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When to take Social Security
Old 08-30-2008, 11:11 PM   #1
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When to take Social Security

Hello to all,
This probably has been discussed in the past but I didn't find anything with a search.
When a person retires early and stops paying into S.S. for say 7 to 10 years before reaching age 62. Wouldn't this dictate drawing your S.S. as soon as you become eligible. I see a lot of discussions (on the net) about waiting until 70 years old to get the most money. I'm not so sure that is the smart way to go if zero's are piling up on the calculation S.S. will use to figure your monthly check? Each year a person isn't working, don't you get a zero added to the way S.S. will be calculated?
Thanks for help,

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Old 08-31-2008, 06:45 AM   #2
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SS is based on your 35 highest years of paid in wages, with early figures adjusted to be current equivalents, not your most recent earnings.

Zeros don't matter if you have hit your 35.

If you haven't worked 35 years, it doesn't matter if the zeros are recent or years ago - eg you took time off to raise kids or go back to grad school - they are still zero!

Check your annual sheet you get from the SS Administration (or request one on their web site.)


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Old 08-31-2008, 06:48 AM   #3
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Try searching again using this Google link: Google search:

The impact of zero SS earnings in the years leading up to retirement has been discussed a number of times. Bottom line: there is little impact to what you will draw by retiring early and not paying into the system in the final years leading up to SS eligibility.
Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:01 AM   #4
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The amount that people qualify (based on earnings) is a curve... if you looked at a graph.

If you make a high wage... you get less per $ paid in than someone who made a low wage.

Missing years will have an effect... but probably not a huge effect if you are a high wage earner and have most of your 35 years.

You can do some what-if analysis as the SS web site.

However... I am not interested in working longer to maximize SS unless I cannot afford to Retire. The real question is what are the income sources, how much will they provide, and how much portfolio value do I need to fill the gap to make DW and I FI... so we can RE.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:39 AM   #5
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There is a lot of mis-information and rumors floating on SS. The one you picked up on is typical. Best to stop reading and listening to folks who are only propagating the mis-information problem and go to the SS site and do some serious reading and work some examples on their calculator. The SS site has been improved greatly over the past few years and is actually easy to understand and the calculators will specifically answer the questions you have.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:17 AM   #6
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Thank You for all the info.
All the answers give me hope.
I do have 35 years. During the early years I was just starting out and the figures are pretty small. From what all of you say even that doesn't matter that much.
I will check out the S S site and also the link posted.
Thanks for all the input,

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