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Old 07-19-2015, 01:18 AM   #41
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I'm not. Age 95 max, and that's only because of the historical and present exceptional state of my health. The live to be 100 horse has been discussed and beaten to death elsewhere. The "advances in modern medicine" argument has been addressed as well (spoiler alert: not going to happen in the lifetime of anyone from the Boomer generation, and probably not for anyone from Gen X).

Are those planning to live to age 100 the same ones who said they'd work "til I drop", only to find reality is quite the opposite? Looking at all statistics, few will live to be 100. Given that 2/3 of Americans are overweight, with 1/3 (on it's way to 40%), given the eating and exercise habits of the majority of Americans, I have serious doubts of anything beyond 1-2% will be living to be 100. As to age 115..really??
Hey, we are still waiting for modern medicine to come up with a magic pill to melt away our excess fat, and more importantly, another one to burn up our cancer cells. I bought and sold a biotech ETF too soon, leaving a lot of money on the table. Just looked at it again, and learned that 1/2 of the companies in this ETF have not had any drug on the market. Their stock prices are bid up just based on hope!

My best man died in his 40s of liver disease. I have told the story of a friend of my wife who died of cancer in her early 60s, while doing OMY. She wanted to wait for her 401k to go up some more. And recently, I knew of two more men who died of cancer, one in his 30s, the other in the early 50s.

Just recently, an RV blogger I read died of testicular cancer. After surgery to remove the affected testicle, he started chemo treatment in November 2014. This was described as preventative as the cancer was localized and had not spread. In March 2015, after the chemo treatment, he wrote about starting post-chemo radiation treatment.

So, it came as a shock to his blog readers when, in May 2015, he made his farewell post, saying his doctor gave him 2 months to live. Then just now, on July 8, his daughter made a post to let his friends know he had passed. He was 74, very trim and fit, and exercised regularly by hiking.

I never met any blogger that I have read, but I still felt a shock reading the news. Statistics show that for his cancer type the survival rate is 99% if the cancer is still only in the testes. Even if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the survival rate is still 96%. This man fell in the unfortunate 1-percenter!

Life expectancy for a 60-year-old in the US is only 23. If I get to be just average, I will not complain.
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:07 AM   #42
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Life expectancy for a 60-year-old in the US is only 23. If I get to be just average, I will not complain.
+1
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:59 AM   #43
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Okay... one more hit at this...
Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to see how much I had paid in, over 31 working years. I checked the OASDI rates and max pay-in for the years 1958 thru 1989 and came up with these calculated numbers, and the total of the actual dollars for each year.
Calculated from here:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfa...historical.pdf

All of this really means nothing important, because inflation is not involved in the actual numbers.



Now, back to my own numbers of money collected since we took SS in 1998. I think our first our first SS annual income was about $17,000, and today we receive $25,000 per year.

Even considering that our payments in, were just our half of the total amount, the annual amount that we receive seems high, considering the initial "investment".

Bottom line... for the total of $63K invested over the working years, we have already received about $360K in benefits. In the first three years, from age 62 to age 65, we collected about $50K.

Numbers is funny....
Numbers aren't funny. How they are used can be.

This doesn't include the equal SS payments your employer made that I can see. It doesn't adjust each of the numbers for the NPV of each year's payments & benefits, i.e., inflation adjustments, that I can see.

May still have been a good deal, but not as good as presented from what I see.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #44
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Numbers aren't funny. How they are used can be.

This doesn't include the equal SS payments your employer made that I can see. It doesn't adjust each of the numbers for the NPV of each year's payments & benefits, i.e., inflation adjustments, that I can see.

May still have been a good deal, but not as good as presented from what I see.
And another, harder to quantify $ benefit is that SS also provides some disability benefits, etc. If you never used them, you tend not to think about them - but they were there, and for apples-apples comparison to self-funding, you'd have to include the cost of that type of insurance coverage.

But you definitely need to include the employer's share, plus inflation and some expected investment return.

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Old 07-19-2015, 01:02 PM   #45
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I'm retired and DH plans to retire from USPS next May. He and I are the same age and still a few years from having to make the SS decision. However, DH plans to take SS at 62. He is convinced he will have a shortened life span due to Ventricular Tachycardia (just had his ICD upgraded with pacemaker capability). My SS payout will be larger than his due to my higher salary for most of our careers. I will most likely take a wait and see attitude regarding taking it at 62, FRA or 70. He would like me to take it at 62 even though we won't need it. We have been frugal our entire lives and he is ready to loosen the purse strings.
Please DO NOT.....take it early.

I'll be harsh here, but that is so selfish of him.
You could end up living to age 90 so you want a large SS
By the way if he lives long, he will appreciate your large SS checks too.

If he gets a pension, check it, perhaps there is Zero suvivorship amount (since he does not think much of your financial needs after he is gone). So there is nothing there, or at best it's 50%.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:33 PM   #46
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And another, harder to quantify $ benefit is that SS also provides some disability benefits, etc. If you never used them, you tend not to think about them - but they were there, and for apples-apples comparison to self-funding, you'd have to include the cost of that type of insurance coverage.

But you definitely need to include the employer's share, plus inflation and some expected investment return.

-ERD50
Good comments. I very much agree that most SS critics leave out the value of various SS "insurance" coverages they received but didn't need. For example, if your parents both lived until you were an adult you probably don't consider the value of the SS that would have provided the surviving parent with a bit of $$$ to help raise you alone. Etc.

I understand many would prefer SS not provide these things, that they would purchase whatever they need/want on their own. But my own opinion is that most would not and therefore SS provides some stability in our society that benefits us all.

I also agree on including the investment return on SS dollars. I've mentioned before in these threads that I started SS at 62 to protect DW (she's impacted by GPO and WEP). Thanks to wonderful market performance since I began SS in 2009, the SS stash has grown to the point where I predict it will easily cover the gap between the age 62 SS I receive and the age 70 SS I could have held out for. Plus, had I died in the interim, DW would have at least received the SS stash instead of nothing.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:59 PM   #47
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I've mentioned before in these threads that I started SS at 62 to protect DW (she's impacted by GPO and WEP). Thanks to wonderful market performance since I began SS in 2009, the SS stash has grown to the point where I predict it will easily cover the gap between the age 62 SS I receive and the age 70 SS I could have held out for. Plus, had I died in the interim, DW would have at least received the SS stash instead of nothing.
There are many different strategies and outcomes, dependent largely on personal circumstances, including retirement accounts, annuity/pension survivor benefits, life insurance, and genetic dispositions. My wife will take SS at 70 -- she has the bigger PIA than I do. And we don't need her to take it early at 62 to protect me. I'm subject to GPO and WEP, but I will take my meager SS retirement benefits at 62 (this January) and wife, 2 1/2 years later, will file a restricted application and take spousal benefits. It would be in my interest to have her file early at 62 or later at 66, but we figure the biggest financial risk to us would occur (from 62 to 70) if I died early and my federal pension takes a 45 percent haircut as a survivor benefit to her.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:23 PM   #48
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There are many different strategies and outcomes, dependent largely on personal circumstances......
Yep, there seem to be an infinite number of scenarios that can play out in this game. Yet, these threads tend to take on a tone of there being a "right way" and a "wrong way." In actuality, there are lots of different ways to skin this cat. And the way that seems best for any individual at the onset can turn out to be non-optimum if predicted factors don't turn out as expected.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:26 PM   #49
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I only recently found this blog of a woman who blogged about her financial fears just before and after retiring, and a lot of her thoughts I've been able to relate to:

Thoughts from a Bag Lady In Waiting: January 2010
Just wanted to thank you for pointing out this blog. I definitely relate to much of her thoughts also. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I went back and read her entire blog. I especially enjoyed reading about all of her traveling. We are now thinking about doing the schooner Heritage trip that her and her DH have done 6 times. Not sure about this year, but maybe next year. However, after reading the recent thread about the retired physician in great health, having a heart attack at 63 (posted from Bogleheads), maybe I should make more of an effort to do it this year.

Anyway, thanks so much for posting that link.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:15 PM   #50
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Just wanted to thank you for pointing out this blog. I definitely relate to much of her thoughts also. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I went back and read her entire blog. I especially enjoyed reading about all of her traveling. We are now thinking about doing the schooner Heritage trip that her and her DH have done 6 times. Not sure about this year, but maybe next year. However, after reading the recent thread about the retired physician in great health, having a heart attack at 63 (posted from Bogleheads), maybe I should make more of an effort to do it this year.

Anyway, thanks so much for posting that link.
It's a pretty cool blog, right? I really enjoyed the tales of her travels and how she let whatever was next for her unfold, as opposed to having to figure everything out right away. I also became aware that I wanted to follow her example of valuing relationships, adventure, exploration and easing into things (as opposed to being as conservative, cautious, and having everything planned as I have been).
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:26 PM   #51
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I also became aware that I wanted to follow her example of valuing relationships, adventure, exploration and easing into things (as opposed to being as conservative, cautious, and having everything planned as I have been).
Yes, this really hit home for me also. I need to do some reflecting and make some changes. Definitely a cool blog, so thanks again.
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