Medicare - Yet Another Reason to Delay Social Security

I don’t want to seem like a nag, but while I was setting up the new “Platinum Finances” section of www.platinumyears.net, I noticed an oversight in my January 3rd article on “The Benefits of Delaying Retirement.” I added the missing item, but I thought I’d also post it here, especially since that is the article that was included in Monday’s Carnival of Personal Finance.

The missing item is a biggie, and it’s one that is often overlooked by many of those who decide to take their social security before age 65 – Medicare! You see, no matter when you sign up for social security, you are NOT (apart from special circumstances) eligible to sign up for Medicare until age 65. And that leaves a three year period where there can be a significant Catch-22 attached to taking your benefits early.

That is, if you continue working enough to stay on your employer’s medical insurance plan, you will run afoul of earnings limits. And if you really plan to fully retire at age 62, there’s a three year window where you’ll be fending for yourself as far as health insurance goes. I can’t believe I overlooked this in the January 3rd article. I don’t like to edit blog entries after the fact, but I am going to correct the article, as it seems to be getting a fair number of hits, due to the Carnival of Personal Finance, as well as a very kind recommendation from H.G. Stern over at http://insureblog.blogspot.com/.

Mr. Stern is one of four contributors over at Insureblog, and their posts are excellent over a wide range of insurance and health issues. I notice that they were also finalists in the 2007 Weblog Awards (What? You've never heard of the “Webbies”?) Anyway, I'm adding them to my links, both here and on the website, which is reserved for sites that are worth checking regularly.

Or, I suppose you can let me do it for you :-) Bob

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