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Old 08-06-2012, 10:21 AM   #21
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(I can't believe it wasn't until I read this thread today that I remembered I could have started taking SS yesterday, my 62nd birthday!)
Happy Birthday
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
(I can't believe it wasn't until I read this thread today that I remembered I could have started taking SS yesterday, my 62nd birthday!)

Happy Birthday! Now get on the computer and apply for your money.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #23
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(I can't believe it wasn't until I read this thread today that I remembered I could have started taking SS yesterday, my 62nd birthday!)
I understand that the memory is the first to go in retirement (just having too darn much fun to worry about anything)...
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #24
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I understand that the memory is the first to go in retirement (just having too darn much fun to worry about anything)...
Memory is the second thing to go
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #25
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We will wait 'til 70. In a world of low investment returns SS has an amazing 8% yearly increase if you wait. For an individual or couple with no other annuity or pension income and depending entirely on portfolio, SS lowers the risk of running out of money. That's a fact.
The other compelling reason to delay SS is the way that benefits are taxed. The SS provisional income taxation calculations make the case for delaying even greater.

But we have made the assumption here that the rules won't change.

Do you trust them ?
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:03 AM   #26
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The reason most people take it at 62 is because they need it to survive. Those of us posting here - and having the luxury of delaying by choice - are the very fortunate minority.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #27
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The reason most people take it at 62 is because they need it to survive. Those of us posting here - and having the luxury of delaying by choice - are the very fortunate minority.
I agree.

We'll make our decision in 6 years when we reach 62. If we are still in good financial shape and good health then I for sure will delay.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #28
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I'm a little confused by the SSA's calculator. When it shows what my benefits will be when I retire, I'm now thinking that is in TODAY'S dollars because I found another option on the SSA site that let's me specify whether the benefits are in today's dollars or future dollars.

When I select future dollars, it looks like they are using a flat 4% per year for COLA.

All this time I've been plugging the "today" value into all of my calculations when perhaps I should have been using the "future" (and actual?) value?
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #29
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Whether to hold out to 70 or not may very well depend on how SS rules morph over the next couple of years, so for those that are planning on that being available, may find its no longer an option.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:06 PM   #30
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I wonder if there is a spike of people who begin to take SS at age 63.5. My dad did this back in 1994 because he was able to maintain uninterrupted health insurance coverage, first through COBRA for 18 months then starting Medicare, while retiring as early as possible to achieve the crucial HI goal. His wife (my mom) was ill at the time so he could not afford to be without HI at any time.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #31
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The reason most people take it at 62 is because they need it to survive. Those of us posting here - and having the luxury of delaying by choice - are the very fortunate minority.
I suspect you are right on this. It is easier to wait, or suggest others delay, when we don't need the money now. The census data on income by age show people over 65 have very low median incomes.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:16 PM   #32
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I just applied for SS (at 62) for the following reasons:

5) I've determined after exhaustive research that the older one gets the more sickness one endures, the lesser the energy one seems to have and it even appears that the death rate goes up. Thus I've concluded that my enjoyment of a dollar might be a tiny bit higher now than when I'm 95 assuming I make it.

My mother is currently in her 90's with dementia. I can assure you that her enjoyment (or even awareness) of any additional income is rather limited.
Bingo. My 88 year old mother is sitting on a ton of cash and a govt pension that covers all her needs and more. Great for us kids but she went without for so many years when she could have spent more on herself.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #33
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My wife took it at 62 because she is less likely to live beyond the break-even age
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #34
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I think taking SS at age 62 is the lowest risk approach and probably appeals to many. Taking it later only pays off if you live long enough, which means taking on some risk. Taking it early gets the money in hand as soon as possible.

My assumed investment returns and inflation rates make taking SS at 62 look better, just from a standpoint of how much we can spend during retirement. But the difference is very small. I doubt this is a major factor for most people. It has its own risks, but taking SS late does too.

Since I'm married and DW is 5 years younger we plan to take my SS at 70, which will last until we're both gone, and DW's at 62, which will last only until the first of us goes.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #35
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The reason most people take it at 62 is because they need it to survive. Those of us posting here - and having the luxury of delaying by choice - are the very fortunate minority.
Very true. The woman who cuts my hair is in business for herself; she rents chair space from an established shop, and she has to watch every dollar. She had planned to retire and take social security in 2011 at age 65. She still would have had to watch her money carefully, but she said she could have made it. Then the economy tanked in 2008, and many of her customers began to cut waaayy back on services, including getting their hair done less often; fewer haircuts, etc. Her income took a huge hit. She said she had to take social security at age 62 just to pay the bills. This means that she will have less income coming in than she had planned on, and now she doesn't know when she will be able to retire. Her health is not great, and I feel for her. For the past three years I have been getting my hair cut more frequently than in past years - it isn't much, but it's all I can do for her.

I feel truly blessed to be in a situation where I can choose whether or not to delay social security when the time comes. For millions of people it is literally a lifeline.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:50 PM   #36
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I think taking SS at age 62 is the lowest risk approach and probably appeals to many. Taking it later only pays off if you live long enough, which means taking on some risk. ...
I guess the way I view it is that either decision involves 'risk'. It is a matter of choice of which 'risk' you prefer (and I'm using those scare-quotes, or whatever you call them, because I think the term 'risk' is a very fuzzy word with many different meanings).


Take SS early, and you 'risk' living to a ripe old age with lower income.

Take SS later, and you 'risk' dying before you hit an economic break even point.

For me, if I die early, I don't see how I would really care about economic break even. What am I gonna do - sit in my casket and calculate how much money I hypothetically left on the table?

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Not necessarily disagreeing with your conclusion but bear in mind that that extra SS income may increase taxes and means-testing on the suriving spouse (tax brackets kick in at half the level of joint returns). Also, it will raise AGI which can trigger certain means-tested items (e.g. Medicare parts B and D premiums and who knows what else is to come), especially when coupled with RMD's from regular IRA's
Good points. I guess that is why I'm really kind of waiting until I'm closer to 62 (and 66) to really crunch this. My estimates should be a bit better at that time.

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Old 08-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #37
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Why not?

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #38
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Well, we all know the old saying.......

http://cafecrem.wordpress.com/2008/0...o-in-the-bush/
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #39
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Personally, thanks to WEP, my SS will be minimal no matter how long I wait. But what I get, I will take at 62 and squirrel it away into my savings account and continue to stack up the nickels.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #40
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I doubt I'd spend any more money if I took it at 62 instead of taking it at 70. I'd just be using the SS money instead of taking from my investments.

If I die before the break even point, there's virtually no way I'm running out of money. So the only benefit to taking it early would be to leave more for my heirs if I died early, and I'd be leaving plenty anyway.

If I live beyond the break even point, waiting until 70 gives me more money over the long run. Maybe I won't be able to "enjoy" it in my old age, but there is a better chance I won't have to do without things I'm accustomed to or perhaps even need with this extra money. Not suffering with reduced money may be more important than enjoying extra money at that point.

If I didn't have enough non-IRA investments to bridge to 65 I might be looking more closely at taking SS at 62.

Of course I'll be taking the chance that SS will be cut and if you'll be penalized if you've delayed. I just don't think that will happen, but if someone else does, I can't tell them they are wrong. I figure that's a decision everyone makes for themselves.

I'm also 12 years from this decision and a lot can change by then, including my health, which is very good right now.
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