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Is SS more than you expected?
Old 02-08-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
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Is SS more than you expected?

All during the accumulation phase we discounted SS, assuming it would not be there (yeah, we were conservative).

Now that we are getting close to collecting, I am realizing that SS will cover more than 60% of our projected expenses. FIRE'd 3 years ago at 60. Expect to take at FRA, but that could change, it just depends.

I am sure part of it is that we lived well below our means, so our spend is less than others in the former income level. We have always spent on a few luxuries (vacations, new cars every 5-7 years) and do not feel deprived by any means, just don't have any ultra expensive desires.

I just never expected SS to cover that level of our expenses, not that I am complaining.

And you?
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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I am almost 50, assume a 50% haircut, and currently plan to take SS at 70.

Based on those parameters, it looks like SS will cover just about 50% of my current level of spending.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
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I always tracked how much me and DW would be getting so not really surprised. Quite happy with the amounts we will be getting. Between hers, mine and a military pension it should cover probably 75% of our needs.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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Since I tend to assume $0 from SS for my retirement planning, I'm guessing it will be more than expected. I'm hoping to retire early enough that it will come far enough out that it won't have much impact compared to portfolio returns.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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Can remember saying SS would be "grocery money."

Boy, was I wrong. If my health holds up and I delay taking until FRA, my SS + spouses' SS will be a bit more than our current expenses. (Including "extras.")

(Unused portfolio will pay for extras and possible late-in-life healthcare expenses.)
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:09 PM   #6
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My SS survivor is good for about 10%. When I claim it will be close to 20%
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:27 PM   #7
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Sometime around age 50 I was looking at the possibility of being downsized.
I started number crunching retirement income and was surprised how much we might get from SS.

It looked like if I worked to age 60, then deferred to age 70, SS would cover 100% of our non-entertainment spending.

Like you, we always lived below our means. I read these stories about people starving on SS, and the size of the benefit didn't sink in until I started doing math.

Now we are 71/70. Our combined SS really does cover 100% of our non-entertainment spending. If one of us died, that would still be true about the survivor.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:38 PM   #8
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At 53, I did some number crunching about FIRE at 62, and collecting SS at 62, also, and came up with 40-50%. I may crunch the numbers to see what collecting at 70 will get me. I will have a 28 year pension also.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:40 PM   #9
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Currently, SS is expected to cover ~60% of our expenses if I can hold off until 70.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:55 PM   #10
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I'm 57, I include an annuitized value of 75% of SS in my investable net worth, that I multiple by my WR to give me my target for the year. So it's a lot like my Roth and tIRA, it's there and used to determine my WR, but I'm not tapping from it right now. Once I get SS, I'll withdraw a lot less from my other accounts. So I just don't think of it as a bonus or extra money then, but it has occurred to me that my withdrawals from other accounts will be a lot smaller at 70 or whenever I take it. Maybe cut in half, or close to it, especially if my spending stays under target.

Once I start taking SS and my pension I'll probably do that accounting differently and that might be a bit of an eye opener.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:11 PM   #11
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Since we retired very early we never counted SS in our plans.

Now that DH is in his early 60s, we realize that it is a substantial amount if we each wait until 70. However, SS will likely push us into one of the higher IRMAA brackets, plus be taxed at a higher ordinary income tax bracket, so most of the check will be going to Medicare premiums and taxes!

Whatever - I suppose as long as it covers most of our Medicare Part B and Part D premiums we can't complain.....
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:28 PM   #12
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Started collecting at 63 and haven't looked back (much!) No regrets - covers about 50% expenses so far.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:01 PM   #13
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Our combined SS will cover all of our non-entertainment expenses when I claim on my benefits at 70. Right now, with DW receiving on her benefit and me claiming spousal, SS covers close to 50% of our full budget.

It is not more than expected as I planned for our eventual retirement budget for 15 years or so prior to filing.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:28 PM   #14
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I found out about WEP to my disappointment, so no, it will be less than I had hoped.

I started getting $300/mo. (USD) pension, and when I start SS, they will take away $150 minimum of it from the SS.
So it will be quite a bit less than the avg 2018 SS.
"The average monthly Social Security payment .... is $1,404."
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:42 PM   #15
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I am not retired yet.


I plan to collect at 70, and it will cover 116% of my expenses.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:48 AM   #16
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I was an underachiever on earned income and the gal thought she would be rewarded in her work without asking. Then we got all carried away with rental investment and it's "unearned income" income. Result is that when we both took SS at 62 I was astounded to have pretty much free health care, ditto the gal. That was huge, as we had been covering our own health care for several years. Now, since we make too darn much money with the rentals and loans our health care premiums have ratcheted up. I still get $215/month after medicare health and drug and she gets $618. Amazing. Wouldn't want to live on it, but amazing.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:49 AM   #17
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Not retired yet, but we plan to take it at age 70. We expect it will cover roughly 80% of our expenses. I have created a TIPs ladder that I will use to supplement SS from age 70 to 85. The two together should cover just about 100% of our regular expenses and any extra spending will come from our portfolio. At age 85, if either of us are still kickin' and our portfolio has done well enough, we'll consider adding a SPIA to take us to the end. We're in our late 50's so between whatever date we retire and age 70, we'll live off of our portfolio.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I'm 57, I include an annuitized value of 75% of SS in my investable net worth, that I multiple by my WR to give me my target for the year. So it's a lot like my Roth and tIRA, it's there and used to determine my WR, but I'm not tapping from it right now. Once I get SS, I'll withdraw a lot less from my other accounts. So I just don't think of it as a bonus or extra money then, but it has occurred to me that my withdrawals from other accounts will be a lot smaller at 70 or whenever I take it. Maybe cut in half, or close to it, especially if my spending stays under target.

Once I start taking SS and my pension I'll probably do that accounting differently and that might be a bit of an eye opener.


Can you expound on this for me? Iím a younger guy and newer to this stuff? Could you break it down with fake numbers?
Iím interested cause it sounds like it could allow you to withdraw more in an early retirement scenario cause the portfolio would be supplemented later with SS.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Beer-man View Post
Can you expound on this for me? Iím a younger guy and newer to this stuff? Could you break it down with fake numbers?
Iím interested cause it sounds like it could allow you to withdraw more in an early retirement scenario cause the portfolio would be supplemented later with SS.
If I understand correctly, that's what he's doing. He's discounted it by 25% to be conservative. Another method is to take the expected SS income stream (discounted if you wish to be conservative) and do an NPV calculation on the future SS Stream with a life expectancy assumption. Add this amount to your current portfolio value and calculate the withdraw% on this sum. Recalculate the NPV each year with 1 less year of life expectancy and do the sum again. Once SS starts, only the portfolio value is used for the withdrawal % calculation. This was also discussed on a recent bogleheads thread.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:40 AM   #20
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Our SS will cover 100 percent of our expenses, once I apply at age 70. Future anticipation of travel and fun would be above and beyond, however.
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