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Approaching Retirement Age

  Planning for Retirement Age Fact Sheet

Approaching and navigating retirement can raise many questions, and it’s never too early to start planning. The following federal guides offer information and resources to help people understand and make informed decisions about benefits, services, and programs available to older adults and those approaching retirement. Each guide provides practical, plain insights on a specific topic — and while the guides were developed with older adults in mind, they can benefit people of all ages.


Debt & Loans

Debt & Loans

This guide addresses common concerns about financial transitions and stability. The federal resources it provides cover topics such as student loan and medical bill repayment options, paying your mortgage and utility bills in times of financial strain, and disputing an error on your credit report. Also available in Chinese.

Food Resources

Food Resources

This guide can help you locate food resources through local and federal services and programs. It can help you understand eligibility, connect to a hunger hotline, or find a local food bank. It also explains Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and how to apply for them, plus options for those who cannot access food stores, including online purchasing with SNAP benefits. Also available in Chinese.

Health Care

Health Care

This guide will help you understand the different parts of Medicare, when you can enroll, and your coverage options. It also explains how to sign up, change coverage, and get help paying for Medicare. It can also help you understand your options if you don’t qualify for Medicare.


Housing Assistance for Homeowners

This guide includes resources for homeowners with financial concerns. It offers information on connecting to a network of over 1,500 housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Find a HUD-approved housing counselor, learn how your mortgage servicer can help, and read about home modification options for accessibility. Also available in Chinese.


Housing Assistance for Renters

This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guide covers tenant rights and options when facing difficulties paying rent. It can help you find state rental assistance and other resources, contact a housing counseling agency, and understand HUD’s Support Housing for the Elderly Program. It also explains how to request changes to your living space for accessibility and safety. Also available in Chinese.

Social Security

Social Security

This guide can help you understand Social Security benefits and related services. It addresses eligibility for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the application process, and considerations for choosing when to start receiving benefits. It also covers transitioning from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to retirement benefits. Also available in Chinese.



This guide addresses the tax process and related options for retirees, including resources available to help with filings. It offers a range of resources, including information on free tax preparation tools and services, eligibility for free tax preparation assistance, various options for resolving tax debt, and accessing support from organizations like the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Also available in Chinese.

How the Guides Were Developed

These resource guides were developed for the project Increasing Access to Decision-Making Support For Older Adults within the Approaching Retirement Life Experience. They were prepared under the direction of the President’s Management Council, with support from the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, and funds made available for Federal Government Priority Goals to implement select Life Experience projects in support of the President’s Management Agenda. Priority 2 of the President’s Management Agenda focuses on delivering excellent, equitable, and secure federal services and customer experience by designing, building, and managing government service delivery for key life experiences that cut across federal agencies.

These guides consolidate resources and benefits information from various federal agencies to support older adults in making informed decisions about healthcare, finances, housing, and nutrition. The guides incorporate expertise and materials from the following federal agencies and departments:

  • Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • U.S. Digital Service, Office of Management and Budget
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Social Security Administration

For Professionals: Federal Forum on Serving Older Adults

As part of the Increasing Access to Decision-Making Support For Older Adults project, ACL also coordinates the Federal Forum on Serving Older Adults. The forum's quarterly workshops bring together professionals from community-based organizations to learn from federal agencies about a broad range of topics that matter to the communities they serve. Click the button below to view the Forum webpage and check out our fact sheet for partners.

Last modified on 07/03/2024

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