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Social Security and Medicare Retirement Planning for Illinois

Wheaton Social Security Medicare planning

Financial Advisors for Retirement Income and Healthcare Considerations in Naperville and DuPage County

In the United States, most Americans expect that in their older, retirement years, they will receive some level of support and assistance from the government in the form of Social Security and Medicare benefits. While this is often the case, these benefits will usually not be enough to cover all of your financial needs in retirement. As you plan for retirement, it is important that you understand what you can expect from these programs and consider strategies to build toward the additional resources you will need.

At Brookstone Wealth Strategies, we have more than 30 years of experience in wealth management, and we can help you form a complete picture of your retirement needs and all of the options that can help you meet them. We can advise you on strategies to make the most of your Social Security and Medicare benefits and to supplement them with additional retirement income.

Understanding Social Security Benefits

The U.S. Social Security program is funded by payroll taxes paid by you and other employees throughout your careers, and if you were born in or after 1929, you are eligible to receive benefits if you have accumulated at least 40 credits over the course of at least 10 years of work. The amount you can receive depends on your income during the 35 highest-paid years of your career.

Your benefit amount is also dependent on the age at which you retire. The Social Security Administration designates a full retirement age depending on the year you were born, ranging from 66 for those born before 1955 to 67 for those born after 1959. The earliest age at which you can receive Social Security benefits is 62, but the benefits will be permanently reduced if you retire before full retirement age, so you should be sure that you have sufficient income from other sources if you plan to retire early. On the other hand, you can increase the amount of the benefits you receive if you wait until after reaching full retirement age, up to the age of 70.

If you are married, your spouse may also be eligible for Social Security benefits through either his or her own work history or Social Security spousal benefits. It may be in your best interest to carefully consider the ages at which you and your spouse will each retire and/or start claiming Social Security benefits in order to develop a retirement planning strategy that best provides for both of your needs.

Medicare Benefits and Costs

Medicare is a government-administered or government-approved insurance program available to Americans age 65 and older, and it can help to cover a significant portion of your healthcare expenses in retirement provided that you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. However, it is not without its costs, and the amount you will have to pay depends on the type of coverage that you choose.

One coverage option is Original Medicare, which is administered by the government and includes hospital insurance, known as Medicare Part A, and medical insurance, known as Medicare Part B. Part A primarily covers inpatient hospital care and usually does not require that you pay a premium. Part B covers medically necessary and preventive services from doctors and other healthcare providers. It does require that you pay a monthly premium, and also includes deductibles and copays. You can also choose to pay an additional premium for Part D, which covers prescription drugs.

The other option is Medicare Advantage, known as Medicare Part C. With this option, you have a choice of privately administered plans that may offer a combination of the benefits offered through Parts A, B, and D, as well as other benefits like vision, hearing, dental, and wellness. Medicare Advantage plans often come with higher premiums, but it may allow you to save on out-of-pocket expenses.

You should note that neither Original Medicare nor Medicare Advantage includes coverage for long-term care, such as in a nursing home or similar facility, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars each year. We can help you manage investments and utilize life insurance strategies to help you plan for these costs, as well as the premiums and other expenses associated with Medicare.

Contact an Illinois Retirement Plan Advisor

We can help you better understand and make the most of the Social Security and Medicare benefits you can expect based on your personal situation, as well as develop a plan to supplement those benefits with additional income. Contact us at 630-741-4491. From our office in Warrenville, we serve clients throughout the Chicago area, Illinois, and the United States, including in Naperville, Wheaton, Lombard, Downers Grove, Aurora, Batavia, DuPage County, and Kane County.

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