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Old 01-13-2009, 02:08 PM   #21
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If you apply in a timely manner and were born in Jan (other than Jan 1st) your first check/credit deposit will be received on some Wednesday depending on the last two digits of your SSN in FEBRUARY.
Ron, oh how I wish you were right but it just isn't so. I'm in that never-never land right now, having turned 62 on Dec 3 and my first SS payment isn't due until Feb 11.

From the SS website:

"A person who meets all requirements for entitlement can receive reduced benefits beginning with the first full month that he/she is age 62. Thus, benefits are not paid for the month a person reaches age 62 unless his or her birthday is on the first or second day of the month. (Under a common law rule, a person reaches a given age on the day before his or her birthday.)

Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due. For example, if your 62nd birthday is July 15, your first month of entitlement is August, and you would receive your first check in September."

I'm guessing from your answer that what I quoted above might be something SS implemented after you started collecting (HOW many years ago? ). According to SS, about 2 million new applicants sign up for SS retirement benefits each year. With the avg monthly benefit at $1,080, figuring out how to delay new recipients' checks by one month would save SS $2.16 billion per year.

Wonder if whoever came up with the idea for the delay was rewarded?
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #22
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Someone on a forum (this one?) indicated once to me that the impact of a few missing earnings years wouldn't be very much. Still, it's enough to have me concerned.
Don't be concerned, the impact will be small if it is only a few years. You can hand-type your earnings into one version of the SS calculator to see the difference with various earnings histories. Try the calculator here.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:13 PM   #23
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I just want to live long enough to get at least one ss check.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:16 PM   #24
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I got mine!

I had a nice stretch as a minor child of a SS recipient, and I was a full time student.

It made me go back to college - I rec'd money every month until the end of the term in which I turned 21.

The rules have been changed, :::sigh:::

It would be nice to last long enough to get a few bucks at the other end ...


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Old 01-13-2009, 02:17 PM   #25
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Someone on a forum (this one?) indicated once to me that the impact of a few missing earnings years wouldn't be very much. Still, it's enough to have me concerned.
There have been several threads on this subject. Since SS is based on the average of 35 years of earnings and leans towards lower wage earners, a few missing years will have very little impact. In my situation, I calculated the impact of the four years of 0 income between the time I retired at 58 and began SS at 62. Even though those years would have been at the max SS earnings level and replaced much lower earnings years in my distant past, the impact to my SS benefits was only $20 per month or so.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:24 PM   #26
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Not to rain on your parade, but if you turn 62 in January you won't see your first SS check until March unless your birthday is Jan 1 or Jan 2. I had the good fortune of being born on the 3rd of the month and my first SS check isn't scheduled to arrive until 69 days later.
No rain on my parade, I'll be 62 this November.

Off topic, never thought I'd make it past 30.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:29 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Ron, oh how I wish you were right but it just isn't so. I'm in that never-never land right now, having turned 62 on Dec 3 and my first SS payment isn't due until Feb 11.

From the SS website:

"A person who meets all requirements for entitlement can receive reduced benefits beginning with the first full month that he/she is age 62. Thus, benefits are not paid for the month a person reaches age 62 unless his or her birthday is on the first or second day of the month. (Under a common law rule, a person reaches a given age on the day before his or her birthday.)

Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due. For example, if your 62nd birthday is July 15, your first month of entitlement is August, and you would receive your first check in September."

I'm guessing from your answer that what I quoted above might be something SS implemented after you started collecting (HOW many years ago? ). According to SS, about 2 million new applicants sign up for SS retirement benefits each year. With the avg monthly benefit at $1,080, figuring out how to delay new recipients' checks by one month would save SS $2.16 billion per year.

Wonder if whoever came up with the idea for the delay was rewarded?
I stand corrected; I think. I originally started benefits in 2005 DOB 10/30/1940 and I received 2 checks for 05; one in Nov and one in Dec on the 3d Wednesday of those months. I repaid the money in 2008 and reapplied for benefits in October 2008 (using the 6 month "look back rule") so that my benefits would restart effective in Apr 08. I received a payment in Dec 08 for the period Apr to Nov - which was for 7 months of benefits, in arrears, plus the Dec 08 payment which (as per phone call with SSA) sent early because I was close to the payment day for that Dec. So I do not dispute what you are saying and I am sure the quote is valid but this is my experiences.

BTW the average payment is a tad lower than $1,800 a month: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quick...apshot/#table2
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:38 PM   #28
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The average SS check for retired workers is listed as only $1089.30. No wonder they say you can't live on SS alone.

(I hadn't intended to, anyway, but gee).
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:41 PM   #29
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The average SS check for retired workers is listed as only $1089.30. No wonder they say you can't live on SS alone.

(I hadn't intended to, anyway, but gee).
As long as it covers my medical insurance, then after 65, the medigap of whatever stripe, i'm happy.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:51 PM   #30
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Yeah, you probably won't get much, if anything, as us old timers plan on using as much as we can till it runs out. I've got 2 years to go and I don't know if there will be much left even for me.
You sound like my dad. Every Thanksgiving, he tells me brother and I "thanks", as he knows we are funding his SS.........
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:53 PM   #31
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You sound like my dad. Every Thanksgiving, he tells me brother and I "thanks", as he knows we are funding his SS.........
My dad flat out told me that most of their SS was going to wind up in savings as part of our inheritance, and that we should consider that the SS benefit that we're probably not going to get!
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:50 PM   #32
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Since SS is based on the average of 35 years of earnings and leans towards lower wage earners, a few missing years will have very little impact.
And here's the formula that shows the bias towards low wage earners......

90% of first $612 of
average indexed
monthly earnings,
plus
32% of the next $3,077
plus
15% of the remainder

Note, this is from 2004 so the actual numbers have probably been indexed upwards. But the lean towards low wage earners is obvious.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #33
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same boat - FIREd at 48, plan to take SS at age 62. That means 12 years of zero earned income from age 48-62 unless I get a PT j*b to get 2 more years for the 35 yr averaging function.
I have 33 yrs earnings including low paying part time jobs in HS and college.
My estimate of benefit at 62 already dropped $112 per month, with 2007 earnings = 1/4 annual salary, comparing consecutive annual stmts. I cringe to see the next drop with zero earnings in 2008.
I am pessimistically expecting to see it decrease radically, and then hit a steady state once they realize I have consecutive zero earnings (no j*b) years.
We shall see...the online calculator at SS was of no help to me.
I don't think you will see a further decline. Your statement should be assuming if the last year was zero all future years will be zero and your amount will increase by the inflation amount.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:50 PM   #34
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I've used the detailed calculator SS makes available. What I found was that a few missing or very low income years made a fairly small difference -- just a few dollars a month for an extra year of work. But, the age at which you take SS makes a much bigger difference. For instance, starting at 62 rather than full retirement age results in a 25% reduction.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:50 PM   #35
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I don't think you will see a further decline. Your statement should be assuming if the last year was zero all future years will be zero and your amount will increase by the inflation amount.
A glimmer of hope...
I will know for sure when I get my statement this year, showing zero earnings for 2008. Only 12 yrs to go until I'm eligible for the age 62 benefit.
I must admit I don't really count on too much of a SS benefit. I will be glad for whatever is left over from the literal stampede of boomer era retirees ahead of me. I write that in a realistic sense, with not one iota of begrudging.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:01 PM   #36
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My dad flat out told me that most of their SS was going to wind up in savings as part of our inheritance, and that we should consider that the SS benefit that we're probably not going to get!
I'm hoping that we'll be able to do exactly that with our SS (or at least a good portion of it) for our two boys. I'd really like to give them a leg up on things. Their future will be interesting.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:09 PM   #37
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My dad flat out told me that most of their SS was going to wind up in savings as part of our inheritance, and that we should consider that the SS benefit that we're probably not going to get!
I like your dad's approach. I'm more optimistic than he is about the system surviving, but I think it's good to remember that a lot of the taxes people pay come back to them as increased inheritance (or decreased financial support of aged parents) even if they never receive a check from the gov't.

(If my wife had her way, we'd probably split up our benefit and send it to the kids every year while we are alive. I'm a little too conservative for that.)
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:42 PM   #38
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The average SS check for retired workers is listed as only $1089.30. No wonder they say you can't live on SS alone.

(I hadn't intended to, anyway, but gee).
If you are debt free in a low cost living area you can get it done but you will also be good with money.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:44 PM   #39
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If you are debt free in a low cost living area you can get it done but you will also be good with money.
If you have a couple,that would be $2200 a month. There are some folks on here who make due with that........
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:46 PM   #40
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If you have a couple,that would be $2200 a month. There are some folks on here who make due with that........
And for many of us here $2,200 a month would leave a lot "due"...and payable.
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