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Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?
Old 12-14-2018, 06:09 PM   #1
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Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?

I ask cause it “appears” that even with cuts that SS would cover our expenses. Even retiring early the numbers are there as we are high earners and don’t spend much.
It would seem that we could still plan for a 30yr drawdown but have it be from 40-70yrs. At 40yrs we’ll be at 4%WR and that’s with pitiful 3% estimated returns.
Spending down tax advantage would avoid tax torpedo. Downsides?
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:11 PM   #2
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Social Security doesn't begin to cover our expenses. I'd say it's $60K short. But I'm fortunate to have a defined pension seldom being offered in this modern world.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:22 PM   #3
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If you're living month to month on SS, you would run into trouble if a large expense hit. So you'd have to keep something for an emergency fund.

Runaway inflation could be a problem. SS is indexed for inflation, but I'm not sure it really keeps up with real inflation.

What happens if one of you dies at age 70? I don't know the answer since I'm not married, but the survivor only gets one benefit (the higher one), right? Can one of you live on one SS benefit?
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:35 PM   #4
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Just got word that my SS check will be bumped up in January. After the deduction for Medicare B and D they will be depositing a check in the amount of $215.60/month into my bank account. Good thing we don't have to pay rent. The cat will stay fed and I'm grateful.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:36 PM   #5
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No way. Doesn't even cover the mortgage.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:40 PM   #6
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We haven't started SS yet... a few years from FRA. SS will cover about 50% of our planned spending... however many years we spend less than planned so it could be more.

According to the SSA, it is designed to replace about 40% of pre-retirement income. It is one-leg of a 3-legged stool... that is why people need to save... and they need to save even more if they won't be getting a defined benefit pension. Unfortunately, many of my peers never got the memo on that or chose to ignore it and as a result will have to work longer.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:48 PM   #7
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Due to WEP mine will be 350 and DH 500 before deductions so no. Our small pensions total 40k together and our expenses run between 60-70k/year.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:52 PM   #8
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In 2 years (FRA), SS will cover 60-70% of our current spend. Frankly, we never expected it to be that much. Pretty much discounted it in the planning phase.

This will put our WR in the 1-2% range (and 2% is high).
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:13 PM   #9
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Also, if you are planning to retire at 40, you should make sure you've calculated your SS benefits correctly. The benefit statement you get assumes you'll keep working until retirement. Put 0's in for your 40s, 50s, and 60s with their calculator to see what you'll really be getting.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:16 PM   #10
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I don’t get a benefit statement. I calculate from a spreadsheet that physicianonfire put together
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:54 PM   #11
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The OP asks: Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?

If we defer both of ours until 70, then SS benefit will match our expenses.

However, my wife will claim hers soon instead of delaying, and then there's the talk of SS being cut-back 20% due to funding shortfall.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:05 PM   #12
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I'm expecting the FRA SS to cover needs but not wants. SS at 70 should cover needs and a little fun.
I don't want to live a minimalist life though.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:39 PM   #13
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Sure, it is more than enough now that we moved under a bridge and keep our possessions in an old grocery cart.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:45 PM   #14
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No, it won't but will take care of about 50% worth. I haven't received SS yet so that is a projection what it would cover in out life style.
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:54 PM   #15
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DH and I are both collecting SS. We did not wait to age 70. For this year, it didn't come close to covering spending as we had a lot of expenses involved with moving. Going forward I expect it to cover about 60% of spending. However, much of that includes things that are discretionary. If we really needed to, it would probably cover about 75% of our expenses if it really had to. I guess we could get that to 100% if we really, really had to but I would prefer not to.

And, of course, bear in mind that eventually there will be only one SS being collected as generally one member of a married couple dies before the other...
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:59 PM   #16
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No, because we are not yet on Medicare and health insurance is outrageous.

It's a darn good thing that we are FI, otherwise this retirement thing would be a real drag. We spent almost $19K in medical (premiums + deductible and OOP) and over $4K in dental (no dental insurance) in 2018.

When we were planning for FIRE in the 80s, we did not count on getting any SS. We also never dreamed that our health insurance premiums would cost more than a mortgage!!
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:11 PM   #17
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SS and pensions will cover all our basic spending and a few frills. Any investment income we decide to spend will just go for extra travel / fun / asteroid strike. If one of us dies the other will have the higher SS, pension income, investment income and would probably rent out the current house, so more than enough for one person to still live well.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:13 PM   #18
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Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer-man View Post
I ask cause it “appears” that even with cuts that SS would cover our expenses. ...
What difference does it make to you if our SS covers our expenses or not? We are not you.

I see no value in that question. Different people have different SS due. Different wants/needs and comfort levels.

Is this the retiree version of "keeping up with the Jones's"? I don't get it.

-ERD50
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:34 PM   #19
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No, but we could change so that it would & feel OK.
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Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?
Old 12-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #20
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Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Retirees, does SS cover all your needs?



What difference does it make to you if our SS covers our expenses or not? We are not you.

I see no value in that question. Different people have different SS due. Different wants/needs and comfort levels.

Is this the retiree version of "keeping up with the Jones's"? I don't get it.

-ERD50


I’m in my 30’s so I’m trying to get a feel for how retiree’s are doing with their SS. I have a decent SS earnings history(cause I work a ton of overtime) and a very low burn rate. I’d like to hope that trend will continue but time will tell.
Was hoping to see how like minded people a generation older than me were faring. All I read about online is about how SS barely covers anything and everyone at work in their 50’s and 60’s doesn’t want to talk about SS or retirement in general.
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