Social Security Matters

Ask Rusty- Confused about enrolling in Medicare and Social Security

Dear Rusty:   I will be 64 years old in 2019 and thinking about Social Security. My full retirement age is 66 and 2 months, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to get the most out of my retirement. I have a lot of questions, but just need to know the right direction to go. I’ve been told by family members that I have to sign up for Medicare by the age of 65 even though I can’t get full benefits from social security until I am 66 and 2 months. I don’t understand exactly how that works. Do I have to pay out of pocket for Medicare until my Social Security starts? Can my wife get benefits from me? Thanks in advance.  Signed: Confused

Dear Confused:   Medicare and Social Security are two independent benefit programs, even though you enroll in Medicare through Social Security. You do not need to enroll in both at the same time. You can wait until you reach your full retirement age, or up to age 70, to take your Social Security benefits, but age 65 is when you should enroll in Medicare for your healthcare coverage.  


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