BOSTON (CBS) – So are you a member of the Over the Hill Gang? What constitutes membership? Who are they? How old do you have to be before they will let you join?
I Googled “Over The Hill Gang” and my research produced an old cowboy movie with very old actors, a travel club for individuals over 50, an antique car club with cars that predate 1949, which makes them at least 63 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 oldest of the Boomers are already on 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.
Ten thousand 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 I went to a 4:30 pm movie with some friends. We were asked did we want the senior discount or the matinee price at the movies. The very, very young cashier who looked to be about 12, sheepishly said, “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”. Fifty cents is 50 cents. So I am a Wannabe member of the 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. One I like is the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Choose to Save. Also, your retirement plan provider should have good information on their website as well.
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.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.