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Joining the OTHER 1%
Old 05-25-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
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Joining the OTHER 1%

An important part of my retirement planning is waiting until age 70 to collect Social Security. I consider it my annuity equivalent. Curious to find out how many others are doing the same, I did a Google search. What I finally found was a bit shocking. Here are the 2010 numbers (the most recent, apparently):

45% collect at 62
10% collect at 66
1-2% collect at 70

The remainder begin collecting in other years.

Found the stats in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.

I suspect a good number of the members here have joined or plan to join this OTHER 1%. Am I right?
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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Recently discussed in this thread: Case for taking SS early (62)?

I'm with you, I like the longevity insurance, but that thread points out that you might be able to invest the money you collect between 62 and 70 (or the money you don't have to pull out of your investments since you are collecting the SS benefit) and make up for not getting the bigger payout later. And there might be something to paying less tax spreading out a lower SS payment over more years, though you might just rebalance other income sources and accomplish the same thing. And the "get the money before they cut it or it goes away" argument might have merit. Finally, some people really don't have a good outlook for longevity, so it probably does make sense to collect early. Other arguments seem more emotional and less logical to me, but every case is different so that's for each person to decide.

I've got over 10 years before I have to make a decision. I'll keep evaluating and watching for changes, but my current plan is to wait til 70 to best protect against not outliving my money.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Don't plan on collecting much SS insurance and, if heredity's an indicator, don't plan on living much past 70. Might as well collect what I can when I can. Save it or use it for vacations.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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I decided to start collecting at 62, right after my birthday, in September.

Reviewed and analyzed all of the arguments pro & con, mulled them over for months, and finally decided to take the money.

Primary factor in the decision is that I simply do not trust the government.

The indications for means testing, reducing benefits, full taxation, or pushing back FRA, etc etc in the future by a broke and insolvent government is a real and present danger, in my opinion.

FWIW.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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DW has much less SS to come than me, so we plan on her taking it at 62, and me taking it at 70. Her immediate family has several members living into their late 90's, and she is as fit as a butcher's dog so I think the added insurance is worth it as she'll only get half my pension once I've kicked the bucket.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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DW @ 66, myself @ 70 is the plan, my fra ss is 3 x DW's. Longevity guessitmate for me is 82, DW is 95, based on her mother and both grandmothers.

I do plan on keeping my eye open in case circumstances warrant a change of plans.

I'm 56 looking to ER in 2-3 years.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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I am 64, almost 65 and tentatively plan to start taking Social Security at 70. I don't need it right now.

I might claim SS earlier if we have another market crash like 2008-2009 sometime during the next five years. Otherwise, I think it would be nice to have a larger monthly automatic bank deposit from SS to rely upon in my very old age.

If I wait until 70 as planned, my SS will be high enough to cover my basic expenses and I won't give a hoot what happens to the market after that. Well, not much of a hoot. Five more years.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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After all the discussions about when to take SS it remains an individual decision. Do your homework, run the numbers, assess your particular situation and then do what you think is best for you. Good luck.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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I plan to hold out until I am 70. However, if after I am 62 my retirement nestegg consistently underperforms my assumptions it is peace of mind knowing I can tap into it anytime I wish to. Longevity in both my and DW families is good so I think that is the best long run choice for us. If our health takes a turn for the worse then I would reevaluate.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:39 PM   #10
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Planning on 70 also. Along with all the other reasons mentioned, I have a couple of others. While I certainly don't want to think about it, single, with no kids,and much old siblings, I really only have a niece (and useless nephew) to look after me as I age. I suspect that I am reasonably vulnerable to be swindled in my old age.

Having a SS@70 puts a floor on my minimum income, no matter how the next Ann Nicole Smith convinces me to change my will.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:33 AM   #11
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I have 2 years to go until FRA, and most likely will take it then, as I think the odds of the gummit making some changes in the next 6 years if I were to hold out to 70 are pretty great.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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70 for me, too. My reason is that based on family history, I have an excellent chance to make it to my late 90s, and I worry about the possibility of inflation coming back like it did in the Carter administration. Not likely, but since I don't need the SS now it makes sense to hold off.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
I have 2 years to go until FRA, and most likely will take it then, as I think the odds of the gummit making some changes in the next 6 years if I were to hold out to 70 are pretty great.
While I understand your concern of the whole 'potential legislation thing', two aspects to keep in mind are that

1) Any changes regarding means-testing would likely hit ALL retirees, not just those retirees that haven't started taking SS yet (after all, I'm sure the masses would want to know why someone taking SS with a $250k income should be spared, while someone who hasn't started collecting SS yet and would have a $100k income plus SS should get whacked).

2) More importantly, how long does it take to start receiving SS? If the winds in Washington are starting to blow a certain direction, could you simply run down to the SS office and file immediately? Any legislation usually takes a few weeks to wind its way through committees, floor votes, then go to the other Congressional body for the same thing. It could be retro-active to the beginning of the year, but combining this with #1, given current SS distributions, I personally would take the chance and let SS accumulate until maybe 68-70 (assuming decent health) if my portfolio at that time isn't close to a marginal survivability...although I'm projecting a lifespan to age 81 or so given family history (and I believe 81-82 is the current approximate break-even for SS for men for delaying to 70 vs FRA), so I might end up taking it at FRA - which in 31 years, could very well end up being 70!
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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I signed up to take it at 62 since I simply do not trust the federal government. I don't care how many times they say that future changes won't affect those over a certain age. I don't believe it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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It will be 62 for me, in just a little over 7 years from now. I am single, so there are no spousal benefit considerations to muddle through in my decision. I look at estimating my longevity as a crap shoot at best.

I plan to put it right into my already established VWALX mutual fund and crank up those TE 30 day dividends.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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I'm 65, my wife is 64, we haven't started yet.

My original play was for her to start at 66 (her only benefit comes from my work record) and me to start at 70. That's based on an insurance (aka worst case) perspective, not an investment (aka average case) perspective.

Her bout with cancer changed that. Now I'm looking at starting next year.

I don't give a lot of credence to the "start now because the gov't could reduce benefits" argument. IF they reduce benefits, it will probably be through some means test. By deferring SS, we spend down other assets, and hence reduce the "means" that will be tested.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
Any changes regarding means-testing would likely hit ALL retirees, not just those retirees that haven't started taking SS yet .

Unfortunately I'm afraid you may be right and it makes me mad every time I think about it. To me it would be changing the rules (again) and punishing those of us who saved and/or were successful.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #18
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I'm so far away from the first decision point, I'm leaving it open for now.

But what I've done in my models configure age 70 to start taking SS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
And the "get the money before they cut it or it goes away" argument might have merit.
Institutional risk is my least favorite thing about this planning process; with a stroke of the pen, our elected officials could decimate all of this planning. To address this risk somewhat, I've reduced the benefits in my models from what they are today by 30%.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:05 PM   #19
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In Fidelity's RIP software, I entered age 67 as the year I will begin collecting SS, as that is the FRA for me. I have SS and two other what I call "reinforcements" I can begin tapping into once I near 60 years old in about 10 years from now: (1) Unfettered access to my IRA, (2) My frozen company pension, and (3) Social Security. I have some flexibility as to when I can begin collecting from these piles of money so I will evaluate each of them when I first become eligible although as many of you have pointed out already, there are interactive effects across them.

My main challenge is, of course, getting to age ~60 intact using only my taxable, non-retirement accounts. After 4 years, all is going quite well.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighRoller View Post
Unfortunately I'm afraid you may be right and it makes me mad every time I think about it. To me it would be changing the rules (again) and punishing those of us who saved and/or were successful.
For god's sake, have a glass of wine or your favorite adult beverage. If it happens, then you can stew.
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