A. There are many age-related financial and planning milestones you will encounter in your sixties. Here is a list of some of the common ones related to social security benefits.
59 ½ - Penalty Goes Away
This is the age at which one can withdraw money from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s or similar retirement plans without restrictions and without an added 10% tax penalty. Withdrawals will still be taxed at normal tax rates. For most people, it is not wise to draw down retirement accounts at this relatively young age unless they have specific financial needs. Usually, the value of maintaining tax-preferred savings exceeds the benefit that may come from early spending.
60 - Survivors
This is the first year to collect a Social Security survivor benefit if a spouse or ex-spouse has died (and if you were married for at least 10 years and never remarried).
62 - Social Security – First Call
The earliest age that someone could collect Social Security retirement benefit. Most people should not file for benefits at this early age although certain circumstances may be an exception.
62 - Pension Alert
This is a common age at which pension benefits kick in. Pension features vary significantly from company to company or between industry and government. You should carefully evaluate the features of your pension plan details - if you are fortunate enough to have one.
63 ½ - Bridge to Medicare
Not an official milestone but might be an important age for laid-off workers who are offered COBRA health care benefits. COBRA benefits typically last for 18 months and 65 is the age at which one can begin Medicare medical coverage. Therefore, 63 and a half is the earliest age at which , if one were laid off and covered by COBRA health care benefits, that COBRA benefits would provide a health care bridge all the way until you are eligible for Medicare.
65 - Medicare
Medicare eligibility age. Most people should sign up for Medicare benefits within a 7 month window around this birthday in order to avoid lifetime surcharges on Medicare benefits. There are a few exceptions to this requirement such as active employees who are still covered under a large employer health plan.
66 - Social Security Magic Age
Sixty-six is the ‘magic age’ for Social Security when many options become available. For most boomers, 66 is the official full retirement age . At this age a number of creative Social Security strategies for couples become available such as File and Suspend and Restricted Filing. If you are second-guessing your decision to file for earlier benefits, 66 is also the first age at which you can suspend benefits in order to allow delayed retirement credits to build up.
70 - Social Security – Last Call
Don’t delay any longer. This is the age at which there is no additional benefit to delay filing for Social Security benefits. If you have not filed for benefits yet, by now you have maximized your lifetime monthly Social Security benefit, but you should file immediately.
70½ - Required Distributions Ahead
As the owner of retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s or other similar retirement plans, you are required to start taking specified required minimal distributions (RMDs) from these accounts when you turn seventy and a half. You actually have until the following April to make take the first year distribution. After that, each year’s distribution must be taken by Dec. 31 of that year.
The total required distribution is based on the total values of all of your IRAs and retirement plans as of Dec. 31st of the earlier year. The total distribution may all be taken out of any one account or may be split among the accounts in any manner that one chooses