What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Apply for Medicare), Ep # 183 

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By Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP® and Benjamin Brandt CFP®. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Enrolling in Medicare can be extremely stressful and confusing. There are so many choices to make, there are different rules to follow, and timelines to be met. Additionally, there is so much information out there that it merely adds to the confusion.

On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, I share with you an article written by Joanne Giardini-Russel from Advisor Perspectives entitled, 5 Tips to De-Stress the Entry into Medicare. If you are starting to dive into the Medicare enrollment process you won’t want to miss these 5 tips.

Make sure to stick around for the listener questions segment to hear a question about enrolling in Medicare as an expat as well as whether you should be doing Roth conversions if your income will decrease. You’ll also learn why it has taken me a year to get around to answering some listener questions!

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:32] 5 Tips to lessen the stress of the entry into Medicare
  • [6:14] As an expat would it make sense to buy plans G or N now or wait?
  • [9:43] Should you do Roth conversions now if you will have a decrease in income?
  • [14:33] Why I haven’t been answering some listener questions
5 tips to ease the Medicare enrollment process

If you are approaching age 65 you may have noticed all the literature surrounding Medicare that has come in your mail. Rather than help you answer the questions you have about Medicare, they often add to the confusion. The whole process can be overwhelming, but these 5 tips can help you understand what to do to enroll.

  1. Don’t automatically enroll in Medicare at age 65 unless you need or want to. Understand that there are situations where you want to enroll and where you don’t want to enroll in Medicare at 65. This is one of the keys to understanding Medicare. If you do want to enroll in Medicare at age 65 you’ll need to understand all the hoops to jump through. If you are drawing your Social Security benefits before age 65 then you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B.
  2. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much information. You can find thousands of Medicare webinars, workshops, and seminars with a simple web search, but overwhelming yourself with too much information isn’t beneficial. You may even fall prey to businesses that are looking only to serve themselves. A good place to start your Medicare research is with the official Medicare and You Handbook directly from Medicare.
  3. Understand the 2 paths to Medicare. You’ll want to decide whether to go with a Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. Learn the differences between the two and think about which one best fits your budget and lifestyle.
  4. Use technology to take advantage of everything that you can access from the comfort of your home.
  5. Secure a good Medicare guide. Contact several different agencies and agents before turning 65. Prepare a list of questions for them and make sure to check their Google reviews. When selecting an agent you’ll want to make sure to choose one who will stick with you over time and provide follow-up support.

Key takeaways about signing up for Medicare

Try not to get overwhelmed by the Medicare enrollment process. Begin your research before you turn 65, and spend time finding a good agent or agency who will be there to support you over the long haul. Educate yourself with available government resources so that you can make informed decisions.

Check out the Boomer Benefits YouTube channel in April to see me on a 3-part series with Danielle Roberts. Make sure that you are subscribed to the Every Day is Saturday newsletter to receive a direct link when it comes out.

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298 episodes