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Öthinking Iím ready to pull the ripcord -
Old 03-27-2017, 06:41 AM   #1
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Öthinking Iím ready to pull the ripcord -

- but need to check that Iíve packed my chute properly.

Iím soon to be 57, DW is 70 and retired. Only debt outside of our mortgage ($1,250/mo, including tax and insurance) is a 401(k) loan of $13K. Current salary of $125K; maxing out 401(k) contributions with 3% Megacorp match. Last yearís after-tax spending was $7.2K/mo, and we agree thereís about $1K/mo that can fairly easily come off that. We live in the Midwest, so COL is moderate; we wouldnít be opposed to relocation to a warm-weather, low tax state, though. We have $10K/yr built in for travel; DW is starting to have some mobility issues so that will likely decline as time goes on. This is a big reason for thinking about ER sooner rather than later. HI costs have been factored in at current exchange premium rates.

Assets: 401(k), my Roth, his and hers IRAs total $1.06M; AA is 70/30. DW will need to start taking MDs from her IRA ($45K balance) this year. HE is ~$100K, and this is *not* included in any calculations. Iíll have about $700/mo in corporate pensions (non-COLA). DWís SS is $700/mo after Medicare deduction; my SS estimates are $2K/mo at 62 and $2.6K/mo at 67. Iíve used the Bernicke spending model in FC, set for age 40 so weíll have 16 years of level spending before age-correlated decreases kick in. Assumed .35% investment load.

No kids together Ė DW has two from her previous Ė and if thereís anything left at all itís a bonus; leaving an estate isnít important to us.

For ER at 58 FC shows 3 failures with maximum deficit of under $100K, so it looks as if minor spending tweaks could prevent failure if it appears things are going pear-shaped. If I wait until 59 there are no failures with the minimum balance well above zero. I still have some questions, though:

∑ Regarding SS, I understand that DW can apply for spousal benefits as soon as I apply. If I apply at 62, this means her benefit would go from $800/mo (pre-Medicare) to $1K; at 67 from $800 to $1.3K. Is there a maximum family benefit, and would we bump up against that?
∑ By waiting until 59 I become fully vested in current Megacorp pension of about $300/mo (on 31 Dec they froze further accruals, moving to a DC (4% of salary contribution) approach. Good for younger ees and those with many years of service, bad for me). I donít see this as a reason to stay two years instead of one.
∑ However, at 59 Iíll also become eligible for pre-65 retiree HI. Itís not subsidized and the rates are nothing special, but it would be a continuation of current coverage until 65. Iím debating as to whether this is a reason to stay.
∑ I currently direct my own 401(k) allocations, using M* research to pick from our relatively limited universe of funds. Iíd be very interested in hearing how folks go about making investment selections from the much broader universe outside of an employer-sponsored plan. Yes, I do this now for our IRAs but those are less than 10% of the portfolio, so risk of poor choice is mitigated.
∑ We also have a couple capital projects upcoming (replace 17-year-old car, replace carpet, possibly upgrade kitchen). Staying an extra year means another year of bonus to cover these without dipping into asset pool. To me, this is perhaps the most compelling reason to stay 2 years instead of 1.

It seems as if Iíve covered most of my bases, but Iím certain there will be more items to address; TIA for all guidance and assistance!

~ears
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ears20 View Post
.....Regarding SS, I understand that DW can apply for spousal benefits as soon as I apply. If I apply at 62, this means her benefit would go from $800/mo (pre-Medicare) to $1K; at 67 from $800 to $1.3K. Is there a maximum family benefit, and would we bump up against that?....
There is a maximum family benefit, but I don't think that you would be anywhere near it.

You may want to run your situation through SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management and the alternative scenario calculations it allows to see what your best claiming strategy is.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:16 PM   #3
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There is a maximum family benefit, but I don't think that you would be anywhere near it.
Does anyone know what the maximum family benefit is? Is it something like $50-somethingK? I haven't been able to find the amount.
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Öthinking Iím ready to pull the ripcord -
Old 03-27-2017, 01:52 PM   #4
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Öthinking Iím ready to pull the ripcord -

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Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
Does anyone know what the maximum family benefit is? Is it something like $50-somethingK? I haven't been able to find the amount.


If I'm reading the formula correctly, the family max for 2017 is $4,894 per month, which is $58,728 per year.

Full formula is described here: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/familymax.html

Edit: Obviously, this is for someone who contributed the max throughout their 35 top-earning years. YMMV.
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