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Old 09-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by BruceinGa View Post
I have a question. Why can't my wife draw ss now at 62 and 8 months and I, 63, take her spousal benefit. Then when I reach 70 take my ss and let her take my spousal benefit at that time?
What is the reason for the FRA, 66, to enter into this strategy?
Your wife is locked into the 62.
The deal with the spouse with higher SS benefits waiting till FRA is they file and suspend (can't be done before FRA) and wait for the higher benefits at 70.
If you have earnings of your own - I don't think they'll let you take just the spousal benefit before FRA. They look at your earnings and give you the higher of the two.

From the SS website
Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse
If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on his or her own record we will pay that amount first. But if the benefit on your record is a higher amount, he or she will get a combination of benefits that equals that higher amount (reduced for age).
It doesn't matter if your spouse starts getting benefits before, after, or at the same time you do--we will check both records to make sure your spouse gets the higher amount.
It definitely gets confusing.

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Old 09-19-2012, 01:35 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
This is a perfect plan if you can keep breathing.
Actually, if you or DW keeps breathing.

IOW, if you're married you need to look at joint longevity since the lower earnig spouse would ultimately get the higher earnings spouse's benefit once the higher earning spouse passes.

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Old 09-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #103
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As I recall the rule allowing pay back of benefits and refiling was rescinded not too long after it was widely discussed in a variety of forums. Considering the current popularity in all manner of websites of the file and suspend gambit I wonder how long it will last?
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I believe this is true.
And I think that's why RescueMe is doing 66/70.
Yes, that's part of the reason.

The other is to drawdown our respective TIRA's to reduce the amount of excess RMD's at 70.5. "Excess" meaning withdrawls required by law, not by needed living income/expenses. Delaying our respective SS claims (even though we're both eligible to claim today, at age 64) has a lot to do with our total estate plan, not just current income. My drawdown will be for an 11-year period, whereas DW will only be for two (she retired on her birthday, earlier this year, and will draw SS at her FRA age of 66).

Yes, I know that I/we can just reinvest the withdrawl excess, but I/we hate to pay taxes. Additionally (based upon current tax laws) our "excess estate" value (beyond what we have put aside for continuing care of our adult disabled "child") will be going to our named non-profit charities, which means most/all will be going to them without tax being paid, to continue their good works...
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #105
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It's all very confusing. From what I can figure out, when your spouse applies for spousal benefits (no matter what your age was when you filed), if they are under 66, they will get the higher of their own benefit or 50% of yours (less any age penalty for themselves @ roughly 6% a year). It's not the spouse's choice unless they are at least 66. And taking the spousal benefit before 66 lowers their benefit forever by whatever the age penalty is. Until you die and then they get a widow or widower's benefit of your full benefit if it's higher then theirs. Clear as mud.

I plan to file at 64.5 years of age and take the small penalty. As an ex-fed under CSRS, my small benefit is reduced under the Windfall Elimination Provisions of law. My wife, who who has much higher SS covered earnings than I do, will file for spousal benefits when she hits 66 (she will get 50% of my reduced benefit) and wait until 70 to file for her full benefit at 70. Since women in family tend to live into their 90s (98 year old aunt still kicking), that seems to be the best course for us. Of course, anything can happen and it wouldn't be possible to postpone if we needed the money immediately. But we are following the same strategy of trying to reduce our IRAs so we don't get hit with RMDs that we don't need.

When I try to talk to people about this, their eyes glaze over and they start humming .

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