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Are you counting on SS?
Old 07-04-2018, 10:40 AM   #1
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Are you counting on SS?

As I read these forums I see a lot of talk about nest egg size and withdrawal rates.
Are people not counting on SS? I rarely see SS included in their formulas. I've run the numbers and with my SS + spouse SS + small pension, all our basic living expenses are more than covered. Withdrawing 3-4% on our retirement saving would be an extra 30-40K a year, giving us plenty of cushion.
I don't mean to start an argument, but I don't think someone needs a huge nest egg to early retire (say 62) if they live in a relatively low cost of living area. Especially if they can stay under ACA subsidies limits.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:43 AM   #2
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It's kind of like an inheritance--great to think about it being there, and some amount looks likely in most scenarios, but it's still nice to know you can do without it if it comes to that.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:16 AM   #3
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We had 183 responses to this poll in 2011. Maybe it's time to update it.

Poll:Are You Expecting Social Security?

Note that the poll asked for "best guess of what you will actually get".

This is generally a higher number than "conservative estimate that you use for worst case planning".

In general, older people had higher expectations. That seems reasonable to me.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:33 AM   #4
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Yes, we are counting on SS. My husband is already drawing his and I will file for spousal next year, then wait until I'm 70 for my full. That and my pension pays all our expenses and then some. The portfolio is there for extras and hopefully to leave an inheritance for the kids. But many people on this site don't have pensions and many retire prior to SS age, so looking at SWR is important to their survival. In those cases, they made need a huge nest egg to maintain the standard of living they desire.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
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I am counting on it being there, but can survive without it. Right now I get widow's benefits which covers half of my monthly expenses. The rest I make from rental properties, so as of now I haven't had to withdraw anything from investments. If SS goes away, I can do fine by withdrawing from investments. I am waiting until 70 before I draw from my own SS, at which time my SS should almost double. But still survivable without it, although I fully expect it to be there.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:48 AM   #6
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I'm collecting survivor SS now and intend to file on my own record at FRA. Yes, I expect that it will still be there and pay the promised amount.

How long that continues i don't know but I predict no serious changes in the next 10 years.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:52 AM   #7
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Sure, I expect something.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjflyman View Post
As I read these forums I see a lot of talk about nest egg size and withdrawal rates.
Are people not counting on SS? I rarely see SS included in their formulas. I've run the numbers and with my SS + spouse SS + small pension, all our basic living expenses are more than covered. Withdrawing 3-4% on our retirement saving would be an extra 30-40K a year, giving us plenty of cushion.
I don't mean to start an argument, but I don't think someone needs a huge nest egg to early retire (say 62) if they live in a relatively low cost of living area. Especially if they can stay under ACA subsidies limits.

please bear in mind i live in Australia some things are different

in 2010 i inherited two estates , and since our politicians are cutting costs to buy new war machines , i decided to be prudent and start retirement INCOME fund , so if normal pensions were savaged any further i could probably do OK doing a little part-time if needed

this grand plan was meant to support me from Jan. 1st 2020 ,( until whenever and that i why i did not plan to draw down regularly only in dire emergencies )

as some readers know 7 years can be a long time and some things can change ( and did they , what ? for me )

plan A was to fund my retirement without desperately needing government assistance ( at all )

plan B was to tighten things up for some health-care benefits to flow but for most things be self-sufficient

but someone insisted i see a doctor after them for 25 years of avoiding them and here i am now ( for better or worse )
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:01 PM   #9
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I'm counting on SS. Factoring SS into the withdrawal calculation is one of the reasons I was originally drawn to FireCalc, as it was the first retirement calculator I found that accounted for SS.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:05 PM   #10
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Our monthly SS and pensions and VA disability income streams REDUCE the amount of money that is needed from our investments. Because of this, we have to withdraw a lower amount of cash monthly to meet all of our expenses. This plan works like a dream. You should try it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:05 PM   #11
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I expect to get SS, but as long as I live in Canada, Canada will tax 85% of my SS as earned income, so my take-home will be smaller, but I still do count on the SS to be there, and it's part of my retirement calculation. I'm planning to take it at FRA. I'm actually looking forward to it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:09 PM   #12
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I expect SS. But it is right now one of my "reinforcements" arriving when I am in my 60s. So if it doesn't arrive, it won't be a disaster. I do expect at least some of it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #13
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I am more than 20 years away from FRA so who knows how much I will end up actually getting... For planning purposes, it's easier to be conservative and assume that I will get nothing.

But I paid into it and I sure count on getting something back...
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:13 PM   #14
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Expecting 75-80%. Hoping for 90-100%. Let see how far down the road politicians will try to kick this down the road.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:14 PM   #15
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My planning has DH's SS at his current rate - but with a smaller COLA. He's already collecting so I don't think they'll take it away from him... but will likely go to a chained CPI or something to reduce increases. I suspect it will also become 100% taxable at some point.

For planning purposes I have mine at 50% - but expect at least 80%. I plan to claim at FRA (for now) which is 10 years off. But I am all over the map on when to claim and plan to stay flexible based on circumstances.... I'll make that decision (whether to collect or not) annually once I turn 62. REWahoo has posts here about how starting SS during the 2008 downturn was right decision for him and his wife... allowed them to maintain lifestyle and not panic about the market declines. That's an example of staying flexible based on circumstances at the time.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:18 PM   #16
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My official plan discounts our SS benefits by 30%. I sometimes play around with that factor... setting it to 0% or 100% or 50% just to see what happens as a what-if. It obviously affects our spending capacity. But our actual spending last 5 years is about 35% below the FIRECalc 95% level. So I guess the answer is, no, we're not really "counting on SS." But the closer I get to 62 with no means testing, etc, the more likely I am to "up" our spending game.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:26 PM   #17
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I have a level income pension which means that at age 62 it is reduced by the monthly SS benefit whether I take it or not. I am required to file forms at least 4 months in advance of age 62 to establish my SS benefits at age 62. I also have a pension from a prior employer that starts at age 62. Our pension now covers pretty much of all our expenses and most of our travel. The taxable investment accounts are our second level of security followed by, our IRAs, and then real estate holdings. If SS were to be reduced at age 62, my company pension is obligated to make up the difference.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Our monthly SS and pensions and VA disability income streams REDUCE the amount of money that is needed from our investments. Because of this, we have to withdraw a lower amount of cash monthly to meet all of our expenses. This plan works like a dream. You should try it.
+1. Except military pension - not disability. Tricare was also one of the legs on our retire at 60 "stool." Also have a small (non-cola) c*rp pension that is 100% joint survivor. I'll turn 62 next year and DW will hit FRA; we'll both tap in to SS in 2019. Yup, suspect it'll be there. Might become a political football around 2034ish, but I believe our cowards in washington, desperate to stay in power, will just increase the yoke on the unborn oxen
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:32 PM   #19
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Yes I'm counting on it as well as collecting it currently. Every month i collect a check reduces the need for it down the road. Roth conversions have made RMDs smaller when they hit. Collecting SS and possibly never touching the Roths suits me and my heirs just fine. Flexibility is huge for me.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:02 PM   #20
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My DGF already collects SSDI and yes I am counting on SS perhaps with a haircut, but my plan doesn't count on receiving nothing and IMO that would be way too conservative.
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