has a known medical condition, then a yearly check-up is recommended.’

…and if I did become ill–say I needed antibiotics or something–it would be cheaper to just pay out of pocket than to pay $4-6,000/year for health insurance.

My only real concern is that I might have have an accident and break some bones or something. Statistically the odds are against it, but it can wipe your family out financially if it does happen.


1. What do other people approaching Medicare age do in my situation, when there’s an age gap between spouses? Do you continue the younger partner’s health insurance or drop it? Dropping it will save us $8-$12,000.00 over the next two years. That’s a lot of money.

2. ‘Age gap’ aside–what do the rest of you in, say, your 50’s and early 60s do regarding health insurance? Do you purchase it or do you go without?
Hi FLOWER, Always good to see your name on Q and A. Flower, I think you misunderstood what I said, perhaps I didn’t make it clear. I said it would cost us $4-6,000 per YEAR, not for 2 years. That would be $10-12,000 for 2 years. Remember, too, that my husband will be covered by Medicare, so the cost I‘m talking about is really just for coverage for ONE person–me.
CAT LADY, I‘m sorry for your illness and wish you well.

Pension Forecast answers:

It depends upon the situation. If you had a pre-existing condition that prevented you getting individual insurance you’d want to continue the current plan on COBRA if available, at least for 18 months. If that is not an option each state is participating in the Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan.

However, since you are healthy you should try a short term medical plan. These plans do not have all of the bells and whistles of a traditional policy but the premium is much less and you do have coverage for a catastrophic illness or accident. In my area a 63 year old female can get these plans for as low as $91 per month. Contact a local agent to see what is available in your area.

Sometimes the spouse will continue to work past age 65 just for the insurance. I have one client whose wife is 10 years younger; he just retired at age 75 because his wife has a major health condition and would be unable to get coverage on her own.

Otherwise, many people will go without any coverage and just hope for the best.

Mary asks…

Do you agree or disagree with the annual maximum $106,800 based on the “2010 Tax Act” signed by President Obam?

Back in 2005 Income greater than $90,000 was not subject to Social Security taxation — this is known as the “maximum amount.” President Obama raised the Annual Maximum to $106,800 with 2010 Tax Act. This idea is being revisited as the Congressional Budget Office said increasing the maximum amount of taxable wages to $170,000 in 2012. Now it would all sound fair except for one thing, we don’t see the fair part.
Congress periodically raised the wage amount subject to Social Security taxes, partly to pay for larger benefits for retirees. In 1977 Congress passed a law to link the taxable maximum to match annual growth in average wages.
From the beginning there has been some connection between wages earned and Social Security benefits received. A worker with a lifetime of above-average wages will get benefits higher than those of a worker with a lifetime of average or below-average wages.
But there’s a maximum Social Security retirement benefit. For example, for a worker retiring at age 66 this year, the maximum annual retirement benefit is $28,392.
So where does the money actually go to? Doesn’t a raise of the Annual Maximum from $90K to $106.8K seem more than enough? Does this punish the rich or more to the point punish the Middle Class? Was a large jump of $16,800 not enough that this administration wants to make a massive $63,200 leap?
To those who keep pushing the “Rich need to pay their fair share” card, I’m not rich and I can see this is as Un-American as you can get by punishing a hard working, successful person (School Teachers and Nurses fall into this category).
Your opinion please;
In California school teacher with 10+ years earns $59825, married teachers file jointly annual earnings of $119,650, so they used to be able to claim on taxes the $29,650 non-taxable wage difference. Now they can only claim $12,850 non-taxable wage difference.
Hobbit: Fact, Obama Signed it and you say he has nothing to do with it? Guess that killed your remark.

Pension Forecast answers:

It makes sense that a person who earns more during his working days should receive more Social Security benefits than someone who made less, whether it was HIS fault or not!!! It’s based on a percentage! I keep thinking about these guys who HAVE worked some, but switched over to the Welfare Division!!! Are these people entitled to the percentage of what they actually earned? Just how long CAN a person stay on Welfare??? I thought Welfare was created to help people get BACK on the work force not become permanent Guests of the Government!? If anything needs changing, it’s WELFARE! These kids these women have grow up, so why are they still on the rolls??? There are people employed by Welfare, who are just sitting on thei duffs and letting these guys get away with murder!!! Not ONCE during Obama speech did he mention Welfare and the illegals which are being funded by our tax dollars. Get the people running Welfare to do the job they were supposed to do in the first place!

Carol asks…

is it normal to feel this good at my age?

i have always thought of this as extremely odd. last week was my 63rd birthday, and…i feel great! i look at some of my other friends and they are so…depressing. they just sit there, getting fed, and it seems like they are just waiting to die. it is really saddening. however, i feel just as good as i felt 40 years ago. i really want to know why, so i can share it with the youth of today, so they don’t end up sleeping their days away at a retirement home. what could you think be the source of my youth?
about my lifestyle…
-i have been happily married for 41 years,
-before i retired 16 years ago, i was a professional mountain biker, and before that sport came to be, a road biker,
-i continue to get out, bike on trails, hike,
-i used to live in Idaho, but long ago, i moved to Canada
-i do accept that i am old,
-after i got married, i have had little stress in my life,
-before i did, i was unimaginably stressed,
-i am always an optimist,
-i continue to try new things,
-i have never been afraid to take the risk,
-i travel whenever possible,
-i am not afraid to spend money,
-i eat well,
-i refuse to go to a retirement home,
-i dont smoke, drink, or do drugs,
-i try to avoid medication whenever possible,
-and i still feel young.

what could it be that is making me still retain my youth?
i know that i should be worrying about the rest of my years, but honestly, i don’t feel that i will die for a very, very, long time
what could it be?

Pension Forecast answers:

You have lived a smoke and drug as well as stress- free life. You are active and have a positive attitude. You eat health. Marriage agrees with you. You enjoy life. I think you have found the formula for a long life.
Continue to enjoy. And give your wife a kiss.

Daniel asks…

Really need ideas…………………?

Been facing this problem for a long time, and have tried a lot of things.

My parents retired at an early age. My dad’s 63 and my mom’s 60.
Ever since retiring, the effect on my dad has been pretty serious.

He doesn’t done anything new in over a decade, His time is basically spent between watching TV and fishing. He doesn’t have many friends.

His mind has steadily declined. Now he walks around with his eyes dazed, says and does weird things and is seriously “out of it”.
It’s like he’s gone very senile. Every time he drives now it’s almost a sure thing he’ll cause a near-accident.

I‘ve tried to get him round to try new things, get new hobbies, meet new people. His response is that he’s not interested and that I should leave him alone as he’s dying soon.

He’s like a semi-vegetable walking zombie. What can I do to snap him out of this?

Pension Forecast answers:

Express your concerns to his GP.They will know where he can get help if he needs it.I hope that its just you worrying yourself about him.Fishing and watching the telly seems like a reasonable way for a retired man to spend his time.Good luck.Thats what l would love to do and l am 59.

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