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Why It Rarely Pays For Both Spouses To Delay Social Security Benefits
Old 07-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #1
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Why It Rarely Pays For Both Spouses To Delay Social Security Benefits

Will the complications never cease? Another relevant blog entry by Kitces. Since I'm so far away from claiming SS, I didn't read it too critically & don't expect I'll have anything more to add to this conversation.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/why-it-r...rity-benefits/

(I got the title of the thread wrong & now can't change it. A better title would be the title of Kitces post. Admins? If you could change it. Thank you.)
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #2
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I skimmed it. That was my thinking originally. But now I'm planning on three years of spousal benefits instead. That pretty much delays us both I think.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:18 PM   #3
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After reading it is a restatement of same, higher earner files and suspends at FRA, lower or no earner spouse files for spousal benefit at their FRA. Since spousal benefits don't grow past FRA their is no advantage to wait you'd just be leaving money on the table.


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Old 07-08-2015, 09:27 PM   #4
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Provided that we still have our health, wits, pensions and portfolio aging nicely in a bottle in a properly chilled cellar, our vintage plan is thus.
DW is 4 yrs. older and has her own benefit although she was the lower earning spouse. Our plan was to convert as much tira funds to Roth and delay to her FRA when she would F&S. When I reached FRA, I would collect her spousal benefit until I reached 70 then begin my own. Her own benefit is projected to be greater than my spousal benefit to her. If I decide to meet my maker before her, the she will get my higher spousal benefit.

If the batch goes to vinegar then we start earlier.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:34 PM   #5
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For us, both retired before 60, the numbers show we should both turn on SS at age 62, as early as possible. Using the “early” payment to pay off one rental, at our “full retirement” age the rent vs going to a mortgage more than makes up for waiting.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:14 AM   #6
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Will the complications never cease? Another relevant blog entry by Kitces. Since I'm so far away from claiming SS, I didn't read it too critically & don't expect I'll have anything more to add to this conversation.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/why-it-r...rity-benefits/

(I got the title of the thread wrong & now can't change it. A better title would be the title of Kitces post. Admins? If you could change it. Thank you.)


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Old 07-09-2015, 04:55 AM   #7
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Since the lower wage earner in our marriage is ten years older, we've always figured that there are no (further) optimizations available to us. The lower wage earn delays to age 70, then the higher wage earner gets spousal benefits from FRA to age 70 (only three years). I'm not sure how this article changes the math unless we're expecting one or both of us to die before age 85, which seems unlikely since we both had a parent live past 80.
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Why It Rarely Pays For Both Spouses To Delay Social Security Benefits
Old 07-09-2015, 05:15 AM   #8
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Why It Rarely Pays For Both Spouses To Delay Social Security Benefits

Sometimes it isn't about probabilities (life expectancies) it is about what feels right. My social security check will cover my Heath insurance costs roughly $1750 a month. At 65 it will no doubt drop as well as when my daughter 20 finishes college and lands a job.

Having that nut covered just feels right...
Plus I hate saying it but I have no confidence in the government; They are unable to control their spending. I could see a time when we become Greece and China becomes our Germany.


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Old 07-09-2015, 09:31 AM   #9
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For us, both retired before 60, the numbers show we should both turn on SS at age 62, as early as possible. Using the “early” payment to pay off one rental, at our “full retirement” age the rent vs going to a mortgage more than makes up for waiting.
Same here. Firecalc gives us a higher probability of success if we both start SS at 62.
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Old 07-10-2015, 02:10 PM   #10
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Which means ultimately, the ideal strategy for most couples is for the
higher-earning spouse to delay as long as possible (which benefits them as long
as either remain alive) but to start the lower-earning spouse’s
benefits as early as possible, which is only beneficial in the less likely
scenario that both of them remain alive into their 90s and beyond!
Kitces must have been reading my mind as well as my SS strategy. This is exactly what DW and I did since she is (1) exactly 4 years younger and (2) has a much lower earnings history. At age 66 I filed as her spouse and she began SS @ age 62. Four years later (last November) I filed @ age 70 on my benefits and DW filed as spouse.

Now we just have to live to age 90.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:12 PM   #11
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Now we just have to live to age 90.
This commonly mentioned thought has been on my mind lately. For some reason, while reading the local newspaper on my iPad almost every morning, I have been scanning the obituary pages and have been struck by the high percentage of names who died in their late 80s and 90s. I just didn't expect that so many of each day's crop would have been so old.

Personally, based on observed family members, I think I have a longevity gene in me somewhere, so I've always planned through my late 90s.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:25 PM   #12
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died in their late 80s and 90s. I just didn't expect that so many of each
day's crop would have been so old.
That's a very interesting observation. I'll start checking here and see if there's a trend.
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Agree with Rothman. Don't leave SS money on the table
Old 07-25-2015, 11:01 AM   #13
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Agree with Rothman. Don't leave SS money on the table

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Originally Posted by Rothman View Post
After reading it is a restatement of same, higher earner files and suspends at FRA, lower or no earner spouse files for spousal benefit at their FRA. Since spousal benefits don't grow past FRA their is no advantage to wait you'd just be leaving money on the table.

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Agree very much with Rothman. Nice, brief summary. Thanks!

Don't leave any SS money on the table through spousal benefits if you can afford to do this. DW and I are planning to do the same, filing, delaying SS, getting spousal benefits for one (lower earning spouse), tapping other sources of income first in a prioritized order. Untapped SS grows each year by 8% + any COLA (2.7% average over the past 100 years).

Plan ahead and retirement can be an even sweeter thing... Happy dance!
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Alternative to buying book: Many libraries have it
Old 07-25-2015, 11:18 AM   #14
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Alternative to buying: I checked the book out at the library. Yours may have it too.
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