53/57: It’s an average; keep reading
Truly, you can find some minimilestones to celebrate at any age, and we thought we’d put a little shine on your mid-50s with this tidbit: In 2018, the average ages that women and men became parents were 27 and 31, respectively. So if you had a kid when you were those ages, 53 or 57 is the age you’ll be when your kid is no longer covered by your insurance – it’s the flip side of 26! Here’s to no longer paying for dependent coverage. Get yourself something nice, like some slacks from Chico’s or customized golf tees. Really lean into your mid-fifties!
59.5: Tell your toddlers half-birthdays always count
Oh did you think you were finished acknowledging half birthdays sometime in elementary school? You’re not! You might get a special half-birthday present at 59.5, if you planned ahead. By the time you are 59.5 years old, filling out those 401(k) forms in your twenties probably feels like a sepia-toned memory. But 59.5 is the moment you and that paperwork have been waiting for, because now you can finally withdraw funds from 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts without incurring any tax penalties. Go get your money!
65: When you’re 64 + 1
“Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? When I’m 64?” We hope so, because in an effort to get you to the benefits of being 65, you’re gonna have to make it past 64. Are you retired? Or mostly retired? Good for you, because it turns out you can stop filing income taxes if you’re over 65 and you make less than $13,850 as an unmarried person or $27,000 as a married couple. And that doesn’t include Social Security benefits, which some people may be collecting by age 65 (see below). And in some states, you can even stop paying property taxes! (Not sure about cottages in the Isle of Wight, though. Not our bailiwick.)
67: The moment you’ve been waiting for since your very first paycheck
Remember when you were a teenager, and you were so excited to get your first paycheck, and then you were so annoyed to see how little of it you actually got to keep? Well to paraphrase Phil Collins, you’ve been waiting for this moment for all of your working life: Assuming you were born after January 1, 1960, 67 is the age at which you can finally begin collecting the Social Security benefits you’ve been paying into your entire career. Fingers crossed it still exists when you get there and those pennies you put away in your high school soft serve job haven’t vanished!
72: Four short the right number of trombones
This is our final milestone year, but it doesn’t mean you’re done celebrating. By now you may have grandkids or an extremely fulfilling life without them! You’ve got your retirement incomes flowing, and life is good. It’s time to celebrate every year! But first: If you turn 70.5 in 2020 or later, 72 is the age at which you must begin withdrawing from those retirement accounts you were eligible to draw from all those 12.5 years ago. If you’ve been incubating that nest egg, your time is up! These withdrawals are called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), and our pals at the IRS have many handy tools that can help you calculate what your RMDs will or would be.
Look, we’re not gonna pretend that turning 57 necessarily carries the same kind of excitement that 18 or 21 or even 25 does. But hopefully, we’ve given you a few more things to look forward to as your long and wonderful life spools out. And it’s not all insurance premiums going down with age (to a point). It’s anniversaries, births, food and coffee. There’s a lot to look forward to, you’ve just gotta look.
*FYI, you can register to vote when you are 17 if you will turn 18 by or on Election Day! Tell all 17-year-olds in your life!