Go to Top

Social Security And Medicare (Podcast)

Something Personal Episode 13: Social Security And Medicare

Something Personal logo. Whether you are nearing the age where Social Security and Medicare are available to you or you’re simply trying to determine how much, if at all, you should factor these programs into your long-term financial planning, uncertainty about these programs’ future may unsettle you. While the need for political action is real, making the most of Social Security and Medicare as they are now is still a smart financial move. Palisades Hudson vice president Eric Meermann returns to the podcast to explain why these programs are in trouble and why legislators haven’t yet intervened. He also breaks down the questions of when and how to apply, whether younger listeners should expect benefits, how to make decisions to get the most out of both programs, and more. Listen in to Eric’s talk with host Amy Laburda about the ins and outs of Social Security and Medicare, and make your own plans with confidence even without a crystal ball to tell you the programs’ future.


About the Guest

thumbnail of Eric Meermann headshot. Eric Meermann, CFP®, CVA, EA, is the senior client service executive in Palisades Hudson's Stamford, Connecticut office, where he supervises the staff of client service professionals. As a vice president, he is also responsible for firmwide professional staff development, as well as serving clients in the Northeast and across the country. Eric is among the author's of the firm's book Looking Ahead: Life, Family, Wealth and Business After 55; his chapter on Social Security and Medicare serves as the basis for this episode. For Eric's full biography, click here.

Episode Transcript (click arrow to expand)

Amy Laburda 00:07
Welcome to “Something Personal,” the podcast where a team of financial experts help you make plans that, ideally, work out better than some of the government’s. I'm Amy Laburda, the editorial manager at Palisades Hudson Financial Group, and today I'm joined by my colleague Eric Meermann, a vice president at our firm, to talk about Social Security and Medicare. Thanks for coming back on the podcast, Eric.

Eric Meermann
Yeah, glad to be back.

Amy Laburda
To start off, what's the first major headline

to talk about, with Social Security and Medicare, that listeners should know about?

Eric Meermann
Well, that they might not exist by the time our younger listeners need them. Social Security, it dipped into this trust fund in 2018, which is a basket of securities that's used to fund the program over time, paid in by payroll contributions on our taxes, on our wages. And this is starting to get depleted. Unless Congress enacts changes, this trust fund is going to be depleted in about

10 to 15 years. Last time I looked at it, it was 2034. Medicare's trust fund is in even worse shape. Sometime around 2028, give or take a year, that one will also be exhausted. Given the rising cost, continuing, of health care costs, it's likely going to pay for fewer procedures or a lower standard of care.

Amy Laburda
Why are we having to dip into these trust funds?

Eric Meermann
Well, the first reason is, this is not what the programs were designed to do, as we use them currently.

Originally, they were developed in the ’30s, coming out of the Depression, to help people avoid destitution and provide a base level of sustenance in their old age. Back then, people didn't also retire so early, and they didn't live so long. Advances in health care have

led to much longer life expectancies. In the ’30s and ’40s, when the program was solvent and up and running, it was very typical to retire in your mid 60s, call it 65, and you’d die by 74. So we're talking about a nine-year retirement. These days, it's very common for someone to retire at 60 and live until 90. So you're talking about triple, more than triple, the amount of years that people are

staying retired and needing to provide for themselves.

Amy Laburda
So some of the younger listeners may join me in being a little nervous about these realities. What do people expect to happen? What might happen with these plans in the future? Is it a thing that we could fix, or is it sort of on the downward slope inevitably at this point?

Eric Meermann
No, we absolutely could fix it. It's that there's no political will, at this point, to try to do anything about it. And that's because you're going to have to

harm somebody. Either it's the much younger generations via higher taxes on the payrolls for the future, or the older folks that are already claiming benefits. So there's really two ways you're going to do this. You're either going to reduce the benefits, or you're going to raise taxes. Neither is a palatable solution. Therefore, there's no incentive for Congress to act anytime soon. As we've seen with many different budgetary and

fiscal problems in Congress, it tends to wait until the absolute last minute, in a panic, and a last-minute negotiation solves the problem at midnight. I hope that doesn't happen with Social Security and Medicare, but who knows what's going to happen? We really can't even expect what's going to happen, because it's so far out as far as congressional timelines.

Amy Laburda
So for those of us who aren't in Congress,

what does this mean for our planning and sort of our future reliance on these programs?

Eric Meermann
Well, it's super important to point out that when the trust fund runs out — a lot of people mistake that as, “Oh, I'm going to get nothing. I get zero Social Security.” You know, especially for younger folks, they think, “Well, I'll get nothing. So I shouldn't even think about it.” That's not true. What's going to happen is benefits will be paid using the payroll taxes collected from the younger generation at the time. And it's expected that about

75% of what you would have otherwise gotten if the program stayed exactly as it is now, you'll still get about 75% of your benefits. And those benefits increase at the rate of inflation. So if we're talking 15 years away until the Social Security trust fund is exhausted, you might end up getting a benefit roughly equal to what your parents get now. So it's not like you're going to get nothing.

Amy Laburda
And I think possibly a good point to pause and clear up a common misconception about Social Security, which is:

When you're paying taxes on your current paycheck, you're not putting it in some account with your name somewhere, right? You're paying for today's retirees.

Eric Meermann
That's exactly right. There's been proposals over the last 20, 30 years to do exactly what you mentioned, which is… let's create an individual account for each person, kind of like an IRA or a 401(k) that a lot of us have now. Those proposals have never gone anywhere. So the way it works is the taxes that come out of our wages today go

into the cash account to then fund the benefits that are getting paid today to today's retirees. And it'll continue that way for the foreseeable future.

Amy Laburda
All right. So let's step away from politics and the news, which will probably relieve some of our listeners, and get sort of into the mechanics of how Social Security and Medicare work. So these are separate programs, right?

Eric Meermann
They are. Although we tend to talk about them at the same time, they are separate government programs. Social Security, that's the monthly cash income

that a retiree receives in retirement to help support them and their lifestyle and their spending in retirement. This is based on the earnings record over time and is a cash payment that they get every month. Medicare covers health care. There's four parts to Medicare. You may have heard of them: A, B, C, D. Part A is hospital insurance. This covers inpatient, in the hospital, skilled nursing care, and some home health care. Typically, if you've worked at least 10 years,

you're going to not have to pay any premiums for Part A. Part B is the one that most people are familiar with. This is the medical insurance. So this is covering doctor's visits, medical equipment, certain preventative care. And you're generally going to pay a premium based on your gross income for the prior year on your tax return. So it's a progressive premium system, where they go up the more money you make.

Part C is Medicare Advantage, where you can get a private company to cover you for A and B, and then also provide insurance for what Medicare doesn't provide. And we'll come back to that in a second. And then finally, Part D is the prescription drug coverage, and that also has a premium.

Amy Laburda
So with Part C, Medicare Advantage, that's in lieu of A and B, right? It sounds like you don't have them both at the same time.

Eric Meermann 07:08
Yeah. What you can do is, you can either go directly through Medicare — and what I recommend typically to clients is to do part A, B, and D. So the hospital, the medical, and the prescriptions. Skip part C, and you can also go out to the private marketplace and get what's called a Medigap policy. A Medigap policy covers the 20... Generally, the medical insurance covers 80% of care. So that other 20%

you're on the hook for. And that could be very substantial if you have a major surgery or other, you know, major health crisis. 20% of that amount, billed by the doctors and hospitals, could end up being a very significant amount of money. So you can buy health insurance for the piece that the Medicare isn't providing for. So that's called Medigap. There are a lot of private companies, and you probably see them a lot on news channels advertising their

their products. There's many, many different versions of this. But Medicare Advantage rolls up A, B, and basically the Medigap, to run the program through one insurer. A lot of people like that convenience, because you're dealing with one company. The problem with that is that sometimes when you get involved with the private marketplace, the insurers are obviously

interested in their own profit. Therefore, they need to make money. So they might not be as cost-effective as going directly to the government and then just getting that small Medigap.

Amy Laburda
So as we're recording this, though not as you're hearing this, it is open enrollment season. If people are in a Medicare Advantage plan, or not, is that a thing they can switch back and forth between, or is this a one-time choice you make when you first retire?

Eric Meermann
It's not a one-time choice, as I understand it. Medigap, you can add it later,

but it's going to be more expensive if you don't do it shortly before you turn age 65, which is the eligibility age for Medicare. So it's going to be a lot more expensive. So if you're in a Medicare Advantage to start, and then you realize, “Boy, this coverage isn't as broad,” which is another part of the Medicare Advantage plans, is that your network might be a lot smaller compared to just straight Medicare.

You might not like that. And when you're 68, 69, you might say, “I don't want this anymore. I want to go to regular Medicare and then buy a Medigap.” Then the Medigap might be a lot more expensive. So it's not a one-time choice, but there are reasons to do it at 65.

Amy Laburda
Well, that leads us, actually, directly to the next question, which is about eligibility. So for both Medicare and Social Security,

how do you know when and if you're eligible for these plans? And are the requirements different between the two?

Eric Meermann
Yeah, they are different. So for Social Security, you can start drawing on your benefits as early as 62 and through the full retirement age, which is defined between 65 and 67 years old. And it depends on your birth year. So they've pushed it back for younger generations. You know, the younger you are, the more likely it is that your full retirement age is

67. For Medicare, the eligibility is at 65. It's just a specific date. And you want to make sure that you enroll within the three-month period prior to your 65th birthday. For Social Security, there's also, you know, you don't just get it, you have to sort of earn your way into it. And this goes on a quarterly earnings basis. The number is very low. It's about… if you earn $1,600 for one quarter of one year,

you've qualified for one credit. And so you need to do that for 40 quarters throughout your entire life. And they don't need to be consecutive. They can be spread out over 50, 60 years, whatever. But you need to accumulate 40 credits. So you've earned $1,600 at least in a quarter 40 times in your life, which works out to about 10 years of full-time work. So

for a lot of people, that's fairly easy to hit, 10 years of working. And so that qualifies you for the minimum benefit. I think it's interesting to put some numbers to this and understand how that monthly cash payment is computed. So what it's going to do is it's going to look at the average of the highest 35 years of your earnings over your lifetime. And so what it's going to do is,

say the Social Security wage cap, which is the amount of compensation they will consider, say it was $100,000 and you made $80,000 that year. So for that year, you've accumulated 80% of one of the 35 years of Social Security computation. So if you work for 35 years and you are over the wage cap

all of those 35 years, you're going to get the absolute maximum Social Security. So that would be for a very high-income person that managed to work for many decades to earn the maximum benefit. Just to put some numbers to this, the maximum benefit for 2023, if you retire at your full retirement age, is $3,600, roughly. And if you take it early at 62, the earliest you can do it, it’s about $2,600, so you’re talking about a $1,000 difference.

If you retire at age 70, it's about $4,500. So you push it back, you get more money.

Amy Laburda
So for — because they're taking the highest years, you don't have to worry about dragging an average down, say if you take off some years for child care or work part time for a while, they're always going to look at the highest. It's not the entire sort of cumulative average in a way.

Eric Meermann
That's right. But you know, 35 years is a long time.

Amy Laburda
That’s true.

Eric Meermann
So it depends how long the gap is. So you know, if you work for

15 years, then are out of the workforce, maybe raising children, for 20 years, and then go back for 10. Now you've only got 25 years, right? So for 10 of those years, that computation is going to have a zero. And so you're not going to be maximizing your benefit. But the good news is you'll still have 25 of the 35 years, which will qualify you for a healthy payment, not the maximums that we just talked about, but a pretty good amount that will be able to support you.

Amy Laburda 13:34
OK. So you mentioned, for Social Security, that you can defer payments to make them larger. How long can you defer them?

Eric Meermann
Up until age 70. I mean, I think you could probably do it after 70, but there's no reason to, because they won't increase your benefit any more per month, monthly payment, than they would at age 70. So everyone should probably take it by age 70.

Amy Laburda
OK. And for Medicare, 65 is just the flat one.

What happens if you don't sign up by your 65th birthday?

Eric Meermann
There are penalties for filing late. I think it increases about 10% per year. You never want to have that happen. You always want to make sure that that 65th birthday is highlighted in red on your calendar, or actually a few months before, to make sure you've got this all worked out. Some people that are still working, their

health care plan, if they get benefits — say they're a government worker and they get health care through the government and everything's paid for, what they're going to want you to do is still sign up for Medicare, so that that 80% is taken care of by the government. And then the other 20% will be taken up by your regular health plan. So even for people that are still working, or maybe they had a lifetime health care benefit through their work, they're still going to need to follow the procedures

of Medicare to make sure that they're fully covered.

Amy Laburda
So effectively, if you're still working, your employer-provided plan kind of serves in place of that Medigap plan we were talking about before for closing that gap, not for replacing it.

Eric Meermann
Yeah, exactly. For people that are still working, yeah, it's like a Medigap. And then for people, some people, government workers in particular, or executives that had a very healthy retirement package, they might have lifetime

health benefits as part of their retirement package. So even if you're not working and you have, you know, lucky enough to have that, that would be your Medigap. Although these days, very few people get that anymore.

Amy Laburda
OK. So we've highlighted the 65th birthday in red on our calendar. We've mentioned that it doesn't make sense to defer Social Security past 70. Before 70, how do you decide how soon you want to take it? Obviously some people need it, because they've either lost their job or retired for health or whatever.

But assuming that you're in good health, you have some flexibility, how do you approach deciding when to take benefits?

Eric Meermann
Yeah, this is the number one question that comes up as a financial planner when we're dealing with, you know, Social Security questions from clients. It’s “What's the date? Should it be 62, 64? You know, should I wait till 70? What should I do?” And the answer is, it's very specific on, you know, the person's cash flow needs, their health, their genetics. But

you know, as we talked about before, the way the payments work is if you take them sooner, you get a smaller payment, but you get it over a longer time. So if you take it at 62 compared to 70, you're getting eight years more payments, but they're smaller payments. If you defer, you're going to get a much larger payment later in life, but you're going to miss out on those first eight years of payments. So that's the way it works. And the way they've computed these different payment amounts is based on

life expectancy of the general population. And it works out to break even, usually somewhere around 84, age 84. And so, you know, you have to look at your health at the time and say, well, all right, if 84 is the break even — and there's calculators that help on the Social Security website, or other private websites, that can help you figure out exactly what that break even is for you based on your earnings record — and you look at that and say, “Well, am I going to make it or not?”

That's the main decision. Helping to think about that is looking at your relatives. Your direct parents [are] most important, and then your grandparents and so on down the line. Second cousin’s less important, but the general genetic line looks at your longevity. And if you have a lot of longevity in your direct family, then that might

push you to say, “You know, I should probably wait so that I get these larger payments for a longer period of time.”

Amy Laburda
Makes sense. And obviously some people are dealing with chronic health conditions or diagnoses early enough that those can play in too. But none of us have a crystal ball. So it sounds like relatives are kind of the way to go, as far as making an educated guess.

Eric Meermann
Yeah, obviously you'd look at your things like diabetes, heart health, you know, if you have chronic illnesses, then taking it at 62 is probably the way to go.

Amy Laburda

what if you do wait to draw benefits until you reach full retirement age, but you're still working? I think a lot of people now work well into their 60s or beyond, either from necessity or preference. So if you're still working, how does it affect your benefits?

Eric Meermann
So if you're under that full retirement age we were talking about before, which is, depending on your birth year, somewhere between age 65 and 67, if you're below that, they're going to reduce your benefits. And the

benefit reduction is quite steep. It's… They deduct a dollar of benefits for every $2 you earn over the limit. That limit is very low. It's about $21,000. So if you're working full time in a high-paying job, your benefits are going to be reduced to basically nothing. So you generally, if you're working below your retirement age, you're not going to want to claim Social Security benefits

until your full retirement age, or you retire, whichever one comes first. One thing I'd like to add on that is when we're talking about benefit reductions, it's not that you lose it. The credits and the amount that you would have gotten that has been reduced is sort of recaptured later. They sort of credit it forward, and then when you actually do start getting payments, they'll be higher than they would have otherwise. So you don't lose it, but it does reduce it

in those early years.

Amy Laburda
OK. So we've talked about health, we've talked about working status and age. What are some other factors you might include when deciding the sort of specificity of when to take your Social Security benefits?

Eric Meermann
Well, cash flow and looking at your retirement is one of the main things. If it's going to be hard to sustain yourself, you want to try and maximize those payments and do whatever you can to wait as long as you can. Keep working,

live off of your investments, do whatever you can to sort of push it out, so that you'll have a bigger payment to live off of for a longer period of time. If you have sufficient resources that your Social Security benefit is mainly just a supplement to your retirement accounts — your investment portfolio, pension, other income — then you can really pick whatever date you feel comfortable with. Although, as I said before, people in that situation that are, you know, high net worth individuals that can, you know, just treat Social Security as an extra,

I suggest they wait till 70. But there are other personal factors and life expectancy factors that go into wanting to take it earlier too.

Amy Laburda
So we've talked largely about Social Security as an individual, but many people are married. How do spousal concerns play into deciding how to handle your Social Security?

Eric Meermann
Yeah, you also want to think about what your spouse is going to need, both while you're together living and after you pass away. A spouse who earned less than

the other spouse will take the greater of their own benefit that they've earned based on their earnings record or 50% of the higher earning spouse's benefit. Either of those is subject to the reductions for, you know, if you take it at 62 or push it out to 70, it's still relevant. It's a little confusing. Let me give you an example. So the first spouse is super high-income. They worked way over those 35 years and were way over the

Social Security wage cap. So they've maxed out their benefit. Spouse two, they never worked. They stayed at home and took care of the kids or something. While the first spouse, the high-earning spouse, is alive, that person will get 100% of their benefit. And the spouse who never worked will get 50%. So you're getting two income streams there. And then after, let's say the higher-earning spouse dies first,

the surviving spouse who never worked, they'll get 100% of what spouse one was getting.

Amy Laburda
OK, so we've considered all of these factors. We've considered our feelings and our goals. We've maybe talked to a financial planner about it. And the day has arrived. It's time to actually receive the benefits. So how do you get the ball rolling on a practical level?

Eric Meermann
Well, you go online. You can apply online, on the phone, or you can go into a Social Security office and

and work with the people directly. You can't do this any earlier than four months before you're eligible, and they'll pay the benefits the next month. For Medicare, as we said before, that's the important date of three months before you turn 65. Both of these things are going to require a bunch of documentation that are going to prove that you are you and you are entitled to these benefits. You're going to have to compile all that.

Sometimes it makes it easier, especially for older folks, to just go into the Social Security office rather than try to do all this online. But if you're computer savvy, you can scan and upload all of this stuff. And there's a list on the Social Security website of what you're going to need to prove that you are you.

Amy Laburda
So if not fun, at least it seems fairly straightforward.

Eric Meermann
Should be.

Amy Laburda
So stepping back a little bit,

In an earlier episode about long-term care planning, we mentioned Medicare as a piece of the overall planning puzzle, but for most people, not a standalone support. As we talked about earlier in this conversation, what it was planned for is really not sort of the scope and breadth of what it’s being used for today. So when you talk to clients about Social Security and Medicare, how do you encourage them to think about it as a piece of their larger planning puzzle?

Eric Meermann
Yeah, that's a great question. So,

you know, especially if you have a significant portfolio or 401(k) and IRAs that support you in retirement, you're looking at it as part of your overall retirement plan as an income stream to supplement your spending every month in retirement. And that spending is going to come from drawing down your portfolio, taking distributions from your retirement accounts,

and Social Security. So you need to consider them all holistically. When you get back to that claiming decision of, OK, if this is basically a part of my overall wealth and income stream that I'm going to get, you want to optimize that decision. And so with an 8% general increase in benefits between age 62 and 70, it goes up by about 8% a year, those benefits. That's a tough rate of return

to beat. And it's guaranteed, provided that the trust fund doesn't go away. But assuming it stays as is, you get an 8% increase per year. That's tough to beat. So for people that can afford to push it back and are otherwise healthy, I recommend that they do so.

Amy Laburda
So I know some people consider moving outside the U.S. in retirement, whether to be close to family or just to take on a new adventure, something they'd always wanted to do.

For Americans who move abroad, do they still have access to their Social Security and Medicare benefits?

Eric Meermann
Yes, they do. But this part gets super complicated. So we're going to try to be as general as we can.

Amy Laburda

Eric Meermann
And I think the first thing to start with is: What does it mean to live overseas? Some people might be, you know, maintaining a residence while other people might just be sort of traveling around.

The government defines living abroad as spending time outside of the U.S. or its territories for at least 30 consecutive days.

Amy Laburda
Wow, that may be way less time than listeners expected. I know I was surprised when I first heard the number. So what if you don't maintain a residence abroad permanently, but you just decide to travel for two months and you're away?

Eric Meermann
Well, I think in those cases, most people are having their Social Security payments directly deposited into a U.S. bank account.

And so, you know, they still maintain a residence in the U.S. They're a U.S. citizen. They have a U.S. bank account. And they're going to be traveling using their credit cards and debit cards. So in that case, it doesn't really seem like an issue to me, even if you're gone for more than 30 days. For people who are receiving checks, that's where it would be complicated. But I think that's few and far between now. And they may even require that you take direct deposit these days.

Amy Laburda
Sure. So

let's say you are actually living abroad and not just there for a long trip. Can you get your benefits?

Eric Meermann
Yes. There's generally a few countries that you can't get them from. I'll go through the list quickly: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Those you can't get, and you outright are forbidden in North Korea and Cuba.

Amy Laburda

those countries aside, if you're living somewhere else, say Canada or Germany, and you were there definitely more than 30 days, how does it work?

Eric Meermann
Many countries, especially those in Europe, have Social Security agreements with the United States. Some of them have special rules. But if you wind up retiring to a country without one of those agreements, it's possible you're going to lose your benefits after six months of living there, unless there are, again, special circumstances that apply to that exception.

So it's really a very specific, country by country decision. And it's probably beyond the scope — we're not going to go through all 200 countries in the world here. But it's safe to say that the countries you mentioned are going to have Social Security agreements, and you'll be able to get your funds paid to a foreign bank account.

Amy Laburda
So it sounds like the big-picture takeaway for U.S. citizens is if you plan to spend a lot of time abroad, it's worth checking with a financial planner or someone else who knows

the ins and outs of the specific country's arrangement, so you aren't surprised once you go there.

Eric Meermann
Absolutely, yeah. I think that's an important decision for retiring abroad in the country selection. In addition to estate planning, income tax planning, citizenship, one of the things you're going to want to think about is, “Can I get my Social Security benefits?” And that, like we said, is a very specific, country by country decision. So you're going to want to talk to someone in the U.S. who understands Social Security. And you might need to actually talk to

someone else in the country that you plan to retire to.

Amy Laburda
OK. Let's briefly look at it from the other direction. Instead of U.S. citizens living abroad, what about non-U.S. citizens who've lived and worked in the U.S. for quite a long time? Say they've worked well over the 10 years that full-time work would trigger Social Security benefits. Can they take those benefits with them, if they move back to their country of origin?

Eric Meermann 28:55
They can in a lot of cases. And again, it comes back to: Does that country have a Social Security agreement with the U.S.? Even if they don't, there are a whole list of other countries that they will pay the benefits to, and a bunch that they won't. So the Social Security Administration has a list on their website for noncitizens who earned benefits. Where it gets a little hairier, though, is when it comes to the dependent and survivor benefits of Social Security, which we've mostly

skipped over in this podcast, but there are the survivor benefits in a lot of very specific cases. And in order to qualify for those, for example, a spouse who is a noncitizen living abroad, and they don't live in a Social Security agreement country, they need to have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and the relationship, the marriage on which those spousal benefits are based, those are

going to need to be the years in which they were in the U.S.

Amy Laburda
So as you promised, it sounds like we've gotten pretty complicated here.

Eric Meermann
Yeah, it's definitely complicated. And you want to take your time to familiarize yourself with those country-specific rules. Different countries are going to have different rules. It depends if you're a citizen or not a citizen. Is there a tax treaty? Is there a Social Security agreement? It's almost a whole nother podcast.

Amy Laburda
All right, well, we'll save that one maybe for another day.

We've been talking mainly about Social Security benefits in this part of the discussion, but what about Medicare for people moving abroad?

Eric Meermann
Medicare is simpler, because it doesn't follow you abroad. Health services are in the U.S. only. So if you're going to be retiring overseas or gone for an extended period of time, it might make sense to actually cancel your Medicare, so that you're not needlessly paying the Medicare premiums. Or you might delay enrollment even though you would be subject to this 10%

penalties for waiting after 65. So again, a very specific decision on, you know, how long you're going to be gone. Is it forever? But generally, it's not outside the U.S. So pretty simple.

Amy Laburda
It makes sense. And it sounds like that's also an area too, where as we talked earlier with the Medigap policies, if you start your retirement abroad and then have to come back, you may also face higher premiums or

problems with finding coverage. So certainly something it sounds like you'll need to think about carefully.

Eric Meermann
Yeah, absolutely. It's the same thing with Medicare. That's age 65, three months before, same date.

Amy Laburda
All right, so thanks for coming on the show today, Eric. But before we wrap up, is there anything else broadly about Social Security or Medicare that you think our listeners should know that we haven't yet discussed?

Eric Meermann
Well, I think we covered most of it. And it really comes down to a very specific decision based on

the lifestyle, life expectancy, all these different factors we have discussed in the podcast, what country you're going to live in and how long are you going to live there, all really very specific stuff that can get very complicated. So, it might make sense to talk to a financial adviser like someone at Palisades Hudson.

Amy Laburda
All right, well, it was a pleasure to have you back on Eric. Thanks for talking to me today.

Eric Meermann
Thanks so much, Amy.

Amy Laburda
“Something Personal” is a production of Palisades Hudson Financial Group, a financial planning and investment firm

headquartered in South Florida. Our other offices are in Atlanta; Austin; the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area; and the New York City metro area. “Something Personal” is hosted by me, Amy Laburda. Our producers are Ali Elkin and Joseph Ranghelli. Joseph Ranghelli is also our director, editor and mixer. Our firm has written two books: Looking Ahead: Life, Family, Wealth, and Business After 55 and The High Achiever's Guide to Wealth,

which offers advice for younger professionals, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers. Both books are available on Amazon, in paperback and as e-books.