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View Poll Results: I am age 62 or older and I
Have not yet begun taking SS 47 42.73%
Started SS at age 62 38 34.55%
Started SS after age 62 but prior to full retirement age 12 10.91%
Started SS at full retirement age 6 5.45%
Started SS after full retirement age but prior to 70 0 0%
Started SS at age 70 3 2.73%
Other (took SS, repaid benefits and did a 'do over', etc.) 4 3.64%
Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #61
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I'm not yet old enough to make this decision, but I can say that my parents opted for SS as soon as possible (age 62) despite having a very large portfolio which could have supported them many times over. A few bad investment results (and maybe a few bad investment decisions) later, their portfolio is no longer enough to sustain them and is being rapidly drawn down as they rely heavily on their SS checks. Based on this experience I plan to delay my own SS as long as possible to get the maximum COLA annuity out of it. Since I have no other sources of income in retirement except my own savings, I want the "second leg" of my support to be as strong as possible.

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Old 10-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #62
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We too are a ways out. We are just 8 months apart in age, and each of our benefits will actually be very close in total dollars. We are thinking we would like to both apply and suspend at FRA and then each take the 50% of the spousal benefit, then take our full benefits at 70. But this seems too good to be true. Can this be done?

Plan 2 is he will take his at FRA (I will take 50% if I can at my FRA 8 months later) and then, I would take my full benefit at age 70, since mine is higher than his at any age.

We are not so concerned about getting what we paid, but rather want to maximize what we can get, and set up for the max in the event of early death for one of us.

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Old 10-08-2012, 12:17 PM   #63
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husband and wife cannot both claim spousal benefits.only one can file and suspend.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:19 PM   #64
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drats-I figured that might be too good to be true! Thanks for the bad news! :-)
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #65
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I just started taking survivor's benefits in July at age 60. I will switch to my own benefits at age 66 or 70.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #66
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One thing to keep in mind (especially if you are single and your savings are primarily in a 401K or IRA) is that SS benefits are taxed at a max of 85% (and usually much lower) depending on the amount of other income. In addition, many states do not tax SS payments. Withdrawals for tax advantaged plans are taxed at 100%. So the potential break-even age is extended by both tax savings and potential return on assets not spent.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:53 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
we have debated this over and over and the fact is the best deal is she just filed and ill wait until 66 or maybe even 70.
See, for instance: Ten of the Worst Social Security Gotchas.

"Social Security's website gives the impression that your spousal benefit is half of your partner's Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), also called the full retirement benefit. Your spouse is eligible for $2,000 a month? Then you would get $1000 a month. But this is true only if a) you don't qualify for a retirement benefit on your own, or b) you reach full retirement age but never filed for Social Security and, at that point, you apply only for your spousal benefit, not for your own."
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:12 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
We took SS @ 62, back in 1998... but there were some differences then, in interest rates.
We were ultra conservative at our retirement in 1989/90. Cd's up to and through 2003 were substantially higher than today... As I recall there were times when we had jumbo CD's that were paying about 9% and even more.

In some earlier posts, I had questions about accumulation of capital, without actively investing in the market. Some of it came from beginning IRA's in 1974...
While interest rates have been up and down since then. There were times when plain old CD's paid 16% -17%... Between the late 1970's and mid 1980's it looked like easy street for everyone who could set a bit of money aside.

Certificate of Deposit Index (CODI), Historical Data

Not from being smart.. just being around at the right time.

Off topic, I'm sure, but looking ahead and considering the national debt @ 16T, I have an uneasy feeling about the possibility of double digit inflation, so as far as SS is concerned, wonder if the political structure would COLA SS with an actual inflation adjustment, or adjust in the manner of today,by excluding things like food and energy... possibly adding healthcare and education to the non-applicable cost of living adjustments.

SS at 62? A tough decision.
You seem to be repeating a common misconception about the COLA for SS. While BLS does calculate a CPI that excluudes food and energy which economists often prefer to measure "core inflation", the COLA for SS is based on the "CPI for all urban consumers" and does not exclude food or energy
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:40 AM   #69
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I am beginning to think that with the various pushes to up revenue......anybody with a large 401K/IRA who waits until 70 to draw SS is going to get hit hard in the tax department. I question whether it might be more prudent to just start collecting at FRA and banking the money. If you have a pension - it limits what you can do as far as Roth conversions prior to age 70.

I believe that any special tax treatment for SS and extra Senior considerations are going to disappear within the next 5 years.

It's going to be a whole new game.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by JakeBrake View Post
I filed for my SS at my FRA 66 years. DW was also 66. Her projected SS earnings based on her earning record would have been 1/4 of mine.

The original plan was that I would file and suspend and DW would receive the Maximum spousal benefit at 1/2 of my FRA amount and I would wait until 70. Bear in mind that if I filed for my spousal benefit on her record, then our combined benefits would still be less than 1/2 of my benefit.

Even so, we filed online. The online SS application is strictly customized to the individual applicant. DW's and my aplications were quite different. For example DW's application asked about her military service (she has none). My application said nothing about military service (I have some). I paid SS while in the military which shows on my SS earnings record.

Anyhow per the online application I thought I had filed and suspended. Per the online application SS is supposed to call by phone. This did not happen for either me or DW. Imagine my surprise when a direct deposit for me from SS appeared in our checking account. Also, DW received a direct deposit from SS, however, it was based on her own record which was about 1/2 of her spousal benefit on my record. By phone we did straighten things but by that time I did not want to give back my direct deposit so I said to heck with it. Let it come!

Also about that time DW recieived a letter from SS. They were going to do a "random" audit on her SS application. She absolutely panicked. Among other things the auditor who was several states away wanted our IRS returns (we have always filed jointly) from 1992 and 2005. I don't know if he could legally ask for our return from 1992 (he already had a copy). But I was so proud of myself that I was able to find the 1992 return that I had it at the audit which was by phone. He also wanted a certified copy of our marriage license. So, we had to take our marriage license to the local SS office to have it certified and a copy sent to the auditor. I think we passed the audit, we've never heard another word. This was our first and, hopefully, last visit to the local SS office.

In hindsight, I'm glad we have all that behind us and DW and my direct deposits should arrive every month until one or both of us die or the USA goes bust.

DW and my SS earnings cover about 2/3 of our monthly budget and causes our SWR to go way down.
What was unusual about 1992 and 2005 that piqued their interest?

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