At this point, you have probably already answered these important questions:
- Are you going to continue working a part-time job or not?
- Do you have a budget so you know your expenditures?
- Do you need health insurance and for how many years if you’re retiring before you qualify for Medicare?
- Are you receiving a pension or Social Security benefits?
- Are your mortgage and other debts paid off?
- How you’re going to spend your time for the next few years?
If you haven’t thought all those things through, it’s a good idea to spend some time doing so.
Even if you have meticulously planned out every step of your retirement journey thus far, however, there are still things you should–and may not–know if you’re planning to retire in 2018:
- Starting this year, monthly Social Security benefits will increase by 2 percent. According to Newsweek, this means the average retired worker will receive approximately $329 per year more than in past years. And, if you qualify for disability payments, you will also receive a payout increase of $10 per month.
- However, the full retirement age is set to increase in 2018. Full retirement age–or, when you’ll receive 100 percent of your payout–is now 66 years and four months; so, if you were born in 1956, you’ll have to wait two months longer to receive your full payout than if you were born in 1955. If you claim benefits before this age, your payout will be permanently reduced.
And if you’re on the fence?
If you’re planning to retire near the end of this year, or not quite sure, there are some steps you can take to prepare, as well. Right now, for example, you should be putting as much money as you can into your 401(k) or IRA. This is where the money will do you the most good.
If you’re turning 62 this year and thinking about retiring, don’t forget the point above: If you file for benefits before you hit the full retirement age, your monthly payments will be lower than if you wait. Additionally, if you do decide to wait, you can save up four more years’ worth of money for when you do eventually decide to retire.
Whenever you decide you’re ready, the more prepared you are, the more you can relax and enjoy your retirement.