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View Poll Results: What percentage of your expenses will SS cover
0-25% 55 42.64%
25-50% 49 37.98%
50-75% 13 10.08%
75-100% 12 9.30%
over 100% 0 0%
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SS as a %age of your income
Old 11-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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SS as a %age of your income

Over the last 20 years it's been fashionable to down play the role of SS in retirement planning, and given the government's deficit we may have to wait a little longer before we collect. However, SS isn't going to go away so I'd be interested what %age of income you see it replacing.

I'm single, have a good job and live fairly modestly so once the house is paid off SS will cover 60% of my living expenses.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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Something under 6%. Perils of rental property generating what the gubermint calls "unearned income". S'OK. I trust me more than them anyway.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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It looks like SS will comprise about 24% of my total income in retirement if I claim it at age 66, 18% if I claim it at age 62. Haven't completely decided yet although I am tentatively planning on age 66.

Edited to add: I live a fairly simple lifestyle too, but I am planning to "ramp it up" to more nearly match my retirement income level. That will be easier to do after we have moved, probably in about a year or a little more. Right now, every time I see something I want, I think, "Do I really want to lug that to Missouri?"
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Would that be before or after taxes?

Before taxes, about 24% after taxes about 12%. At some point I will need to take RMD and when that happens the percentage of expenses that SS provides will shrink.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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I'll be happy if it covers medicare costs. Anything more than that will be a bonus.

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Old 11-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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While SS is about 25% of my before tax income, yet SS alone will cover about 60% of our current expenses.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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At 66 I'd get 1,826/month and DW, 1,398/month. Quicken says our expenses for the last month totalled $30,142. So SS would cover 128% of expenses.

I voted "75-100%" so as not to jinx anything.

NOTE: Title says "As a percentage of your income," but poll says "As a percentage of your expenses."
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
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With current assumptions according to the PEBES we receive, around 50%. Like most people not very close to the age of collecting it, I don't expect to see the benefit levels being touted for me today.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
At 66 I'd get 1,826/month and DW, 1,398/month. Quicken says our expenses for the last month totalled $30,142. So SS would cover 128% of expenses.

I voted "75-100%" so as not to jinx anything.

NOTE: Title says "As a percentage of your income," but poll says "As a percentage of your expenses."
Yeah you right - maybe ballpark 25% the last couple years - BUT since I have a lot of latitude in retirement - the cheap SOB in me says I could run it toward 100% (17k at 62 took it in 2005). FireCalc and the ORP says at 10k final estate I could maybe go 19% by spending more - not taking it with me and croaking precisely at 84.6 + or - a tad.

heh heh heh - Katrina altered my bullet proof I'm gonna live forever attitude hence 62 versus stretching to 66 or even 70.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
.... Quicken says our expenses for the last month totalled $30,142...."
Is that even with cutting paper towels in half? Heard California was an expensive place to live, but....
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #11
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Hey Al, I think you gotta drop the Zero.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:32 PM   #12
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For those of us who are many years away from SS, what percentage of our current projected benefits are we likely to actually receive? That's what makes answering this question the most difficult for me.

I just received my annual statement of projected SS benefits. If I actually receive the number they are showing (in inflation-adjusted dollars) at age 67, I'd be doing great. It's just that I don't believe it.
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:45 PM   #13
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I'm 62. If we wait till 66 to collect, SS will cover 75-100% of our "basic" annual expenses. The big unknown is medical costs.

I'd like to be able to spend 2x our basic expenses, but that's a "like to do" thing that depends a lot on what happens between now and then.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
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I voted for 0-25%. I should be able to cover basic expenses between my pension and my portfolio. That leaves SS for a cushion, to cover the fact that I have probably underestimated how much health insurance costs will go up, that I have probably forgotten something in my plans, and that a huge rise in taxes or inflation or the pension fund going bust or other unforeseen occurrences may throw a monkey wrench in my plans. And I don't think I really believe I'm going to get the full amount on my projection. Something will have to change, the eligibility age will be increased again, or there will be means testing, or more of it will be subject to income tax, or something to keep (make?) SS solvent.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #15
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Gee, I hate to be the negative guy on this thread, but I am assuming in the next ten years or so Congress will get around to means testing SS recipients. My best guess is that SS will be phased out for anyone with over $100,000 income. Perhaps offset will be you can withdraw from IRSs/401ks tax-free to make up for "stealing" earlier contributions.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:21 AM   #16
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According to our statements, together, we are each "supposedly" getting a decent set of SS payments and will draw in our own names with amounts that are substantially equal (vary only by $4/month)-- so it would cover 68% of expenses. However, we have reduced to 75% the projected statement amounts into our budgets. So then that would be 48% of pretax spending. 9-10 years before we can tap at 62 if that age does not change.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:39 AM   #17
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Lars,
If you are talking 'per individual' then $100,000 may be a good guess. It also may be a good guess if we are talking inflation dollars. However, as the current median household income is between $50,000 and $60,000 dollars with a single earner making around $45,000, I doubt that congress will set the limit as low as $100,000. But who knows, who ever thought you would see Democrats propose a $500,000,000,000 cut to medicare. Of course they have not actually passed that part of the bill either.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:02 AM   #18
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I plan on drawing SS in about 10 years and it will be about 25% of retirement expenses.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #19
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As with Alan, I think it'll be about 25%. The original plan was to begin SS at 62, but I will delay that if I'm still working at that time. It also depends on whether DW gets a job that she likes.

So we'll just wait and see how things work out.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:55 AM   #20
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Single at 62 SS provides 33% of (normal) yearly expenses. Its the third leg of the stool. Pension, SS & portfolio = 100%. That was the plan and it worked.
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