Key Numbers for 2014 Retirees

Lots of people are shocked when their first Social Security check arrives and they see that it doesn't go nearly as far as they had hoped. If you earn less than the federal poverty level -- about $958 a month for an individual or $1,293 for a couple -- you'll be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. The government calls these people "dual eligibles." You can make more than this and still be eligible for Medicaid or other help in some states. If you think you might qualify, use BenefitsCheckup.org to find out where to turn for assistance.

Retiring and signing up for these programs isn't simple. Make sure you start three months before your retirement date and be prepared to spend plenty of time getting it right.

Read this story on Bankrate.com.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

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