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Old 11-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #41
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It is very interesting that at a time when it is open to question whether SS funding will be fully there for future retirees all of these schemes that exemplify the greed is good philosophy are getting top billing. Very interesting. I do wonder how long these tweaks will be available.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:39 AM   #42
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So planning to optimize a benefit is greed? Very interesting take on the discussion.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:29 AM   #43
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So planning to optimize a benefit is greed? Very interesting take on the discussion.
On this forum? Well, "yes" depending on the "benefit" being discussed.

You will get many points of view.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:26 AM   #44
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That is different from the advice from the free AARP web site in the OP. My wife's benefits are also well lower then mine. It suggests:
1. When you are 68 and 7 months (2026), apply for Social Security benefits and then request to have payments suspended.
2. When your wife is 66 and 10 months (2026), she applies for spousal benefit, which provides about $XXX per month.
3. When you are 70 (2027), resume your own Social Security benefits, which provide about $YYY per month.

Disclaimers:
Yes, the AARP advice is worth every penny.
Yes, it is a simplification.
I think one of us is missing something. Your example has the man being 21 months older I think. I our case, she's 10 months older. Net, not sure analysis is the same.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:42 AM   #45
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From the SS.gov site:

If you have reached full retirement age, but are not yet age 70, you can ask us to suspend retirement benefit payments.
  • If you apply for benefits and we have not yet made a determination that you are entitled, you may voluntarily suspend benefits for any month for which you have not received a payment. Your request to suspend benefits may include any retroactive benefits that might be due.
  • If you and your current spouse are full retirement age, one of you can apply for retirement benefits now and have the payments suspended, while the other applies only for spouse’s benefits. This strategy allows both of you to delay receiving retirement benefits on your own records so you can get delayed retirement credits.
Her benefit now + my spousal benefit at FRA on her account is more than her spousal benefit on my account at any of her ages. Her FRA spousal benefit on my account when I start taking is ~$200/mo less than her own delayed till 70 benefit. Net, we're ~ $400/mo ahead of her age 70 benefit, starting at at my FRA, till I take my benefit without giving up much after that. We're also getting her benefit only till I reach FRA.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #46
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It is very interesting that at a time when it is open to question whether SS funding will be fully there for future retirees all of these schemes that exemplify the greed is good philosophy are getting top billing. Very interesting. I do wonder how long these tweaks will be available.
I don't think $ benefits will go down ex perhaps a less generous COLA in the future. I mainly think FRA & even Early Retire Age will rise over time to say 65 & 70. As we gain the "benefit" of longer lifespans, seems reasonable to expect folks to pay for themselves longer I think.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:38 AM   #47
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I don't think $ benefits will go down ex perhaps a less generous COLA in the future. I mainly think FRA & even Early Retire Age will rise over time to say 65 & 70. As we gain the "benefit" of longer lifespans, seems reasonable to expect folks to pay for themselves longer I think.
Maybe so. I don't know what the actual net dollar impact of the various claiming schemes discussed here is on SS funds. But it stands to reason that if beneficiaries receive more $ then SS funds are being depleted faster. My point is simply that in an environment where SS funding is being looked at from a budgetary standpoint these type of schemes will probably get a second look just as the payback provision was eliminated except for the year of claiming.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #48
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Maybe so. I don't know what the actual net dollar impact of the various claiming schemes discussed here is on SS funds. But it stands to reason that if beneficiaries receive more $ then SS funds are being depleted faster. My point is simply that in an environment where SS funding is being looked at from a budgetary standpoint these type of schemes will probably get a second look just as the payback provision was eliminated except for the year of claiming.
I think you are onto something there. Stand by for all kinds of changes, modifications, means-testing, expiration of present options. It seems more and more folks who didn't contribute much if anything are getting in on SS. So something has to change.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #49
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I intend to maximize the number years I collect it. So I will start at 62. What I don't need I will bank.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:40 AM   #50
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Maybe so. I don't know what the actual net dollar impact of the various claiming schemes discussed here is on SS funds. But it stands to reason that if beneficiaries receive more $ then SS funds are being depleted faster. My point is simply that in an environment where SS funding is being looked at from a budgetary standpoint these type of schemes will probably get a second look just as the payback provision was eliminated except for the year of claiming.
The impact on the SSA of these tweaks is almost certainly nil. Mortality tables work quite well for large groups because of the law of large numbers. The SSA did revise the rules on paying back benefits and refiling because of the loophole revealed by all the sudden attention, i.e. that the repayment was not adjusted for inflation. But the financial impact on the SSA was zip since only a few hundred people per year actually implemented it.

To the extent that SS has a long term funding problem (and remember we are talking about a problem that will only emerge after 25 years or so), a large part of the problem is that the increases in labor income in the past 20 years or so have gone disproportionately to the upper percentiles of American workers. That means that those increases have escaped the payroll tax since it does not cover all earned income. As a result the portion of American labor income that is subject to the payroll tax has declined. I understand that this change, a result of policy that favors the upper income group, accounts for about 50% of the shortfall. Increase in life span during retirement is a smaller factor.
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