Over 60 Benefits in the USA

While there is no agreed-upon age when people become senior citizens, many believe that age is somewhere around ​62​ or ​65​. These are the ages associated with retirement and government programs for seniors such as Social Security or Medicare. However, any individual that is at least ​55 years old​ can join the Association of Retired People (AARP) which focuses on benefits, interests and government programs for elderly people.

Individuals that are retired senior citizens often live on a fixed income because they are no longer generating wages through work. That makes it valuable to know about all the available benefits of being a senior citizen. 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.

When Does Retirement Benefit Senior Citizens?

Social Security benefits are ​over​ ​60​ benefits 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.

Once an individual has reached ​59 1/2 years of age​ in the USA they can begin taking withdrawals from their retirement accounts without the ​10 percent​ early withdrawal penalty. While there are certain circumstances that allow for an early withdrawal, they are for very specific life events. A person who has reached the ​age of​ ​60​ can withdraw for any reason, or not at all. Just be aware that required minimum distributions are mandated once the account holder reaches the ​age of​ ​72​ and all withdrawals may be subject to tax.

What About Healthcare Government Programs for Seniors?

Medicare is health insurance for those over ​age​ ​65​. Medicare has four parts which is a government program for seniors. Some of the Medicare parts have already been paid into by the taxpayer during their working years and other parts require deductibles or co-payments. The AARP is a great resource for learning more about the benefits of Medicare.

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.

Are There Government Programs for Elderly Homeowners?

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 65​ or older may receive a once-a-year refund of property or sales taxes paid.

What are Some Other Senior Benefits?

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 known as a senior citizen discount. 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.