When should I claim Social Security? How do I downsize? Can I travel? 7 retirement lessons to help you retire right

The closer it gets, the more attention I pay.

“It,” in this case, is retirement. In January, I’ll celebrate my 60th birthday. I have no intention of fully retiring, but I am thinking about how to work less, travel more and prep my finances for the years ahead. As I sketch out my plans, I’m drawing not only on a lifetime of writing and thinking about personal finance, but also on an even more valuable resource: you.

I never intended for HumbleDollar to be so heavily focused on retirement—but, then again, I didn’t start the site with any great, overarching plan. Still, the fact is, many of the site’s writers and readers are retired or close to it, and that’s reflected in the articles we publish and the comments that readers post. I’ve learned so much from both. In particular, here are seven lessons I’m taking to heart:

1. Travel early in retirement. Got foreign lands you want to see? Don’t delay. That’s a theme Rick Connor recently touched upon.

There’s a moment—probably in our 70s—when international travel will simply seem too arduous. On top of that, the risk grows that we may have a medical issue that either derails our plans or necessitates getting medical help abroad.

I’ve never bought trip-cancellation insurance. But once you’re in your 70s, it seems like a smart move. Ditto for international travel health insurance. As we get older, that can become fairly expensive. The upshot: Before our 70s are done, we might find we’re less inclined to head abroad and instead our travel focus may turn to trips within the U.S.

Read: Planning a big trip? How to make sense of travel insurance.

2. Plan for long-term care (LTC), but don’t necessarily buy traditional LTC insurance. James McGlynn has written about his preference

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The Best Senior Discounts for Retirees 62 and Older

Vesnaandjic / Getty Images

Vesnaandjic / Getty Images

Reaching 62 years old is an important milestone for Americans because it’s the age at which you can start applying for Social Security retirement benefits. This doesn’t mean most Americans begin collecting Social Security at 62, however — or even that they should.

See: security-benefit-at-age-62/?utm_campaign=1183280&” data-ylk=”slk:What Is the Average Social Security Benefit at Age 62?” class=”link “What Is the Average Social Security Benefit at Age 62?
Find Out: This Credit Score Mistake Could Be Costing Millions of Americans

As GOBankingRates previously reported, nearly three-quarters of Americans eligible for Social Security wait until after the age of 62 to start collecting benefits.

The 25% who do start collecting at 62 cite various reasons. Some simply need the immediate income to pay bills and buy groceries. Others like the idea of collecting benefits as long as possible — even though your Social Security check gets bigger the longer you wait. Then there are those who move overseas to cheaper countries, where the Social Security payments they collect at 62 can stretch a long way.

One thing everyone can look forward to at 62 is a wider selection of senior discounts — especially at hotels and travel destinations, but also at certain retailers, restaurants and grocery chains. These discounts are in addition to similar discounts you qualify for when you turn 50-, 55- and 60-years-old.

Here’s a list of establishments that offer discounts to people 62 and older, based on various consumer and company websites. Keep in mind that some deals might vary by location.



Grocery Chains

Discover: social-security/why-should-collect-social-security-early/?utm_campaign=1183280&” data-ylk=”slk:10 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security Early” class=”link “10 Reasons You Should Claim Social Security Early
Close to Retirement? senior-discounts-age-55-older/?utm_campaign=1183280&” data-ylk=”slk:The Best Senior Discounts for Ages 55 and Older” class=”link “

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