“Age is just a number.” “You’re as old as you feel.” These well-known adages often refer to senior citizens.
When Americans ask the question, “when is senior citizen age,” they need to know there is no clearly defined answer.
The answer depends solely on the government agency, establishment, or organization asked. For example, AARP offers senior membership at age 50 while the U.S. government says you can retire at age 62.
In this post, you’ll discover the facts about senior citizen age. Without further delay, we bring you the answers to your most frequently asked questions about senior citizen age.
What Is a Senior Citizen?
A senior citizen is another name for a person advanced in age. The U.S. government bases the demographic by age. It often means seniors have reached retirement age.
Seniors often have families, lived life for many decades, held long careers, and traveled to several destinations during their lifetimes.
Like the government, many people consider senior age a period of transition from working to becoming a retiree. However, many seniors work after retirement age today.
Some seniors hold part-time jobs or continue working at their current jobs with the hopes of earning more social security income to enjoy during full retirement.
Working can be taxing on the body because as senior citizens age, they tend to become susceptible to health issues. Some of these include diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, hearing and vision loss, and mobility issues.
At What Age Does One Become a Senior Citizen?
If you’re basing your question on social security eligibility, a person may file for social security retirement benefits at age 62. However, they’re not required to file at that time. Seniors may wait to file at age 65 or later.
If a senior citizen files for social security retirement benefits at age 62, they may receive lower social security benefits payments. If they pay more money into social security for a few more years, they’re likely to receive more. Some people wait to file for Social Security until age 65 or even 67. Some may even wait until age 70.
When Can You Get Those Discounts Seniors Love?
When you become a senior citizen, you’re eligible for a variety of senior discounts. Fast food establishments, diners, and restaurants save seniors money on their dining bills. But at what age?
The age for these discounts typically begins at age 55 but can vary depending on the restaurant or establishment.
For example, Burger King considers senior citizen age to be 60. However, McDonald’s, Arby’s, and other restaurants offer senior discounts beginning at age 55. However, discounts don’t end with food.
Many supermarkets and clothing stores offer special days they call senior discount days. Seniors may also receive travel discounts from airlines, hotel accommodations, sporting events, and theater tickets at age 50.
At What Age Can Seniors Qualify for Senior Housing?
The United States government and Housing Urban Development have joined forces to provide affordable housing to senior citizens when they become of age. The Housing for Older Persons Act allows seniors ages 55+ and 62 to purchase condos and homes in retirement communities and rent senior apartments.
Each housing community may have their own age requirements. Many residents may only need to pay a small portion of the rent such as one-third of the total rent.
Can Seniors Work After Retirement?
Most senior citizens retire from their jobs at age 65. However, with advances in medicine, healthier eating trends, and seniors embracing more active lifestyles, they may decide to work into their retirement.
They work part-time jobs or manage their own business working from home. With the boom of the internet, seniors sell products from home on eBay, Amazon, or from their own website. They may start businesses they didn’t have the option of starting when they worked full time. Some seniors continue to work full time.
Some seniors have the luxury of not needing to work because they’ve saved for their retirement. This kind of planning enables seniors to travel and enjoy the benefits of full retirement.
Should Seniors Work After They Retire?
If you’re a senior, a question that may weigh heavily on your mind is, “should I work after retirement age?” Some people can’t wait to leave their jobs when they’re eligible for Social Security.
Especially when their place of employment is physically challenging or stressful. For others who haven’t planned well financially for their retirement, taking on employment may be financially necessary.
However, there’s a risk because working can affect their social security income. It’s important to be cognizant of the pros and cons of working during retirement before accepting an employment position.
Benefits of Working as a Senior Citizen
Although seniors may receive Social Security benefits after age 62 and enroll in Medicare at age 65, many find it difficult to live on these benefits alone. Especially if they earn a meager social security payment.
Since basic Medicare insurance coverage only pays 80%, a senior who doesn’t have substantial savings may need to work to get supplementary insurance. Working may allow seniors to receive from their job or purchase a secondary insurance plan to pay the other 20 percent not covered by Medicare.
Another advantage of working is gaining financial independence. By bringing in more money, seniors won’t have to rely on their families. Working also helps combat isolation by providing opportunities for socialization.
Drawbacks of Working as a Senior Citizen
There are several drawbacks to working after reaching senior citizen age. For one thing, continuing to work part-time can affect one’s pension since your pension depends on your earnings close to retirement.
In addition, if a senior citizen collects social security benefits at age 62, their benefits may be reduced if they earn over the limit allowed by social security which is $14,640.
The Social Security website reports for every $2.00 earned over the social security limit, your retirement check will be reduced by $1.00. As you can see, it’s important to strongly consider your options before making the decision of taking on employment when you retire.
What Age Can I Apply for Medicare?
The United States government provides Medicare health insurance when seniors become 65 years of age. The enrollment period begins three months before their 65th birthday and only lasts seven months.
For example, if you’re turning 65 in April of 2020, you may enroll in Medicare in February 2020. However, make sure not to wait too long to enroll. You’ll have until July of that year. If you enroll beyond this period, you may be subject to a penalty.
Should Seniors Enroll in Private Health Insurance?
If you prefer private health insurance to public health insurance, you may opt to enroll in a private insurance company.
Some seniors enroll in both Medicare and a private health insurance company to cover their Medicare premiums and coverages not paid by Medicare.
Senior Citizen Age Trivia
Let’s see how much you know about being a senior citizen. Take our senior citizen age trivia.
At What Age Can You Earn Unlimited Income on Social Security?
This is a bit of a tricky question because it depends on your date of birth. In short, once you reach full retirement age, your earnings will no longer reduce your Social Security benefits.
|Year of Birth||Full Retirement Age|
|1937 or earlier||65|
|1938||65 and 2 months|
|1939||65 and 4 months|
|1940||65 and 6 months|
|1941||65 and 8 months|
|1942||65 and 10 months|
|1943 – 1954||66|
|1955||66 and 2 months|
|1956||66 and 4 months|
|1957||66 and 6 months|
|1958||66 and 8 months|
|1959||66 and 10 months|
|1960 and later||67|
|If you were born on January 1st of any year you should refer to the previous year. (If you were born on the 1st of the month, SSA figures your benefit (and your full retirement age) as if your birthday was in the previous month.)|
What Age Can You Get Medicare?
Do you know when the Medicare plan covers most seniors? How old do you typically need to be to get Medicare benefits?
(click correct answer)
When Must You Take Required Minimum Distribution?
So you saved for retirement with a 401k, IRA, or another retirement account? Guess what, it can’t stay in that account forever unless you want to pay a penalty excise tax. What age do you have to start making withdrawals from your retirement accounts?
(click correct answer)
The Final Facts About Senior Citizen Age
Now you know some essential facts about determining senior citizen age.
As you can see, there is more than one answer to the question, “what age will I become a senior citizen?”
Looking for more informative content for seniors? Explore our the Suddenly Senior blog for articles, great senior stories, trivia, jokes, and a whole lot more.