There are many things to consider as you begin to prepare for retirement. Enrolling in savings plans, understanding how age can affect benefits, and learning about Social Security and other available benefits are just a few ways to help you plan for your financial future.
In a 2018-2019 survey done by The Federal Reserve, 25 percent of non-retired adults indicated that they have no retirement savings or pension. Begin to prepare for your future by starting to save for your retirement early. Saving early will allow you to enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement.
The easiest way to begin your savings is through a retirement savings plan (401k) available through your employer. Talk to your employer for information on how your plan works and check your contribution amounts regularly to ensure you’re staying on track. If you don’t have access to a retirement plan at work, consider opening an individual Roth IRA account to start saving. Always consult your employer or a financial advisor to ensure you understand your options.
You can start collecting Social Security retirement benefits as early as 62, however the benefit amount you will receive will be less than your full retirement benefit amount. To confirm your full retirement age, use the Social Security Administration (SSA) retirement age calculator. Take their Benefit Eligibility Screening questionnaire to determine if you are eligible for any of the benefits administered by the SSA.
Medicare is a health insurance for citizens 65 and older. To receive Medicare, it is recommended that you sign up four months before you turn 65. Visit the federal Medicare Homepage for information on available plans and how to apply.
If you began working for the federal government after 1984, you may be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System, a retirement plan providing benefits to federal employees.
Before deciding when to begin collecting retirement benefits, first consider your age and health. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people are living longer, which means the length of your retirement could be longer. You may choose to delay starting your benefits until full retirement age or later to ensure they last through retirement. Alternatively, you may decide to start your benefits earlier if your health is in poor condition.
You can find more retirement information on Benefits.gov by taking our Benefit Finder questionnaire to help identify benefits you may be eligible to receive.