Feeling anxious about the countdown to 65? If you're approaching the magic age of 65 and are feeling a little nervous about the thought of retirement, you're not alone. It's common for people to worry about the future of their finances, their health, making the right choices for health care in retirement - and even how they'll spend their time once they're no longer tied to a schedule or identify with a job. Yet, retirement can also be an opportunity for a fresh start and a joyful experience. But, like anything else in life - whether we're retired or not - it takes planning to achieve the joy and success we all desire.
Take charge of the things you can control. While some aspects of life are largely out of our control - like our genetic health, for instance - there is much we can control. For instance, we can exercise, eat healthy and get regular checkups. By managing the things within our control, we can limit our exposure to the unpleasant "surprises" that feed into our fear of the unknown.
Planning ahead is key. Saving as much as you can during your working years is important. You also want to make sure you have the right health care coverage to meet your needs in retirement. Sorting through your coverage options for when you retire can be confusing. And if you're like many people, you might worry about making the wrong decision for you. But you can help alleviate those worries by doing research ahead of time, and by getting the help you need from an insurance professional who can help you understand your Medicare options.
Think of retirement as a time of renewal. The sense of confidence that comes from having the insurance piece of your retirement in place - and knowing you've made the best decisions for you - can allow you to focus on the joys of retirement and the pleasant surprises that come with it.
In fact, retirement can be a time of renewal and personal growth. It can be a good opportunity to pick up where you left off when you were younger - when you were too busy working and raising a family to pursue your own interests. Maybe you want to learn how to play an instrument, take a painting class, pick up a new hobby, volunteer, or even hit the books and go back to school. A number of colleges and universities offer tuition at a reduced rate, or even free, for people over 60.
Source: "Senior Citizens Can Go to College for Free or Cheap in All 50 States," thepennyhoarder.com, November 2, 2016
You may be in for a pleasant surprise. One of the most pleasant surprises in retirement can be health insurance. It can make sense when you consider those Americans who, prior to retirement, may have been paying for private health insurance with a deductible of $1,000 or more. Many people who enroll in Medicare and choose a supplemental policy - to help cover what Medicare doesn't - find their health coverage may be as good or better than when they worked.
The other point to keep in mind is that health care costs tend to go up as we age. With Medicare Supplement insurance, your coverage cannot be dropped due to changes in your health status. And there are no provider networks, which is a plus if you enjoy traveling.
"Your most important Medicare decision," by Steve Vernon, cbsnews.com, April 3, 2018
"Americans are facing rising out-of-pocket healthcare costs - here's why," by Lydia Ramsey, businessinsider.com, July 6, 2017
"What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?", medicare.gov, accessed October 25, 2018
Be mindful, do your research and focus on the joys. There are a lot of decisions people need to make as they approach retirement - and choosing the right health care coverage is one of the most important. The key is to be mindful, do your research and get the help you may need. Planning ahead and putting the right coverage in place can go a long way to help alleviate anxiety and "fear of the unknown," allowing you to focus on the joys of retirement.