A Different Degree of Wealth

Important Decisions to Make Near Your 65th Birthday

Approaching your 65th birthday is more than just a significant personal milestone; it’s a crucial juncture for making important decisions regarding your retirement, health care, and overall financial security. With millions of Americans reaching this age annually, understanding and navigating the landscape of retirement planning becomes paramount. This guide is designed to walk you through the essential steps to ensure a secure and fulfilling retirement phase.

1. Prepare for Medicare Enrollment

Medicare will become your primary healthcare coverage upon turning 65. Familiarize yourself with the enrollment process and the coverage options available under Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. Consider whether Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) might be necessary for your situation to cover expenses not included in traditional Medicare. Missing the enrollment window can lead to penalties, so it’s critical to mark this on your calendar and understand your needs well in advance.

2. Consider Long-term Care Insurance

As you age, the probability of requiring long-term care—services that support personal and health needs over an extended period—increases significantly. Long-term care insurance is specifically designed to cover the costs of care not covered by Medicare, including in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home expenses. This type of insurance can be a financial lifesaver, preventing your retirement savings from being depleted by the high costs of personal care. When evaluating long-term care insurance options, consider factors like the daily benefit amount, duration of coverage, and waiting periods before benefits begin. It’s also essential to review the policy’s eligibility criteria for benefits, such as the need for assistance with daily living activities. Purchasing long-term care insurance before any health issues arise can also result in lower premiums and ensure that you’re covered when you need it most.

3. Review Your Social Security Benefits

Your Social Security benefits are a critical component of your retirement plan. As you approach 65, it’s crucial to verify your earnings record for accuracy on the Social Security Administration’s website, as this record determines your benefit amount. You should also strategize about the optimal time to start receiving benefits. While you can begin taking Social Security as early as 62, waiting until your full retirement age—or beyond, up to age 70—can significantly increase your monthly payout. Delayed retirement credits can boost your benefits by a certain percentage for each year you delay, up to age 70. This decision should be informed by your health, financial needs, life expectancy, and whether you plan to continue working.

4. Evaluate Your Retirement Accounts

Reaching 65 is an opportune time to reassess your retirement savings strategy. This involves ensuring your investment portfolio is appropriately diversified and aligned with your risk tolerance and retirement timeline. If you’re still working, consider making catch-up contributions to your 401(k) or IRA to maximize your retirement savings. It’s also important to plan for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement accounts, which typically must begin at age 73. Understanding the tax implications of RMDs and planning withdrawals strategically can help minimize your tax liability and ensure your savings last throughout retirement.

5. Update Your Estate Planning

An up-to-date estate plan is essential to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your death or incapacitation. Review and, if necessary, update your will, trusts, power of attorney, and healthcare directives. Consider the implications of changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of grandchildren, or the acquisition of new assets. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can provide guidance and ensure that your documents are in compliance with current laws, minimizing the potential for family disputes and legal complications.

6. Leverage Tax Breaks

At age 65, you become eligible for additional tax benefits that can reduce your taxable income. For example, the IRS allows a higher standard deduction for taxpayers aged 65 and older. You may also qualify for property tax exemptions or reductions in some states, which can significantly lower your living expenses in retirement. Familiarize yourself with these tax breaks and consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the benefits available to you.

7. Embrace Healthy Living and Social Engagement

Maintaining your physical and mental health is just as important as financial planning for a fulfilling retirement. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and preventative healthcare can significantly impact your quality of life. Additionally, staying socially active and engaged with friends, family, and community can combat loneliness and promote mental health. Consider volunteering, joining clubs or groups aligned with your interests, or participating in activities offered by local community centers or senior organizations. Embracing a holistic approach to retirement that includes health, wellness, and community engagement can lead to a more satisfying and enjoyable retirement experience.

8. Get All the Help You Need

Last but certainly not least, don’t navigate this journey alone. Utilize resources such as the “Medicare & You” booklet,, and State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) for personalized guidance on Medicare. For Social Security questions, the SSA’s Retirement Estimator and consultations can provide clarity on benefits optimization. Approaching your 65th birthday with a plan for these six key areas can transform this milestone into a stepping stone towards a secure and fulfilling retirement. Making informed, proactive decisions now will pave the way for peace of mind in your retirement years, allowing you to focus on enjoying this new chapter of life.

Read “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine for questions.

Have a great weekend!





Sources: Located at the bottom of the article

Golf Tip of the Week

6 Things I Learned From Tour Pros At The 2024 Players Championship

On the ground, the 2024 Players Championship felt different. Not like a major championship. Not yet, anyway. But markedly different than any event this season that preceded it.

After a quick offseason and a bit of joyriding around the West Coast, the vibe was almost like The Players Championship snuck up on everyone. It was the dawn of the meat of the season, with the Masters is just a few weeks away. Were players’ games where they wanted it to be? Where it was supposed to be? For the first time this season, players were a little more panicky about their golf swing when the answer to that question was: Not quite.

This is something the rest of us can no doubt relate to.

It was a quick in-and-out for me—Monday-through-Wednesday, but still enough to glean a few tips from the top of the sport that the rest of us can use

1. Two feels is better than one

Rory McIlroy is dealing with a similar golf swing issue that Xander Schauffle is working through. To my eye, Rory’s arms track a little more outside than they have in the past, which lands his shoulders in a flatter position at the top of the backswing—both issues Xander is working on correcting.

It’s not a perfect comparison. Xander’s club tracks laid off-to-overly-steep, while Rory’s tends to get more across the line-to-overly-shallow. Either way, the challenge is that Rory loves how this slightly different set of movements feel off the tee, and he’s hitting his driver astonishingly well as a result: He’s currently first in SG: Off-the-Tee by more than a third of a shot. But this same “amazing” feeling off the tee is causing some serious headaches into greens, where Rory ranks 152nd on tour.

“When I try to recreate that feeling with the irons, the club just sorts of drops behind me. It starts left and goes further left,” he says. “I have a swing thought for my woods and I need a different swing thought for my irons.”

Amateur golfers don’t really think about swing thoughts like this. They go looking for a one-size-fits-all feel for their entire game. But that’s not really how they work.

With your woods, the goal is to hit up on the ball with maximum speed.

With your iron shots, it’s the opposite: Hit down on the ball to create maximum compression.

Two different golf swings, with two different goals, requiring two different swing thoughts. Don’t be spooked by the idea. It’s normal, and frankly, good.

2. Get weird to find the right feel

So, how do you find those feels?

To make matters more complicated, those two feels may change day by day. How do you find them?

“You have to get creative,” says Carl Yuan, who made his first Players Championship start this week.

Yuan really dials-up this idea on the range, and has become a bit of a viral sensation because of it. He’ll do all sorts of things that look bizarre: He’ll hit balls on one leg. He’ll stand with his back facing the target. He’ll swing with an Arnold Palmer follow through on steroids. He’ll try shanking one, then topping one. It’s madness, but with a method behind it. And maybe one the rest of us should experiment.

“It’s about creating body awareness,” Yuan says. “I’m a very creative person, and if I can be very aware about how my body is moving and still know how to hit a ball, I’ll be able to find new feels that I can use that day.”

3. The science of ‘slapping it around’

We’re used to Scottie Scheffler putting on ball-striking clinics, but a lingering neck injury forced a different kind of clinic this week.

Yes, Scheffler led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green, but for the first time in his career, he did it by leading the field in driving accuracy. It’s only the third time that’s been done by a Players Championship winner. Webb Simpson and Fred Funk were the other two, and both finished in the bottom two in Driving Distance. Scheffler finished 14th in that category.

“You were flying on one wing, and you still put together a round,” McGinley said to Scheffler afterwards. “Your course management was the reason why.”

McGinley was right. Without as much distance as was usually at his disposal, Scheffler admitted afterwards he was “slapping it around,” though in doing so, he revealed the blueprint for getting it around without your best stuff:

  • Have a go-to shot shape off the tee—for Scottie, it’s something with a left-to-right curve.
  • Get it in play off the tee, always
  • Club up, and swing soft
  • Chase the fat part of the green

It’s not revolutionary stuff. It’s actually quite boring. But it’s important, and on the days when you don’t have your best stuff, moving the ball forward unspectacularly becomes essential.

4. Shift, rotate, rise

Scottie Scheffler’s feet do all sorts of crazy things on the downswing because he’s essentially jumping and sliding sideways through the ball. That’s only possible because he’s pushing himself into the ground, and then pushing his entire body back off it. Scottie Scheffler is so strong that he can literally push himself off the ground, really no different than the way you would squat down, and then jump off the ground. Except he’s doing it while swinging a golf club.

Wyndham Clark is also really good at using the ground. This clip of Wyndham had Kevin Kisner geeking out in the booth.

“Look at the way he’s torquing that ground with his feet,” he said “He’s ripping it out of the ground.”

I like this clip because it highlights what Wyndham’s knees are doing: His left knee moves slightly inside his left foot, then moves outside his left foot towards his toe, then begins pulling back.

The ground is the only real leverage point golfers have when they swing a golf club. Watch the way any pros use it, and you’ll spot the same sequence: They screw themselves into the ground on the backswing, then they shift towards the target, turn their body, and then rise off it. The more golfers can replicate that, the better off they’ll be.

5. Try different line methods

Nothing gets me going like debating whether golfers should use the line on the golf ball. Part of me wonders if it’s a method that shouldn’t be allowed, but golf’s governing bodies have deemed it legal, so here we are.

What was interesting about the 2024 Players Championship is that all those in contention had different approaches when it came to using the line.

Starting last week, Scottie Scheffler stopped using the line on the golf ball but has one line on his putter.

Wyndham Clark uses the line on his golf ball, and perpendicular lines on his putter.

Xander Schauffele uses the line on his golf ball, and angular, linier putter.

Brian Harman has three big white lines on his putter, which he pays more attention to than the ball. A similar approach to Sami Valimaki, who I spoke with about this earlier in the week.

“I use the line on short, straight putts, but not on breaking putts,” he said.

The point? That there are lots of different combinations to combine the alignment marking on your putter, and the line on your ball. Experiment with each, and get creative. Everyone’s preferred approach is a little different, but the goal is the same for each:

What helps you aim the best?

What makes you feel the most comfortable?

6. Don’t lose the hole on the tee

It speaks to the irrational nature of golf that I did an entire video at the start of the week breaking down, in detail, why you should basically never try to be the hero. And then, when Wyndham Clark pulled an iron on the 72nd hole of the tournament, needing a birdie to force a playoff, I had a knee-jerk negative reaction to it.

Let’s say Clark pulls his driver. Sure, he hit his ball into the water, say, 30 percent of the time. But who cares. Isn’t being a better spot the other 70 percent of the time, in a birdie-or-bust situation, worth it?

Well, not really. Clark’s iron put him just over 160 yards away—“I had a pitching wedge,” he said afterwards. Let’s say he hit driver and gets closer to 130 yards. The distance between average PGA Tour proximity is only five feet closer from 125 to 150 yards compared to 150 to 175.

Clark’s path to more must-make birdies wasn’t taking that five extra feet, 70 percent of the time. It was giving himself a look—and by that I mean, either a chip or a putt at birdie—95 percent of the time. It was the right call, and Clark knows it.

“I feel like if I hit driver, I wasn’t guaranteed birdie, and I thought I could lose the tournament by hitting driver,” he said. “I’m a huge guy of just always giving myself a chance.”

Giving yourself a chance. Staying alive, right up until the final moment. That’s what Wyndham did. That’s what Scottie did. That’s what this week was about. And, that’s what good golf is about.

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

Sloppy Joe Casserole

4 Servings


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 c. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 c. low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 8 sweet Hawaiian slider rolls, halved crosswise
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, until crumbled and no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
  • In same skillet over medium heat, cook onions, bell peppers, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 10 to 12 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add ketchup and cook, stirring occasionally, until ketchup is reduced to a thick paste, 5 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder and mustard and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until combined. Add beef and a few dashes of hot sauce (if using).
  • Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with rolls cut sides down. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake casserole until rolls are toasted and cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley (if using).




Recipe adapted from Delish.comii

Travel Tip of the Week

This Street Was Just Named the Coolest in the World

There’s a lot to be said for the road not taken. Case in point: most visitors to Melbourne, Australia, likely stay in and around its Central Business District (CBD), missing out on one of the city’s highlights — High Street. 

Running through the inner-north suburbs of Thornbury, Northcote, and Preston, the thoroughfare earned the highest rankings from Time Out’s global network of local editors and writers, to cinch the title of Coolest Street in the World.

“It’s cool in all the ways you’d expect — epic restaurants, hidden bars, live music venues, and boutique shops,” Leah Glynn, Time Out Melbourne’s editor, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “But there’s also a warm sense of community spirit that means everyone feels welcome. It’s a place where people want to spend their time, and in our opinion, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.”

Accessible from the CBD on the 86 tram line, High Street is best known for having “something for everyone,” the publication said. That means charming Aussie cafes right by a food truck park and a delightful mix of vintage stores, live music venues, rooftop bars, and even a boutique indie cinema. 

Time Out calls out Casa Nata for its Portuguese tarts, 1800 Lasagne for its signature lasagna, Northside Wines for its local natural wine, Gigi Rooftop for its drinks with a view, and Francesca’s Bar for late-night dancing. 

Though this is only the third edition of the brand’s list, Melbourne has already had a strong track record. Its Smith Street topped the 2021 list while its Gertrude Street notched the runner-up spot in 2022. 

Next on the list is one of Hong Kong’s oldest streets, Hollywood Road. The 0.62-mile stretch, which dates back to 1844, is like its own “best of” list of the city. There are landmarks like Man Mo Temple, Mid-Level Escalator, and the Tai Kwun Arts and Culture Center, plus favorite bars and restaurants. One highlight: a speakeasy behind a toilet bowl display called Tate Dining Room and Lockdown.

The third-place spot marks the only U.S. street in the Top 10: Austin’s East Eleventh. Famed for its lively mix of food, culture, and music, Time Out named Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, Franklin Barbeque, and the Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar as the “must-visit venues.” 

The Top 10 was rounded out by Buenos Aires’ Guatemala Street, Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Petaling, Lisbon’s Rua da Boavista, Rio de Janeiro’s Arnaldo Quintela, Tokyo’s Chazawa-dori, and Barcelona’s Consell de Cent.

“You only really get to know a city when you veer down its side streets,” Grace Bead, Time Out’s travel editor, said of the list that “celebrates the avenues, thoroughfares, backstreets, and boulevards where local life really thrives.”





Tip adapted from travelandleisure.comiii 

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6 important things to do when turning 65 – A Retirement Checklist

Critical Decisions You or a Loved One May Face At 65

3 Essential Moves to Make Within a Year of Your 65th Birthday


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