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Old 11-10-2015, 02:49 PM   #41
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We are currently budgeted with a 25% cut, which we just recently added to our plan. I had felt fairly comfortable that once we hit 55 we were unlikely to see much of a cut and that any changes would be grandfathered.

However, the file and suspend change happened very quickly, and unless you are already 62, a married couple can no longer take advantage. So we have rethought our position.

At age 59, our plan is for DH to start 62, and me at 70. If we make it to age 62 I will feel more comfortable we will not be impacted by further changes.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:20 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post

However, the file and suspend change happened very quickly, and unless you are already 62, a married couple can no longer take advantage. So we have rethought our position.
I continue to think long lead times will be the norm for any Congressional action on SS as I suspect the F&S change was an anomaly for Congress. It was seen by them as closing a unintended loophole and not a change to SS per se.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:30 PM   #43
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That is absolutely true and most people never talk (or maybe don't know) that. I fully expect (and fear) that the day will come that they will add additional means testing, probably by actual net worth (cash and assets). I've read about all sorts of "proposals" ranging from reducing or eliminating SS benefits for higher net worth individuals. Most of the time it seems to be targeting folks with 3 million or more in total net worth. Some sort of reform is coming. Reform, ha, that's a nice way to describe theft.

I know many here don't share that "perspective"... That's okay, I wish you good luck and I really hope you are right!
3 million dollars is not that big money compared to SS for high earning couple taking SS at 70.

I have more than that and I would not hesitate for one second to spend it all if they started to means test what we rightfully deserve.

I don't think means testing will save much money unless not giving SS to few very rich people looks like big saving. It will completely discourage everybody from saving in 401ks and IRAs.

Even "socialist" minded European countries are not that stupid as means test retirement benefits. At least I am not aware of it.....
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #44
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But isn't that exactly what they are doing with the elimination of F&S and deemed filing?
This approach seems to be the "modern way". That is, rather than a bold stroke, it's tinkering around the edges. Those tinkering do add up though.

It's often the same with taxes. My simple minded engineer's mind says "spending is up 5% this year, so lets raise rates 5% across the board to pay for it." Of course that's now how it's done. There will be a "closing of loop holes" or an extra "fee" on something. Which is why the tax code is so very very huge. (And I know, simple deficit spending).

So I definitely expect lots of tinkering moving forward.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:36 PM   #45
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I didn't retire until I was 63, so didn't feel there would be much impact after I turned 60. Anyway, SS is already means tested, and that could certainly expand in the future, however, I think there will be other ways to secure SS in addition to means testing, including raising the FICA limit on wages and pushing out the retirement age, etc. That said, my analysis indicated I would still be alright if it went away or was diminished, but who knows what the market will dish out in the future or what age and health will bring, so I certainly hope its there for me and others without reduction.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:37 PM   #46
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For those very close to the age of 62 and above, in order for you to believe that your SS would be impacted in any way, you would have to believe Congress would do something it has never done before

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Originally Posted by CRLLS View Post

But isn't that exactly what they are doing with the elimination of F&S and deemed filing? No. I am 63 next week and my DW is already 63. While we were not "planning" on using that scenario when we file, it was nice to know it was an option. Now it will not be an option. IT does impact us. At 63, you are not impacted.


So my point is, the cat is now out of the bag. We can no longer assume that benefits to those of SS age, whether collecting or not, will not be affected in the future.
Just the opposite. The manner in which these latest changes (closing a "loophole") were implemented (not affecting those over 62) reinforces the idea that this past practice will continue . See this:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/vie...ewpost=2684095

Specifically:

Quote:
Currently, if you are younger than full retirement age, and you file for either a retirement benefit or a spousal benefit, the SSA checks to see whether you are eligible for the other type of benefit also (i.e., retirement or spousal). If you are, you are automatically “deemed” to have filed for that other benefit as well. You have no choice in the matter.

This deemed filing rule is the reason that, when people want to file a restricted application (i.e, an application to collect just spousal benefits while they allow their retirement benefit to continue growing), they must wait until full retirement age in order to do so.

For anybody who will be 62 or older as of 1/1/2016, there will be no changes to this deemed filing rule or to the restricted application strategy.

For anybody who will not yet be age 62 as of 1/1/2016, however, there are two big changes.

First, the deemed filing rule will be applicable regardless of age. That is, even if you have reached full retirement age, if you file for retirement benefits or spousal benefits and you are also eligible for the other type of benefit (spousal or retirement) at that time, you will be deemed to have filed for both types of benefits. This singlehandedly eliminates the restricted application strategy for those who are affected.

Second, deemed filing will now kick in immediately for anybody when they become eligible for either spousal or retirement benefits if they’re already collecting the other type of benefit. (Previously, deemed filing only kicked in when you were actually filing for something.)
Emphasis added
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:42 PM   #47
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I don't plan on getting any SS. I just hope they stop collecting it from me.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:46 PM   #48
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I don't plan on getting any SS. I just hope they stop collecting it from me.

Seriously such a waste of money.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:01 PM   #49
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I paid in more than 130,000 and my employer paid 130,000 , if I was able I'd like to know over the span of the 30 years what would that 260k have been worth if put into a sp500 fund
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:11 PM   #50
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Seriously such a waste of money.
Actually for many retirees, SS is a key piece of the puzzle. It may seem like a waste of money for someone that is not yet close to retiring. For those that are close, it is maybe a bad investment but not a waste of money.

It certainly would be a shame to turn SS into a welfare program though.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:13 PM   #51
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Or draw down your IRA+401K even if you do not spend it all, and hide it under the mattress. No more investment. Stock market will crash, and the economy will suffer, but who cares?

If only the poor get SS, then everybody will find a way to be poor, maybe even involuntarily.

I think some form of reduction will be enacted, but not outright cut-off.

I doubt it. My late aunt's SS was about $760/mo. Try living on that. Fortunately she had two generous siblings.

More likely the ceiling will be removed or at least increased.


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Old 11-10-2015, 04:23 PM   #52
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Actually for many retirees, SS is a key piece of the puzzle. It may seem like a waste of money for someone that is not yet close to retiring. For those that are close, it is maybe a bad investment but not a waste of money.

It certainly would be a shame to turn SS into a welfare program though.
SS is a welfare program. It's a shame that the general public considers it a retirement plan.

Is Social Security Welfare? - The Future of Freedom Foundation
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:42 PM   #53
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...My late aunt's SS was about $760/mo. Try living on that. Fortunately she had two generous siblings.

...

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Good point. The reason for reluctance to impact those of eligibility age (over 62) is because to claw back benefits would be seen as cruel. There is a huge misconception that people nearing retirement (i.e., boomers) are wealthy. A disproportionate number may be represented here, but the reality is 1/3 of those nearing retirement have nothing, 1/3 will be the "worried well", with the last third represented by most on this board. Fact is, those approaching or in retirement, collecting or not, working or not, have few options, and almost no time to recover financially. Reducing benefits for most would be catastrophic and politically disastrous.

See this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...2a7_story.html

Specifically:

Quote:
A Wells Fargo study released last month shows that working Americans age 60 or older have median savings of just $50,000, about $250,000 short of their goal. And plans to keep their jobs longer might not work. In the same study, 49 percent of retired respondents said they left the workforce earlier than expected, frequently because of health problems or an employer’s decision.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:50 PM   #54
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SS is a welfare program. It's a shame that the general public considers it a retirement plan.

Is Social Security Welfare? - The Future of Freedom Foundation
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:51 PM   #55
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I don't plan on getting any SS. I just hope they stop collecting it from me.
Well you are 43 and Fired...so indeed SS will not be a big check for you.

But if you are high earner and work till 55 you will collect almost MAX benefit at 67.

I think you will collect around 2500 bucks a month. Multiply that by 2 spouses and one is looking at 60k COLA per year. Wait till 70 and you are looking at over 70k.

That is big money just to give it away. After 70 when we likely slow down one can comfortably live on 70k plus.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:58 PM   #56
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Or draw down your IRA+401K even if you do not spend it all, and hide it under the mattress. No more investment. Stock market will crash, and the economy will suffer, but who cares?

If only the poor get SS, then everybody will find a way to be poor, maybe even involuntarily.

I think some form of reduction will be enacted, but not outright cut-off.
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I doubt it. My late aunt's SS was about $760/mo. Try living on that. Fortunately she had two generous siblings.

More likely the ceiling will be removed or at least increased.
I agree that SS will not nor should be cut for the lower recipients. I should have put "poor" in quote. Let me explain further.

The highest SS one can get is about $32K for FRA in 2015. So, a couple who were good wage earners can get more than $50K/yr easily. Now, suppose one such couple saved money in 401k and now can get $100K total, while another couple did not and now lived on only the $50K SS.

They can make an argument that the saving couple is "rich" and the grasshopper couple is "poor" and reduce SS to the former. Now, if you were them, would you not want to make yourself look "poor"?

If SS is to be reduced, it should not be based on additional retirement incomes or savings. Doing that simply encourage people to not save, or to hide their stash. It is currently based on lifelong income records. Two persons making the same and contributing the same to the system should get the same. You do not punish the ant and reward the grasshopper.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:01 PM   #57
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3 million dollars is not that big money compared to SS for high earning couple taking SS at 70.

I have more than that and I would not hesitate for one second to spend it all if they started to means test what we rightfully deserve.

I don't think means testing will save much money unless not giving SS to few very rich people looks like big saving. It will completely discourage everybody from saving in 401ks and IRAs.
The means testing you mention is not about making a dent in the situation; it is about feeling good about making those who saved, did without and LYBM end up like everyone else who didn't. In fairness, of course, y'know.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:02 PM   #58
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The way in which the elimination of file and suspend was rushed through with no public discussion, the complicity of AARP and others, and the intent to use the savings to pay for the Social Security Disability program, which is nearly bankrupt, says to me that Washington has no intention of honoring any commitment to older folks. Robbing Medicare to pay for the ACA should have been fair warning.

Now that I'm about to collect the check, I think current recipients will be getting other haircuts, such as the change in the basis of the COLA that has been suggested. Means testing is an option, but may apply to later recipients or start gradually. I count Social Security at the current level, but it's not critical to my avoiding the cat food diet.

There were a number of reasons to take it early in my case, and pick-pocketing thieves in Washington was one of them.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:05 PM   #59
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The means testing you mention is not about making a dent in the situation; it is about feeling good about making those who saved, did without and LYBM end up like everyone else who didn't. In fairness, of course, y'know.
I would need in excess of 10 million before I would not mind blowing away SS.

How many couples have 10 million plus in assets?

LBYMs will never end up like non savers. Those are dreams of non savers
Those families with 10 million are beyond what I would call standard LBYM type.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:07 PM   #60
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There were a number of reasons to take it early in my case, and pick-pocketing thieves in Washington was one of them.
+1 It was my #1 reason. Get in and hope for grandfathering.
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