Most people are first eligible to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65, and many choose to enroll during this time. For individuals who are covered by a spouse’s employer health care plan, it may not be necessary, or ideal, to enroll in Medicare immediately upon turning 65.
Retirement used to be closely linked to turning 65. No more. The full retirement age for anyone born in 1943 or later is at least 66. It’s 67 if you were born in 1960 or later. Full retirement age is the age at which you can receive 100% of your Social Security retirement benefit.
The popular perception is that your 65th birthday marks the milestone in your life when you hang up your spurs, kick back, and reap the fruits of your labor as you enjoy sunsets from your porch.
Once upon a time, turning 65 years old meant you could get your full Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare coverage at the same time.