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Forbes Article on SS Options
Old 04-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
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Forbes Article on SS Options

This article provides some good examples of how to take SS depending on your circumstances:

Five Things You May Not Know About Social Security, But Should - Forbes
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Good concise summary, thanks...
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:57 AM   #3
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What are the rules for taking it early, paying it back and then taking it later with a bigger payout?

Take it at 62 and pay it back but take it at 70 for full benefits? When would you have to pay back almost 8 years of payments by? Month before your 70th birthday? A year before?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
What are the rules for taking it early, paying it back and then taking it later with a bigger payout?

Take it at 62 and pay it back but take it at 70 for full benefits? When would you have to pay back almost 8 years of payments by? Month before your 70th birthday? A year before?
No longer available - SS changed the rules last year to eliminate the 'do over' option.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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Like REW noted, they announced Dec 2010 the interest free do-over was over, presumably effective Jan 2011. I was planning on exercising that option, but you know what they say, "if it sounds too good to be true..."
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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The author is apparently unaware of the elimination of the "do over" aspect despite having an April, 2012 date on the article.

The article is interesting and has some information for married retirees. I could find only one thing in it that is applicable to singles, though - - that women live longer than men, on average, so on average it is advantageous for women to wait before claiming ss and for men to claim it early.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Like REW noted, they announced Dec 2010 the interest free do-over was over, presumably effective Jan 2011. I was planning on exercising that option, but you know what they say, "if it sounds too good to be true..."
Yeah, but my understanding is that there is still a once-in-a-lifetime option but it must be exercised within the first year of collecting. That can help a few people in specific situations (those who still wanted to work, gave up and applied for SS then found a job within a year), but in terms of strategic retirement planning (save it all for a few years and pay it all back for a larger benefit if you're still healthy, using it like an annuity), that train has left the station. I've come to expect that nothing related to retirement benefits that sounds "too good" will be around when I get there, so I've stopped being disappointed when something else happens that I'm too young to take advantage of.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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The author is apparently unaware of the elimination of the "do over" aspect despite having an April, 2012 date on the article.
The way I read the article he's not talking about the old intercst do-over option, which y'all correctly point out is a goner. He mentions a 1 year do-over option, that I haven't heard about before. It sounds different and may still exist. I'm not sure exactly how much good it would do anyone, but it's another SS loophole that may be worthwhile for someone. The article calls it a 1 year interest free loan.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:00 AM   #9
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The way I read the article he's not talking about the old intercst do-over option, which y'all correctly point out is a goner. He mentions a 1 year do-over option, that I haven't heard about before. It sounds different and may still exist. I'm not sure exactly how much good it would do anyone, but it's another SS loophole that may be worthwhile for someone. The article calls it a 1 year interest free loan.
I haven't heard of a second type of do-over, either.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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It looks like paying back your benefits is still possible one time only, within 12 months of receiving your first benefits, and upon request and approval of the SSA:

Retirement Planner: If You Change Your Mind

(Personally, I don't think I'd rely on this strategy as the request could be denied).
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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The way I read the article he's not talking about the old intercst do-over option, which y'all correctly point out is a goner. He mentions a 1 year do-over option, that I haven't heard about before. It sounds different and may still exist. I'm not sure exactly how much good it would do anyone, but it's another SS loophole that may be worthwhile for someone. The article calls it a 1 year interest free loan.
In terms of using this to "buy an annuity" the financial gain is so limited as to be not worth doing since you can only do it in the first year. And the "do over" might not even be a rubber stamp anyway as there is no assurance that it will be approved.

I can see this watered-down option being useful for exactly one situation: where a discouraged job seeker aged 62+ decides to apply for SS because he/she is losing faith in their ability to find another job and they desperately need more income now... but then they eventually find a job within 12 months of starting benefits and no longer need the SS income stream. I'd wager that this is exactly the situation that convinced SSA to keep *any* do-over option around at all.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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this? not new but a limitation of old........Social Security "Do-Over" Now Limited
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
It looks like paying back your benefits is still possible one time only, within 12 months of receiving your first benefits, and upon request and approval of the SSA:

Retirement Planner: If You Change Your Mind

(Personally, I don't think I'd rely on this strategy as the request could be denied).
That's certainly unnerving.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:26 PM   #14
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The "File and Suspend" thing is new to me. It looks like a strategy is:

1. I File and Suspend (I guess I must wait until FRA)
2. Lena takes spousal benefit
3. At max age, I start benefits
4. At Lena's max age, she stops spousal benefits, and starts her own benefits.

This would give us about six years of free money. Sounds too good to be true, so it will probably be eliminated.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #15
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Yeah, but my understanding is that there is still a once-in-a-lifetime option but it must be exercised within the first year of collecting. That can help a few people in specific situations (those who still wanted to work, gave up and applied for SS then found a job within a year), but in terms of strategic retirement planning (save it all for a few years and pay it all back for a larger benefit if you're still healthy, using it like an annuity), that train has left the station. I've come to expect that nothing related to retirement benefits that sounds "too good" will be around when I get there, so I've stopped being disappointed when something else happens that I'm too young to take advantage of.
Yep, I'd forgotten the one time do-over within the first 12 months. But that's of very limited use compared to the old option, for all the pros and cons your summary makes clear.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
The way I read the article he's not talking about the old intercst do-over option, which y'all correctly point out is a goner. He mentions a 1 year do-over option, that I haven't heard about before. It sounds different and may still exist. I'm not sure exactly how much good it would do anyone, but it's another SS loophole that may be worthwhile for someone. The article calls it a 1 year interest free loan.
Having dealt with the SS Administration on the old do-over, I would strongly advise against going through what is certain to be a low grade ordeal to pick up one year, without special circumstances.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
The "File and Suspend" thing is new to me. It looks like a strategy is:

1. I File and Suspend (I guess I must wait until FRA)
2. Lena takes spousal benefit
3. At max age, I start benefits
4. At Lena's max age, she stops spousal benefits, and starts her own benefits.

This would give us about six years of free money. Sounds too good to be true, so it will probably be eliminated.
I think you're right as long as Lena's own benefit is more than her spousal benefit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
......The article is interesting and has some information for married retirees. I could find only one thing in it that is applicable to singles, though - - that women live longer than men, on average, so on average it is advantageous for women to wait before claiming ss and for men to claim it early.
Using that logic wouldn't it also be advantageous for a retired married man to wait before claiming ss since when he passes his benefit passes on to his widow? (assumes that his widow is not in poor health and is similar age or younger).
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