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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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Poll for those 62 or older: At what age did you begin taking SS?
Old 02-10-2009, 07:04 AM   #1
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Poll for those 62 or older: At what age did you begin taking SS?

There have been numerous threads debating when to begin drawing Social Security benefits. Many (most?) who participated in those debates are not yet eligible for SS resulting in much theory and strategizing, but little actual data. Thus, this poll...

If you are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and if you are age 62 or older, please indicate your benefit status by responding to this poll.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:11 AM   #2
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I selected "Started SS at age 62" but, I also withdrew and "restarted at age 67.5". So I think the poll, to cover me, would have to be changed to allow a "Withdrew and reapplied at XX".
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OAG View Post
I selected "Started SS at age 62" but, I also withdrew and "restarted at age 67.5". So I think the poll, to cover me, would have to be changed to allow a "Withdrew and reapplied at XX".
OAG, take a look at the last option on the poll...
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
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REW: Thanks, and now I have voted twice.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OAG View Post
REW: Thanks, and now I have voted twice.
It only registered your "other" vote...
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:17 AM   #6
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Great idea for a poll!! I am tending towards the idea of taking it at full retirement age (66), but haven't closed my mind to the idea of taking it at 62, either. And here I am at 60, undecided. Naturally I didn't vote.

Probably I will play it by ear, year by year. If I wait, I'll have to keep on top of any bills or discussions in Washington related to SS, since I'll want to be receiving it already should there be massive changes afoot. For this reason it might be less of a PITA to just go ahead and take it at 62, even though I feel it would be to my financial advantage (slightly) to wait.

REWahoo, how about you? As I recall, you just started getting SS. Have you had second thoughts? I would think that that steady check would be nice to have in crazy economic times like this.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
REWahoo, how about you? As I recall, you just started getting SS. Have you had second thoughts? I would think that that steady check would be nice to have in crazy economic times like this.
I looked at my checking account online this morning and for the first time ever saw this:

Feb 10, 2009
US TREASURY 303
PENDING DIRECT DEPOSIT

No second thoughts at all. Taking SS at 62 will cover 25% of our annual expenses - 25% I no longer have to pull from our shrunken nest egg.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:38 AM   #8
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That's wonderful!! 25% is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
No second thoughts at all. Taking SS at 62 will cover 25% of our annual expenses - 25% I no longer have to pull from our shrunken nest egg.
I feel the same and will take SS at 62 beginning this year. SS will provide 38% of my living expenses and lower my income tax bill by 55%. Your results may differ.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:16 AM   #10
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SS would cover 40% of my expenses. However, I don't draw it yet. It is a decision on which I have been on both sides. There are three reasons I have not taken it yet.

1st My wife's family tree is a longer living tree than mine by about 15 years, and a larger SS check would benefit her.
2nd I have taxable funds that I can use now to offset living expense.
3rd For now the 8% increase in SS payment between 66 and 70, in the current market conditions seems pretty good to me. I think the market will gain more than that in the next 4 years, but the 8% is a guarantee. A gamble, but on the safe side, for now.

For me number 2 is most likely the overriding item with number 1 a close second. Cash is currently coming out of a money market that was set up to 'get through a down turn'. It is not in the market, and earns very little.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:25 AM   #11
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I'm well short of being eligible for SS so not sure what I will do. Playing it by ear. My acct rep with Fidelity says I should consider holding off based on my current numbers. If I could wait until 66, my SS check would come close to covering my annual base budget. Not fun travel extras, just the basics. But 7.5 years away from 62, so plenty of time to think about it. Who knows, the gov't might be bankrupt by then.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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I'm 58 and keep going back and forth on all the possibilities.

Right now I'm thinking 62.
(My pension decreases when I turn 62.)
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #13
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(My pension decreases when I turn 62.)
My pension decreases also. Another reason I'm taking at 62.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
No second thoughts at all. Taking SS at 62 will cover 25% of our annual expenses - 25% I no longer have to pull from our shrunken nest egg.
In similar threads over the years, I mentioned I'd wait and see what the markets looked like as I approached 62. Well, that time has come as my 62nd b'day pops up on the calendar next summer. I'm thinking I'll start to collect which would bring us to a pension + SS income pretty close to our minimum budget thus nearly eliminating portfolio withdrawals if necessary.

Note.... this would be a painfully austere budget but portfolio withdrawals with the market like this are petty painful too!

My decision is also influenced by the fact that DW cannot collect 50% of my SS or survivor benefits due to the GPO. So, if I die first and haven't started collecting..... well, then we would have never have gotten a penny from Uncle despite all those contributions. A subjective way to look at it I know, but it is influencing me......
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:35 PM   #15
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We worked both sides of the question for a few years prior to my 62, then I did start collecting at 62+4mo (indecision, anyone?). Three primary reasons:
1. Bird in the hand. SS covers ~20% of our normal monthly expenses, which has become more important in the past few months. Now, if we choose to dip deeper into retirement assets, it'll be for play things, not porridge & beer.
2. DW will wait to draw on her own account until 66. She comes from a much mo' bettah gene pool than I do, so maxing out her benefits makes sense. She may even wait until after 66, depending on circumstances ATT.
3. Learning from others, our expenses should start to decrease in our mid-70s, when the early draw reaches break-even with holding out until 66 (77Yr 8Mo for me).
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:51 PM   #16
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I had absolute plans to wait until age 70; I thought that best in my circumstances and I was not impressed with alternate investment possibilities.

Last fall changed my idea. Now, I want more money to re-invest in my favorite stocks, and less need to draw from brokerage. My SS check will be small, but it should start this month, a little more than 2 years short of my original plan.

Ha
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #17
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Thanks for posting this poll, REWahoo--I'm virtually positive DH will start at 62 (two years) as will I, but it's always interesting to see the results for people who are already making the decision, and to read why.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #18
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I, too, am very interested to see this poll. I'll be 62 in 2010, and I am 99.9% I will draw then. Between DH and me, we will draw about 65% of our yearly budget. With the condition of our portfolio right now, that looks pretty good!
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:11 PM   #19
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I will be 62 this year.

I plan to take SS as late as I can, because I need to work as long as I can.

However, I am currently vastly underemployed due to the collapse of oil prices and may be forced to take it at 62. At which time we will have to bail and head for Mexico.

Salud,

Lalo el Gitano
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:23 PM   #20
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Took it at 62 - 20 to 50% of expenses depending on how hard I play the frugal card. And I could crank it a tad higher if I wanted to get really cheap.

Now do i want to reset? - dunno yet. The ORP calculator latest says I should do some more Roth from Trad IRA but?

5 years to 70 1/2 RMD.

heh heh heh -
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