BOSTON (CBS) – So what constitutes membership in the Over the Hill Gang? And who are they? And how old do you have to be before they will let you join?

If you Google “Over The Hill Gang” your research will get you an old western with very old actors, a travel club for people over 50, an old car club with cars that are pre 1949, which makes them at least 62 years old.

To be eligible for Medicare you need to be 65. The earliest you can collect Social Security is 62 unless you are widowed. The first of the boomers are turning 65 this year and signing up of Medicare. To withdraw funds from your retirement plan you must be 59½. So let’s round it up and conclude that anyone over 60 belongs to the Over the Hill Gang.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 12,000 people turn 60 every day. So this is not going to be an exclusive club once you make it! You are going to have lots of company!

Recently we went to a 5:00 pm movie. I was asked did I want the senior discount or the matinee price at the movies. The very young cashier looked sheepishly as she said to me, “The senior discount saves you an additional 50 cents.”

Now I have had gray hair since I was 30, just like my mom and grandmother before her, but this was the first time I have ever been asked if I wanted the senior discount. I smiled and said “of course”. 50 cents is 50 cents. So I am unofficially a member of the Over the Hill Gang.

So if you are a charter member of the Over the Hill Gang or just a wannabe like me you need to start planning for retirement. Number one thing on your planning list is to figure out if you have enough money to retire. Then you can figure out when you can retire. Everyone wants an early retirement but few can really afford it.

There are some good websites out there where you can find financial calculators to help you figure out if you have enough saved for retirement or if you are saving enough for retirement.  There are three I like; the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Choose to Save, MSN’s Money retirement site, and TD Ameritrade’s WealthRuler.  All easy to access and free.

You really do want to start retirement debt free if possible. So you need to plan to have the mortgage and the school loans paid off before the retirement years begin.


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