The idea of getting older sparks feelings of anxiety, or even dread, in many people. They worry about not being able to fend for themselves and getting frail healthwise. But getting older is not doom and gloom; there are many perks you can look forward to as you attain this stage in life.
You get to step back from the helter-skelter of the work-family routine and enjoy what you’ve been working for all your life. You also get to spend unhurried time with your loved ones, imparting on them the wisdom you gained over the decades. You get time to focus on yourself and the interests your busy life may not have allowed for previously.
Retirement should not be a moment in life you look forward to with excitement. It should be a time of well-earned relaxation you can relish after years of seemingly endless slog. Attaining that magical age also opens the door to some medical benefits you saved for during your years in employment. Social security contributions and insurance benefits often begin to kick in.
Medicare is a medical aid program instituted by the government to ensure individuals have access to healthcare when they reach retirement age. The benefits of Medicare come in four parts; Part A covers inpatient treatment and care at a skilled nursing facility for a limited time.
Part B helps cover outpatient visits to a doctor and preventive healthcare services. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, provides wider coverage if you are willing to pay private insurance premiums. It will allow you to get treatment at a dentist or ophthalmologist and pay for prescription drugs.
Medicare is not to be confused with Medicaid; a program developed to give low-income households access to healthcare. To qualify for Medicaid, you don’t have to be above 65 or have a certain kind of medical condition. Your income level needs to be below a given threshold, and your family size must meet a given minimum. As you seek to understand Medicare vs. Medicaid, you should also remember that Medicare benefits are the same countrywide while Medicaid benefits vary from state to state.
Another perk to look forward to as you join the senior citizenry is discounts from restaurants, stores, travel agents, etc. Depending on where you frequent, you can get discounts between 10 and 25 percent. Some restaurants will give you a beverage on the house if you dine there.
There are also pharmacists who offer up to 60 percent off for FDA-approved generic drugs. When you need to travel, you can cash in on hefty airline ticket and car rental discounts. Some hotels also have a senior rate you can claim to pay less for your accommodations.
- More Free Time
As you step out of the daily hustle and bustle, you will have more time to relax. You can go on that cruise you’ve been saving for or simply take time to nurture your kids and grandkids. You can even begin a new hobby like golfing or painting.
Alternatively, you can enroll in a college course or dedicate yourself to learning a new skill. Many courses are free or subsidized for senior citizens. You can also choose to involve yourself more in your community or volunteer for a cause that’s dear to you.
- Tax Deductions
After retirement, you get a standard tax deduction, which you can take on your mortgage interest, property tax, or medical expenses, among other items. If you’re above 65, your standard deduction will be $1,650 higher than your younger compatriots. You may qualify for more deductions or exemptions depending on the regulations in force within your state, county or city. If you give away property or make cash donations to charities in retirement, you can deduct the fair market value of your donation from your taxable assets.
The things you’ve experienced and learned over the years have become a bank of valuable knowledge you can share with your family and even people outside your circles. You may better understand how life works and not feel as much stress. You can enjoy the satisfaction of enriching the lives of others.
Like Fine Wine
Wise men say that fine wine only tastes better with age, and this is how you need to look back on your life as you settle into retirement. The wealth of experiences you acquired is worth more than the energy of youth. You can invest this wealth into the lives of others to enjoy a return that will last for several generations.