3 things to do before you turn 65

Turning 65 is a major milestone, especially when it comes to Social Security, Medicare, long-term care insurance and more!

Everyone’s financial situation is unique, so it’s important to understand your benefits and make smart decisions. Here are 3 things to do before you turn 65:

1. Determine if you are eligible for Medicare benefits.

Starting three months before the month you turn 65, you can enroll in Medicare. You can also sign up in your birthday month and the three months following your 65th birthday. If you get this wrong, you will later have to pay a 10 percent penalty for every year that you waited to enroll.

2. Consider long term care insurance.

About half of people turning 65 will eventually require long-term care, and without a long-term care policy, the average out-of-pocket expense is $140,000, according to the AARP. By the time you reach 65, chances are about 50-50 that you’ll require paid long-term care (LTC) someday.

Before you turn 65, consider whether a long-term care policy is right for you. Your premium will jump on your birthday, and the annual premium for a 65-year-old person can be 8 to 10 percent higher than what a 64-year-old would pay.

3. Get a property tax break.

If you own your home, you may be entitled to a property tax break once you turn 65. These deductions and discounts vary from state to state and municipality to municipality, but they can add up.

The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE), the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption and Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program are also available if you qualify.

Located in LaSalle, Senior Watchdog, Inc. believes everyone should be able to live the retirement they’ve always wanted. Their team of professionals can help you create a well-thought-out strategy, using a variety of investments and insurance products and services, to help you address your financial needs and concerns.

Senior Watch Dog, Inc.: 801 2nd Street, LaSalle, IL 61301, 815-223-9394, www.seniorwatchdoginc.com