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Fine-tuning the post-65 years
Old 07-08-2018, 10:24 AM   #1
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Fine-tuning the post-65 years

Hi all -


I've been lurking here for awhile, and finally decided to sign up and join the conversation. Through a combination of hard w*rk, careful planning, and more than a little good luck, DW and I are now blessed with a comfortable retirement. (I retired for the third, and almost certainly last, time at the end of 2016.)


I've played with FIREcalc a bit, and was happy to find, as expected, that our assets and other income are sufficient to cover our expected spending under nearly every scenario envisioned. (OTOH, that's what our financial planner told us when we retired for the first time in 2007, and that didn't work out so well ...).



My primary focus right now is to optimize the timing of Social Security and IRA withdrawals, minimizing taxes and IRMAA, etc. We decided years ago to hold off on SS until FRA (66 for us), partly because I continued w*rking until almost 64, and also because DW is among the last to be grandfathered into the file-and-restrict option, which we plan to take advantage of. We had also assumed that we would hold off on IRA withdrawals until RMDs kick in at 70.5, but now I'm playing with the possibility of taking some withdrawals between now and then to minimize taxes by leveling income to some extent. It's a tricky spreadsheet exercise so far, but I see a number of threads on these topics here, so I have some reading to do.


I'm impressed with the retirement knowledge assembled here, so I look forward to learning a lot! And if I think I can contribute something useful to the conversation from time to time, I might try.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #2
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Welcome, Mike! I'm crabby also (MD native, lived in DE, now exiled to TX)

Sounds like you have done a lot of things right and glad to know you are enjoying the good life in the land of pleasant living.

If you are trying to reduce your RMDs and don't need the $$ immediately, partial Roth conversions could make sense. I've been doing that for several years on DH's traditional IRA and will do the same on mine once he turns 70. There are quite a few threads on that here as well.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
If you are trying to reduce your RMDs and don't need the $$ immediately, partial Roth conversions could make sense. I've been doing that for several years on DH's traditional IRA and will do the same on mine once he turns 70. There are quite a few threads on that here as well.
I ran into the problem that I can only convert $6900 per year. At that rate it would take 50 years Also, since I am over 70.5, whether I take the RMD or the Roth makes almost no difference.
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby Mike View Post
My primary focus right now is to optimize the timing of Social Security and IRA withdrawals, minimizing taxes and IRMAA, etc. We decided years ago to hold off on SS until FRA (66 for us), partly because I continued w*rking until almost 64, and also because DW is among the last to be grandfathered into the file-and-restrict option, which we plan to take advantage of.
It might be worth your time and $40 to check out https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/. Terrific tool for analyzing optimal social security claiming strategies.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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Thanks MBAustin, Souschef, and joeea! I wasn't expecting such rapid feedback -- I think I'm going to like it here.


I should look at my Roth options -- when I was working, IIRC, I made too much $ to do a Roth, and I guess I was assuming now that it wouldn't do me much good at 65-1/2.



I have used a number of SS calculators, and that one sounds familiar, though I don't recall paying to use any. I see that comes from Kotlikoff, though, and I have his book Get What's Yours (revised edition) on my desk, with many pages marked to go back to. Of course, he's heavily biased towards waiting as long as possible (and against break-even analysis), so I don't think he'd disapprove of our strategy to date.


Thanks again!
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:30 PM   #6
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