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View Poll Results: Can you retire without social security?
I count on some social security in my household, or I would not be able to retire as planned. 77 38.12%
I have sufficient assets/income, and could/can retire without any social security in our/my budget. 125 61.88%
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Could you retire without social security?
Old 01-12-2011, 09:07 AM   #1
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Could you retire without social security?

Regardless of the age you choose to retire, and regardless of whether you plan receiving on the projected amount of social security, or have budgeted something less for social secuirty (but you are still counting on sonething), could you/can you retire without any social security?
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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I could manage reasonably well without SS. But SHOULD I have to do that? I think not. When I contributed to SS it was on the assumption that I would gain from it in my old age. Sorry, changing the rules in the middle of the game is dirty pool IMO and something that should not be done to any generation, be it Boomers, X, or whatever.

For a time I was employed by a mega-university which did not require SS contributions, so I didn't contribute to SS (there was the option of either contributing to SS or else contributing to other retirement accounts, there). But elsewhere I did pay in to SS.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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I could manage reasonably well without SS. But SHOULD I have to do that? I think not. When I contributed to SS it was on the assumption that I would gain from it in my old age. Sorry, changing the rules in the middle of the game is dirty pool IMO and something that should not be done to any generation, be it Boomers, X, or whatever.
I agree. DW/me already went through too many life changing financial impacts, based upon what we were planned on in our 20/30's and then had the rules changed (e.g. elimination of our respective pensions and the "new" 401(k)/IRA programs in our mid-30's).

BTW, when we started w*rk, FRA age was a year earlier, with less taken out of our respective paychecks. The SS rules were already changed in our w*rk years and I'm sure they will be changed again in the upcoming generations to ensure viability of the program...
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:40 AM   #4
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Not trying to imply in any manner that one should not collect just because it might not be needed (well maybe if you're Oprah or Bill Gates), but am curious as to whether or not a group of people who for the most part planned and saved for retirement still would need it to retire.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Not trying to imply in any manner that one should not collect just because it might not be needed (well maybe if you're Oprah or Bill Gates), but am curious as to whether or not a group of people who for the most part planned and saved for retirement still would need it to retire.
Don't need it; but, certainly won't turn it down. Not having debt and living in a place with a reasonable cost of living helps tremendously.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #6
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...curious as to whether or not a group of people who for the most part planned and saved for retirement still would need it to retire.
For a lot of folks that can meet their needs without SS, you still have to think about those who wish to make end-of-life bequests.

Using SS income rather than other (whatever) sources allows those folks to leave more in their estate.

Just our example; we have a disabled "adult" son, who's care will be taken care of by adding to his trust from our remainder estate (no family member wants to take on the responsibility). For that, we're looking at numbers that most couples would consider would fund their entire joint retirement years. Whatever we eventually claim in SS, we'll be able to "reserve" our remaining assets for his eventual use.

Just an example from our part of the world...
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:01 AM   #7
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I don't need it but I sure like it .
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Not trying to imply in any manner that one should not collect just because it might not be needed (well maybe if you're Oprah or Bill Gates), but am curious as to whether or not a group of people who for the most part planned and saved for retirement still would need it to retire.
If you ER in your 40s then it may not make much of a difference. I only have 24 years of earnings history on my SS record, so by the time I could start using it I'll have more zeroes than earnings.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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Yes, I *could* but it would probably delay it by 5 years or more.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:07 AM   #10
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I retired in my late 40's so I never really thought much about S/S, as a matter of fact I don't even know how much I would get when I do reach 65 (Canada). I do know that when I was self employed, I paid more then $30,000.00 into the plan and didn't have a choice in the matter. What a sec, is that social security or Canada Pension, maybe it's Canada Pension. Tells you how much I know about the Government plans.

Can anyone educate me on this?
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #11
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As it turns out, our barest of bones budget needs would be met by SS and DH's pension (also changed/frozen in the middle of the game, thanks megacorp, but early enough that the subsequent plans worked out okay) so our WD from the nest egg can be much smaller and can fund steak once in a while, travel, bumping up the thermostat occasionally, the odd non-generic prescription, long-term care, etc.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #12
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Could - yes, would - no. SS takes the worry out of retirement for us.

DW and I are both over 66, and both get SS. I would think the answers to this would depend on your age. The further away from SS the less I would assume you would depend on it. If, like us, you are already getting it, then I would assume it forms some part of your spending. For us it is the icing, or it is the base, and the other stuff is the icing.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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As a retired federal employee I get no SS coverage. DW gets a very modest SS payment. It is just gravy for us. If she didn't get it, our lifestyle would be no different.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #14
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SS is one of 3 what i call "reinforcements" which will arrive starting in about 12-13 years as I near 60 years old. Until then, I will live off my dividends and if necessary, principal from my taxable accounts.

However, I expect my expenses to rise more quickly than my revenues, so I will eventually begin to have deficits in my late 50s. Those 3 reinforcements are SS, unfettered access to my IRA, and my frozen pension. So this thread's question as it relates to me is whether I would be okay with access to only 2 of those 3 reinforcements, the IRA and the frozen pension. I would have to say I would be okay. [I have excluded access to Medicare at age 65 as a reinforcement although it would reduce my medical expenses and have a similar effect on my budget from the expense side.]
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #15
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SS will be the icing on the cake. Not required, but will help protect my portfolio.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:11 AM   #16
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SS has no line in our spreadsheet. Will we take it? Hell yes! But I don't rely on it for our FIRE plan, it will provide some portfolio longevity "insurance".

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Old 01-12-2011, 11:14 AM   #17
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We planned for retirement assuming we would never get a cent from SS. But if, when the time comes, we do qualify to receive SS benefits, we will gladly cash the checks in.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:19 AM   #18
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I have met the minimum qualifications to receive Social Security payments. However, under the Windfall Elimination Provision, I will receive some SS, but it'll be a reduced amount, probably only around $325 or so when I'm 62 (in 2020). My primary retirement income will be from 2 COLA'd fed govt pensions (Civil Service & military). I have also been maxing out my TSP (401k equivalent) & Roth IRAs. Also, my wife has a 401k & will qualify for her own SS, but not until 2023. So...SS will be a part, but not a major part of my/our retirement. We'd be ok either way. I retire in 2 yrs, wife in 5 yrs.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:20 AM   #19
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I won't get social security since I'm a retired federal employee under CSRS. I paid in for a number of years but don't have the 40 quarters to qualify for a reduced benefit unless I were to work for awhile under SS which is unlikely.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:27 AM   #20
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DH won't get anything although he paid in for many years before becoming a public employee. I'll get between $500 (62) and $700 (FRA of 66 and 2 months).

Right now we do just fine without it, but I'll take it when the time comes.
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