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Old 03-27-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
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I'm a little confused from the video, maybe someone has an answer. I have not taken SS as of yet and I'll be 63 next month. DW will turn 62 in Dec. of this year. Let's say DW worked only about 12 years and on her own will get about $600 a month but will get $800 working off of my earnings. So in Dec. if DW takes SS and I don't will she be elligible for the $600 or the $800? Do I have to take my SS for her to get the $800 or do I have to start and then stop for her to get the $800.

If I wait another year to take mine and DW takes the lower amount in Dec. would she get the $800 when I take mine or does she get a larger benefit because I waited and she took the lower amount. Confusing!
Haven't watched the video, and it's been a little while since I looked into this for my own strategy, but I think I've got this right.

She can only take the spousal benefit if you file. If you wait until FRA, you can file and suspend, which allows your delayed credits to build and her to collect. For her to collect spousal before you reach FRA, you must collect.

You need to run the numbers, but this looks like a case where you may find it best for her to collect her own as soon as eligible, you wait until FRA when she'll switch to a higher amount based on the spousal benefit.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:09 PM   #22
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Thanks for the help!

One other question. If DW takes her's at 62 not based on my earnings, then a year later I take mine. Now let's say DW would have received $800 based on my earnings at 62. Let's say I'm 64 1/2 and I then take mine. Will DW get a larger amount than the $800 because she didn't use my #'s when she turned 62?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:39 AM   #23
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Thanks for the help!

One other question. If DW takes her's at 62 not based on my earnings, then a year later I take mine. Now let's say DW would have received $800 based on my earnings at 62. Let's say I'm 64 1/2 and I then take mine. Will DW get a larger amount than the $800 because she didn't use my #'s when she turned 62?
For a person who is eligible for a benefit based on both their own earnings and a spouseís, the calculation is treated as first calculating their own benefit, then checking for an incremental amount based on the spouseís earnings. In the event that an individual collects prior to FRA, their own benefit is permanently reduced. The incremental spousal benefit is treated as a separate calculation. To make it more interesting, the spousal early reduction is not the same as the primary early reduction.

Just in case you think thatís not confusing enough, we now throw in the phased in age increase for FRA that affect those born from 1937-1960. Bottom line is you and your spouseís SS benefits are a personal amount that comes from knowing your PIA, when youíre born, and when you want to collect. Itís tough to generalize any one right or wrong way to do things with this number of variables.

IMHO, one should also consider widow benefits. They are greater than spousal benefits, and are also reduced by taking SS early. In addition, they increase with delayed retirement credits, unlike spousal benefits.

At the risk of upsetting anyone here, I recommend you take a trip to the boglehead forum and do some searches. There is one poster in particular (sscritic) who is a great resource on the topic. There are numerous links to SS sites to sort it out. I just figured out enough for my own situation at the moment, which has other complicating factors (WEP, GPO, etc.).
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:10 PM   #24
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My inner nerd must be showing but the nuances of all the SSA options is very interesting to me. I am 47 DW is 44 so quite a ways off for us. I am sure the rules will change several times before we can even think about drawing. Wonder if anyone has used the website mentioned in the video socialsecuritysolutions.com ?
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SS and other complicating factors
Old 03-28-2012, 01:58 PM   #25
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SS and other complicating factors

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At the risk of upsetting anyone here, I recommend you take a trip to the boglehead forum and do some searches. There is one poster in particular (sscritic) who is a great resource on the topic. There are numerous links to SS sites to sort it out. I just figured out enough for my own situation at the moment, which has other complicating factors (WEP, GPO, etc.).
Yeah, I had some questions about SS with DW having over 40 quarters of lower value contributions but also a participant in a SS-replacement 403 (b) plan.

The simple calculators were not comprehensive enough. I downloaded the SSA detailed calculator (AnyPIA) and that is a great program if you are into DOS and C prompts. I finally got it to spit out an answer but I am not at all confident in the results.

That is OK - we've still got 6 or more years of earning and saving like our hair is on fire. By then the assumptions (and perhaps the program) will have changed. I just wanted a rough and conservative estimate - which I think I got.....

I apppreciate the tip and will wander over to bogleheads when I've got some time to kill.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:02 PM   #26
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...I recommend you take a trip to the boglehead forum and do some searches. There is one poster in particular (sscritic) who is a great resource on the topic.
I agree. sscritic knows so much about SS that sometimes I think he wrote the supporting documentation on the various processes ...
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:16 PM   #27
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The simple calculators were not comprehensive enough. I downloaded the SSA detailed calculator (AnyPIA) and that is a great program if you are into DOS and C prompts. I finally got it to spit out an answer but I am not at all confident in the results.
The one I use (AnyPIA) has the look and feel of a very early Windows application. Not sure what you mean about DOS and C prompts. It certainly will not win app of the year award, but it's the answer that counts, isn't it?
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It is confusing
Old 03-29-2012, 03:37 AM   #28
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It is confusing

I am 59 and my wife is 64. I have worked my entire life but she only worked 36 quarters so I am assuming she has no benefit of her own. She now Day Trades successfully and stopped working to support her full time avocation of Day Trading. The last time I checked I will receive $1900 a month at age 62 but at the time I checked (3 years ago) I was still working and would receive the maximum amount at FRA. I believe the amount doesn't decline if you don't work at all any longer after early retirement but I have made some contributions from consulting work I did as I receive the overseas income exclusion but still have to pay FICA on the total amount. BUt, as I am retired military they don't take out deductions for FICA on military retirment benefits. I also checked previously and despite my wife being older she still get's nothing until I actually start receiving my social security so the incentive is to start early that way we both collect even though it is a reduced amount. I have no intention of waiting until FRA to start receiving the money as I am betting on a shorter life (no men in my family have ever lived past age 76) and can use the money now to supplement our retirement income for fun stuff. Later we have plenty of 401K money (somewhere in the neighborhood of $600K) which we don't want to start using until necessary as this is our emergency reserve. We also have a lot of real estate which is on hold until the market fully recovers in 20 years (joke, I hope!). The government has never shown any remorse for their taking from me so it works both ways. So, my questions are 1) are my facts correct or does the rate I will receive change if I am no longer working? Just curious.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:49 AM   #29
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OT

Sorry to take OT, but does the spousal benefit happen automatically or does it have to be requested/applied for?
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:55 AM   #30
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The one I use (AnyPIA) has the look and feel of a very early Windows application. Not sure what you mean about DOS and C prompts. It certainly will not win app of the year award, but it's the answer that counts, isn't it?
^^^Hyperbole on my part - Windows 4 maybe. Very awkward program....

I am not at all sure I am getting a good answer. I still don't know if I am accurately gauging the impact of a 403(b) SS replacement plan on DW's SS benefit.

I HOPE it is not the case that addtional voluntary employee contributions to a 403(b) plan don't diminish the ultimate SS benefit.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #31
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As far as SS is concerned, a 403(b) is treated like a 401(k) or a traditional IRA -- it has no affect on the SS benefit. In fact, a 403(b) can be rolled over to a TIRA, although some plans do not allow in-service transfers meaning that the employee must terminate before the rollover is allowed.

What will potentially reduce the SS benefit is a pension from employment not covered by SS.

Edit to add: You enter the pension information at the bottom of the Supplemental Worker Information page. You will need to know the monthly pension amount and starting date.
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