When Do You Become a Senior Citizen?
To be considered a senior citizen in the United States, there is no specified age. Some believe that a person becomes a senior citizen after retiring from work, getting benefits from Social Security, or when they start relying on their retirement funds. Still, some may not think of these as senior citizens.
However, certain aspects of life define when a person becomes a senior citizen, such as:
#1. Being eligible for social security benefits
#2. Receiving senior citizen discounts
#3. Retiring from full-time work voluntarily
#4. Becoming eligible for Medicare benefits
#5. Noticing significant changes in health
#6. Realizing they fit age stereotypes
#7. A noticeable shift in day-to-day priorities
This proves that though there is no specific age for being called a senior citizen, there are parameters that can help identify one.
Are you a Senior Citizen?
Let’s take a look at the different parameters and determine if you qualify as a senior citizen:
1 – Eligibility for Social Security benefits
Social Security benefits are usually granted once you reach 62 years of age or as late as 70 years. If you have contributed to the Social Security program, you begin receiving benefits once you are 62.
You can wait until you reach retirement age (66 or 67) to receive Social Security benefits. However, if you decide to wait longer, you will likely receive increased monthly benefits till you are 70 years old.
You can check the estimated benefits you will receive at different ages by creating a Social Security account and calculating your Social Security statement.
2 – Qualifying for Medicare
Medicare requires an applicant to be at least 65 years old to be eligible for benefits. This is usually the case in every state in the US.
3 – Cashing Retirement Savings
Retirement accounts are an incredible way to save significantly for the long term. Similarly, the 401(k) plan or IRA normally charges a penalty if you withdraw early from these accounts.
For instance, you will likely have to pay a 10% penalty if you decide to withdraw money from retirement savings before reaching 60 years of age.
As a result, you can consider yourself to be a senior citizen once the 10% penalty is not charged for 401(k) withdrawals.
Additionally, once you are 72 years old, you must take the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement savings. These withdrawals are calculated using a special distribution method by the IRS.
4 – Getting Senior Discounts
There are several different ways to determine if you are a senior citizen. For instance, AARP was founded to promote productive aging and health insurance for retirees. It is dedicated to serving people over 50 years old and provides significant health insurance coverage.
Besides this, AARP membership also gets you deals and discounts that can be used at restaurants, on health and wellness products, with delivery services and even while traveling. Besides this, being eligible for AARP also gives you significant discounts on home and car insurance.
So, in this way, even 50 year olds are considered to be senior citizens in many aspects.
5 – Taking Voluntary Retirement
Many times, people who take early retirement from their full-time careers are considered to be senior citizens by society. Still, with the rising cost of living, you may have to work part-time jobs for extra income.
You can even try to open a small business or look for a position of authority in your area that can be interesting work. Retirement usually brings significant freedom but also tags you as a senior citizen.
6 – Significant Changes in Health
Besides your job status and age, certain medical conditions also indicate you may have become a senior citizen. For instance, hypertension, hearing loss, and arthritis are some of the most common medical conditions that affect people of advanced age. A person with several age-related medical problems undoubtedly feels older owing to the type of medication and medical devices they use.
As is clear, there is no specific age to be considered as a senior citizen. However, the average age of a person becoming a senior citizen is when they are 60 years or older. Most companies and governments consider this age limit to be the age of senior citizens.
Are seniors covered by health insurance?
The requirements and processes for applying for senior citizen health insurance policies may vary by state. There are several health insurance plans available for senior citizens in the US. Some of these are Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid, etc.
Why do seniors get funds for house repairs?
Senior people may find it challenging to maintain their homes. Various organizations offer discounts and income-based pricing to help seniors with their bills through these senior home repair programs.