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Social Security strategy for married couples
Old 10-27-2007, 08:20 AM   #1
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Social Security strategy for married couples

Two sets of researchers have suggested in separate papers a novel strategy that should benefit many married couples: One spouse (usually the wife) claims at 62 to 66, while the other waits until 69 or 70 to collect. This pays off because of obscure Social Security rules and some facts about life expectancy that aren't obvious if you don't make your living as an actuary.

The 62/70 Solution - Forbes.com
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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Thanks for the link. There are a number of additional twists on this strategy, which you can see in this thread: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...fit-21908.html
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:44 PM   #3
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The Forbes article which is linked above references James Mahaney, the guy who originally posted here on this topic. ( Folks with long memories will remember that he was taken to task for advocating a strategy that might have involved the use of annuities. At that time mention of annuities was banned from this board by a group of informal volunteer moderators.)

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Old 10-27-2007, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
At that time mention of annuities was banned from this board by a group of informal volunteer moderators.)
I believe a more accurate statement would be that several posters met Mr. Mahaney (posting here as "New Thinking") with a great deal of skepticism. He was neither banned nor chased away from the forum, nor was the mention of annuities ever banned by moderators, informal or otherwise.

If anyone is interested in reading some of the contributions to the SS discussion from New Thinking, his initial post can be found here:
http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post337860
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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You are right, I didn't mean and shouldn't have said banned. I was speaking loosely.

I felt however that he was chased away. He had knowledge that many of us didn't have, so why should he hang around and accept a lot of ill-informed complaints? He wasn't likely going to get any business from any of the do-it-yourselfers around here, so in effect he was donating and not receiving anything back.

IMO, that was not the only time that we lost knowledge input because of bullying by outspoken posters.

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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He still stops by once in a while. FWIW.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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I felt however that he was chased away.
Although he did get a rather warm (as in lots of heat) initial reception, I didn't see New Thinking react in a way that would lead me to think he was chased off. (That's not to say others haven't been turned away by their less than cordial reception here, some deserved and some maybe not.)

He continued to post for several months, and may still be around. It seems he only posts when a SS related question comes up, as in his last series of posts in June: http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/social-security-widows-question-27911.html#post522701
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:37 PM   #8
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IMO, that was not the only time that we lost knowledge input because of bullying by outspoken posters.

Ha
I agree. There have been a number of occassions when outspoken vigilanties have silenced the person I wanted to hear a little more from. Sadly, I wasn't able to "taser 'em" in order to allow the speaker to finish making his point.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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Has anyone seen a strategy for the scenario where one spouse works a lifetime in the private sector under SS and the other worked in the public sector and has his/her own SS reduced by WEP and his/her spousal benefit reduced/eliminated by GPO?
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:56 PM   #10
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The Forbes article which is linked above references James Mahaney, the guy who originally posted here on this topic. ( Folks with long memories will remember that he was taken to task for advocating a strategy that might have involved the use of annuities. At that time mention of annuities was banned from this board by a group of informal volunteer moderators.)
So why did "New Thinking" bother to show up here in the first place? He has a real job where he gets paid real money to write, and it would seem that he'd have no reason to waste that payroll time around here giving it away for free. Surely even Prudential can still cough up a living wage without peddling limited partnerships & annuities. I'm sure their "Serpent on the Rock" days are behind them forever now.

I'm thinking (this is not "new") that he was either encouraged to market his wares here or he was beta-testing audience response and focus-group queries. Research completed, mission accomplished, and he's outta here until we're needed for the next batch of free guinea pigs reader reactions. Maybe someday he'll stop lurking and come clean with his motivations instead of depending on the ruminations of us do-it-yourselfers. Even Swedroe, Bernstein, & Ferri have discussed their products on discussion boards without appearing to be venially shilling.

However you, Ha, seem to go out of your way to twist the most innocuous & unrelated threads to reference the perceived flaws and faults of a group of people who actually cared enough to haul their assets up out of their back-seat-driver's chairs to attempt to provide a service to the board. They can point to their efforts and say "We volunteered, we tried, we did our share to make this board a better place." You, on the other hand, can point to... ?

You're either deeply unhappy with the situation that's obsessed you or you're trolling. In my opinion, either way you're not contributing-- you're just capering around in the back of the classroom looking to cause a ruckus and throwing spitballs when you think the teacher's not paying attention.

But hey, with your 5260-some posts I'd hate for you to feel that you're an outspoken bully being bullied by outspoken posters.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #11
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Well, Ha has been a friend to me.

And he sure can tell a story.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:14 PM   #12
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Well, Ha has been a friend to me.

And he sure can tell a story.

Ditto !!
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:31 PM   #13
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Ha is a class act on this board.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:41 PM   #14
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Mr Nords, I really don't know what you are talking about. Notice that I didn't attack you, nor did I attack anyone else. I also did not have any individual or individuals in mind when I commented on Mr. Mahaney's departure. My memory for these sorts of things is not quite up to that! I can assure you however that I am not the only one who feels that outside-the-box viewpoints sometimes can get treated pretty aggressively.

However, today you did attack me. I am actually puzzled as to why, and what itch you might have been trying to scratch with this unwarranted attack. Over time I have learned to try not to make snap judgments- who can understand what pain or distraction or worry another person may be experiencing that causes him to act in a way that he would not ordinarily act?

I appreciate all the heavy lifting and intense thought as well as the many words that you have contributed here.

My contributions, admittedly much more modest, IMHO should not be cast as chopped liver.

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:55 PM   #15
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So why did "New Thinking" bother to show up here in the first place? He has a real job where he gets paid real money to write, and it would seem that he'd have no reason to waste that payroll time around here giving it away for free.
Most people who contribute important information and insights here have or have had real jobs, important jobs, and jobs or professions that are highly relevant to the expertise that they share here. I won't try to name names, because it is everyone who posts here. They also have their individual and valuable personalities to share- an act of sharing for which I am deeply grateful.

I would hate it if people came to think that their knowledge should only be sold, not shared. That would seem to undermine the entire foundation of this board.

Ha
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:57 PM   #16
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Folks

Folks - I am still here just been busy with little time to post. I don't feel the need to post on most topics. I felt I had some expertise on optimizing Social Security so I tried to share it -so that others could benefit. I always appreciated the skepticism as I know that some of the issues raised were new and the tax benefits a little hard to believe. I learn from others on the board as well. From a professional standpoint, I try to get a better feel for what others want and how folks feel about retirement income.
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:12 PM   #17
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"More than half of Americans claim Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, the earliest allowed. This has long been a source of consternation to financial and policy pundits, who contend that, given Americans' lengthening life expectancies, they should work longer and wait longer--until 66 or, better yet, 70--to start collecting. The longer you wait, the bigger your monthly Social Security check."

Note the operative words -- work longer. Next...
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #18
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"We volunteered, we tried, we did our share to make this board a better place." You, on the other hand, can point to... ?
Personally, I greatly appreciate Ha's contributed content. One of the finest posters on the board, IMO.

I enjoy some of your posts, too, Nords. But this one not so much.

What's with all of the personal attacks and schisms around here? Let's just add everybody to our ignore lists and carry on with the merry making!
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Work longer
Old 10-28-2007, 02:25 PM   #19
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Work longer

Quote:
Note the operative words -- work longer. Next...
My research has never said that individuals should work longer. This is more of Alicia Munnell's position. My message was always that you could retire with a much smaller nest egg (or earlier if you wish) if you strategically manage risk, minimize expenses and minimize/eliminate taxation of retirement income. (Of course if you don't do that,you may need to work longer.) In fact, that is what our recent Pension Research Council paper proved for a typical couple. We showed that when you focus on after-tax income, delaying SS for the higher earner in a typical married couple would cut the needed nest egg almost in half..Or, one could say that they could retire much, much earlier. The Forbes columnist read the paper, conducted the interview and wrote the piece.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:05 AM   #20
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New Thinking do you have a link to the Pension Research Council paper.

My sister is 57 and her husband just retired (for the 3rd time) is 66 . Her earnings have been sporatic and low, but now she has a chance of making decent money as self-employed artist. They are both excellent health, very fit, eat disgustingly healthly, and are likely to live a long life. I believe he just started drawing SS.

In a few years is it possible for them to repay their Social Security benefits and have him delay taking SS until age 70, in order to maximize her spousals benefits.?

P.S. Nords catch some waves before doing some more posting you'll feel better.
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