People as young as age 50 are sometimes called senior citizens. Being a senior citizen may bring certain benefits that are not generally available to people who have not reached that age. These benefits are offered not only by federal, state and local governments, but on a business-to-consumer basis as well. If you are age 60 or over and living in the United States, it may be prudent to familiarize yourself with some of the benefits that are available to you.
Social Security benefits are available to workers who take early retirement beginning at the age of 62. Full retirement occurs at age 65, 66 or 67, depending upon your year of birth. A worker may elect to wait past full retirement age to begin collecting benefits, depending upon his individual financial situation. How much a worker receives will vary and depends upon the work history of the individual. Social Security is based upon how long the person worked and how much the individual earned in wages during his working lifetime prior to electing to receive benefits.
Medicare is health insurance for those over age 65. Medicare has four parts. Part A is hospital insurance and covers such things as inpatient hospital stays, hospice or home health care. Part B is medical insurance and covers items such as a visit to a doctor, durable medical equipment and some preventive services. Part C is called Medicare Advantage and offers health plan options run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage provides those services and benefits covered by Part A, Part B and Part D, which is prescription drug coverage.
Property Tax Exemptions
Property tax refers to a tax paid by the owner of land, a home or a building. Some states have elected to offer property tax exemptions or rebates to certain classes of individuals in need of economic assistance, including senior citizens. Requirements for the programs vary by state. In Pennsylvania, for example, as of the date of publication eligible residents who are 65 years old and meet income requirements may receive a rebate of property taxes paid. In South Dakota, eligible residents age 66 or older may receive a once-a-year refund of property or sales taxes paid.
People age 50 and over may receive reduced prices for public transportation, insurance, retail purchases, movie tickets, car rentals and admission to theme parks. Such reductions are commonly called senior citizen discounts. The types of discounts and the amounts will vary from business to business and state to state. Seniors often qualify by presenting a current driver's license or state-issued ID card, or another form of verification that proves their age.