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Re: Made the leap!
Old 08-24-2006, 02:10 PM   #21
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Re: Made the leap!

Linkerbink - You may not be aware of this, but you should look at your options as a widower under SS. Jonathan Clements did a piece on this last month and I have a pretty good understanding. You should look to maximize your SS. You can of course, start your widow's benefit at 60, but take a permanent reduction. If you need the income, then you need the income..But if you have some savingsLet me offer to other options.

Instead of taking a a 28.5% permanent real reduction, you can wait until age 66 and take 100% of the widow's benefit. In the meantime, you can take your own SS worker benefit at age 62..So if you can use savings to bridge yourself for two years, you will most likely have much higher lifetime SS income.

Or, you can take the widow's benefit at age 60 and delay your own benefit from 62 to age 70 and "switch over" to that benefit at age 70 - assuming that it is higher at that point. Call the SS office to get full info about the amounts available and make sure you you understand that the amounts they tell you are in "Today's Dollars" and will increase by COLAs.

Here is the Clement's article as I don't believe you need user access - Look at the end. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1151...N=wsjie/6month
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Re: Made the leap!
Old 08-24-2006, 02:38 PM   #22
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Made the leap!

Hi, New thinking...I've already spoken with a SS rep. According to her, I will have a higher regular SS benefit than my husband (due to his many years with state pension that didn't pay into SS). She suggested I take the widow's at 60 and then delay mine til 66 or later...pretty much what you've already said. If you are both saying the same thing, it's good to get corroborating advice.

I got a logon screen for the article, so I couldn't read it.
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Re: Made the leap!
Old 08-24-2006, 02:58 PM   #23
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Re: Made the leap!

You can go all the way to 70 which will more than double your age 62 benefits when you factor in anticipated COLAs. Don't rely on just one SS opinion..this is new for many of them, but I can tell you that we have gone to the top of SS to validate this info..Here is a cut of the article:

"Switching Benefits

Morbid as it sounds, the possibilities become even more intriguing after a spouse dies. If you are a widow or widower, you can take Social Security based on your own earnings' record or claim your deceased spouse's benefit as a survivor's benefit.

Unfortunately, you can't get both benefits at the same time. But you can swap between the two, thus getting extra money out of Uncle Sam.

For instance, you might take reduced benefits based on your earnings' record at age 62 and then claim your survivor's benefit at your full retirement age. Alternatively, you could take a reduced survivor's benefit at age 60 and then later claim Social Security based on your earnings record.

"You have to play with the numbers, to figure out which is best," Ms. Yarrington says. "Ask the Social Security Administration what you're entitled to at age 60, 62, 65 and 70 on each record and see which is the best way to go."

Got other questions about Social Security? Head to the site www.ncpssm.org/contact/ask to read Ms. Yarrington's answers to a host of questions."

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Re: Made the leap!
Old 08-24-2006, 03:15 PM   #24
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Re: Made the leap!

Thanks for the article! Does someone sit up at night thinking of these crazy rules? The SS lady said I should come in for a personal interview a few months before I turn 60 (in June) and she can crunch the numbers for me. She was only able to give me some estimates over the phone. I'll take the article with me when I go in.

My late husband may not have accrued as much SS as I will, but because he died while still employed by the state, I get a pension from him for life. Then I will also start collecting my own from the state at age 60. Both are COLA'd, too...nice.
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