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Old 07-15-2011, 03:37 PM   #21
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No matter what I enter, I get "You receive your maximum Social Security benefit amount at age 70." What am I doing wrong? I mean I already know I will get the maximum SS amount if I wait until 70.
Did you click on the button at the bottom of that page to continue?

Thanks for posting this, Alan--it said pretty much the same for DH and me as it did for you and Mrs. Alan. It obviously wasn't intended to take into account the whole spectrum of other retirement assets that many people here have--that's why God invented Firecalc .
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
By that reasoning then, we would always sacrifice present living standards for some low probability of living to be very old. Your logic could be taken to extreme levels.

Isn't that pretty much the definition of living below your means? I could spend everything I make right now or I could sacrifice a little to have more if and when I live past today.

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Old 07-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #23
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What this calculator seems to be telling me is neither me or my wife can get a spouse benefit until the other is at FRA. I haven't seen that documented anywhere. So if I retire at 62 she can't get the spousal benefit until I am 66.
Is that correct?
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by homestead View Post
What this calculator seems to be telling me is neither me or my wife can get a spouse benefit until the other is at FRA. I haven't seen that documented anywhere. So if I retire at 62 she can't get the spousal benefit until I am 66.
Is that correct?
I believe this may be correct.

Retirement Planner: Do you qualify for benefits on someone else's Social Security record?
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If you or your spouse are full retirement age

If your spouse is full retirement age, he or she can apply for retirement benefits and then request to have payments suspended. That way, you can receive a spouse's benefits and he or she can continue to earn delayed retirement credits until age 70.

If you have reached your full retirement age, and are eligible for a spouse's or ex-spouse's benefit and your own retirement benefit, you may choose to receive only spouse's benefits. If you do that, you can delay receiving your own retirement benefit until a later date to take advantage of delayed retirement credits.

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Old 07-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #25
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Thanks for posting this, Alan--it said pretty much the same for DH and me as it did for you and Mrs. Alan. It obviously wasn't intended to take into account the whole spectrum of other retirement assets that many people here have--that's why God invented Firecalc .
The calculator is really aimed at "the great unwashed", and not necessarily for many of the ER wiz-kids on this site who are quite capable of doing their own analysis on taking it early and investing it etc. We have had a number of threads on when to take SS and it is a complicated question, but I thought this was a tool worth sharing.

Closer to the time I'll revisit the question of what to do as I'll have forgotten it all in 7 years, and the rules might have changed by then anyway. At present I'm just pretty sure I want to hold off as long as possible for me to take SS in order to maximize survivor benefits for DW as she loses half of my private pensions when I pop my clogs.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #26
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So if I retire at 62 she can't get the spousal benefit until I am 66.

Is that correct?
True.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:21 PM   #27
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Did you click on the button at the bottom of that page to continue?
Thank you Bestwife. That was it. I just didn't go far enough.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #28
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I missed that button too the first few times I looked at the calculator. It's still saying wait until age 70. Maybe that's a foregone conclusion for singles. I think it would be interesting if the calculator figured out your "break even" age. A simple spreadsheet says mine is around 82.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:58 AM   #29
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I missed that button too the first few times I looked at the calculator. It's still saying wait until age 70. Maybe that's a foregone conclusion for singles. I think it would be interesting if the calculator figured out your "break even" age. A simple spreadsheet says mine is around 82.
That sounds about right. What age do you plan for, using FIRECALC and other planners?

When you get close to the decision point you may have a better idea of your health and possibly use a more informed decision on your life expectancy.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:35 AM   #30
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That sounds about right. What age do you plan for, using FIRECALC and other planners?

When you get close to the decision point you may have a better idea of your health and possibly use a more informed decision on your life expectancy.
I plan for 100—I come from a long-lived family.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:39 AM   #31
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I plan for 100—I come from a long-lived family.
In that case living past 82 should be easy peasy, so you should be quids in by delaying until 70
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