Top 7 Benefits for Texans 65 and Better

12 Apr, 2016

Top 7 Benefits for Texans 65 and Better

Top 7 benefits for Texans 65 and better

What are the top 7 benefits for Texans 65 and better? When Texans turn 65, they qualify for many well deserved perks like Medicare Part A and B, Social Security, Property Tax Exemptions, and numerous other discount programs. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.

1. Medicare Eligibility: You will automatically get Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) but you will need to sign up for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) three months before you turn 65. You have a rather short window to sign up for Medicare Insurance to avoid premium increases. If you do sign up during these three months, your benefits will be active on your birth date. Should you choose to hold off, you will see increases of 10 percent for each year you delay. However, this does not apply if you are still employed and covered by your employer’s provided insurance.

2. Property Tax Exemptions and Deferrals: These benefits are huge for individuals who own their home. First when you turn 65 you will qualify for the Over 65 Homestead Exemption. Even if you turn 65 after January 1st, you receive the exemption for the entire year.

The homestead tax ceiling is a limit on the amount of school taxes you must pay on your residence. When you qualify your home for an Over-65 Homestead Exemption, the school taxes on that home will not increase as long as the exemption is in place. The tax ceiling freezes your school taxes at the amount you pay in the year that you qualify for the exemption.

The school taxes on your home may go below the ceiling, but not above. If you improve the home (other than normal repairs or maintenance), the tax ceiling may be adjusted to account for the value of the new additions (i.e.: a new garage, extra room or other fixed structure that adds value).

You can also defer your property taxes. What is a deferral? A deferral is available to taxpayers who have a senior or disability exemption on their residence homestead. It allows taxpayers to postpone paying their property taxes for as long as they live in their residence homestead.

Do deferred taxes have penalty and interest? Interest is assessed at a rate of 8% per year. No penalty is assessed. After the deferral ends, the taxes must be paid within 180 days at 8% interest. On the 181st day, regular penalty and interest is assessed and collection activities begin. There is a program called the Texas Property TaxBack program that allows qualified individual to take advantage of the deferral that can greatly benefit their heirs.

3. Physical Fitness Perks: There are many communities that offer discounted memberships or free physical fitness programs to those age 65 or older. Many Medicare Advantage plans include SilverSneakers which is the nation’s leading exercise program for active older adults for its members.

4. Discounted Memberships, Travel, Entertainment, and More: Numerous clubs, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and other organizations will offer 10% and up discounts for those 65 and better that can really add up.

5. Collect on Your Retirement Plan: When you turn 65 and you retire from your job, you can finally begin to collect on your retirement plan. This may be a 401K or a Pension Plan. You have worked hard and deserve to retire now. The other great thing is no one will think twice at you deciding to retire at 65…so enjoy.

6. Social Security Benefits: You can start receiving your Social Security benefits at 65, but the longer you wait the greater your benefits will be. Full retirement age is currently 66 so you should ideally apply for them three months before your 66th birthday if that is when you want to start collecting your benefits.

7. Do the things you love or find the thing you love to do: Take time to reflect on what makes you happy and do it now. Take a cruise, a special vacation, make time to spend with grand kids and travel or maybe just invest in “you-time” and finally do the things you have been putting on the back burner.

So now you know the top 7 benefits for Texans 65 and better.

Take Care,

Greg Downing

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