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Another SS question
Old 03-26-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
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Another SS question

It seems that my husband is going to be "redundant". We have been playing with various "what if" scenarios.

We are both 62. Have adequate retirement savings and a 36K non cola pension. We will have MAJOR health insurance cost per month but will pay the cost. We are considering applying for SS benefits at age 63. DH would get ~1860//mo at age 63. I am 2 months younger. I do not have enough credits on my own. Would my benefit at 63 be 1/2 of the $1860/mo. I am confused about how the "early reduction" of benefits works. I have indeed read most of the postings.

We are considering this so as to give our bloodied investments time to recover if my DH can't find other employment.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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It seems that my husband is going to be "redundant". We have been playing with various "what if" scenarios.

We are both 62. Have adequate retirement savings and a 36K non cola pension. We will have MAJOR health insurance cost per month but will pay the cost.
If he is made "redundant" by his employer before the end of the year, you should qualify for the subsidized COBRA for nine months as provided by the stimulus package, I believe. That should pay for 65% of the cost of COBRA assuming the employer isn't scrapping the plan.

I don't have much to add about the SS question itself -- I'll let the "been there, done thats" chime in there. But don't forget about the COBRA subsidy if he's laid off.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:25 AM   #3
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You will get 50% of his whatever his turns out to be. I would have him contact the SS admin (phone # in on Social Security Online - The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration) to verify the numbers. Remember that if he gets another, or retains, a job his "benefits" may be reduced (dependent on the amount earned) until his FRA (full retirement age). BTW if you call the SSA late in the week and late in the month you should get a faster connection.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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My husband's company has a "retiree medical Plan" that has been "grandfathered". Current quote is $1420/mo (couple). The cobra plan for 18 months is $1100/mo. There is some question as to if you take COBRA --- according to their policies --- then you will be ineligible for the pre-65 retiree medical plan after 18 months when your COBRA is exhausted. That would leave us without med. insurance for 6 months. It is really a "rip".

You have to start taking the retire med. plan immediately when you retire.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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My apologies to all. I am not sure how I managed the initial "double post".
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:23 PM   #6
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Molly,

You would receive 1/2 of his full retirement age amount and then it would be reduced by your age. You need to go to WWW.Socialsecurity.Gov and on the right hand side of the page, you will see Questions-go to benefits and click go and then on the next page go to number 11. It will explain the answer. In order to find out your amount, call or go to your local social security office and find out the specifics for your particular case. If possible, have your spouse there, so that he can give his permission.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Dreamer -

Thank you for that clarification. That was really to the point of my question. I am 2 months younger than my husband. I would wait 2 months before filing for SS to maximize my spousal benefit to a full 1/2 of his. This would result in my receiving a full 1/2 of his already reduced benefit.

It is the area of "reducing spousal benefits" that is confusing. But I think that I have it straight now. It would do me no good whatsoever to wait for my benefits beyond the age that my husband starts taking his.

Example: Husband takes full reduced benefit on is 63 birthday.

Wife takes spousal benefit on her 63 birthday. Wife gets approximately 1/2 of spouse's reduced benefit.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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It would do me no good whatsoever to wait for my benefits beyond the age that my husband starts taking his.
Molly, I'm not sure your statement is correct.

This area of SS benefit planning is very confusing. I would not make any decision until you have contacted SS by phone and posed your question to them. Then call again and ask a different SS rep the same question and hope you get the same answer.

Please let us know what they say.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:13 PM   #9
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This point is why I am retiring to the US. I am married to a UK lady and it is rather expensive to live here. Once she has lived in the US more than 5 years I believe she will be eligible for half my SS. We are hoping to retire in 2-3 years (I will be 54-55) so the time limit will be met fairly easily.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Molly, I'm not sure your statement is correct.

This area of SS benefit planning is very confusing. I would not make any decision until you have contacted SS by phone and posed your question to them. Then call again and ask a different SS rep the same question and hope you get the same answer.

Please let us know what they say.
REW...I agree w/ you that it is confusing. At first I was thinking that her benefit depended both on when her husband took his benefits early and when she did... so 2 derating factors for both taking early.....but upon re-reading the link that Dreamer provided, I think Dreamer's answer is correct ......that her benefit is based on her husband's FRA benefit (even if he took early benefits) and her own derating factor for taking early benefits.....so
her benefits would continue to increase if she waited till her own FRA.

Second the motion to get more than one answer too tho w/ the waits on the SS line, it's likely to be a little painful.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Molly, don't forget your husband can (and should) file for unemployment compensation if he's being laid off/job being cut--in Illinois I think the max payment is a little more than $700 every two weeks and right now I believe it's payable for a year. I don't think you can receive that and SS benefits, but consider that amount in your hypotheticals, as it would let you delay taking SS for another year.
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:54 PM   #12
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This point is why I am retiring to the US. I am married to a UK lady and it is rather expensive to live here. Once she has lived in the US more than 5 years I believe she will be eligible for half my SS. We are hoping to retire in 2-3 years (I will be 54-55) so the time limit will be met fairly easily.
Remember that if you have paid enough credits into the UK equivalent of SS that you will be entitled to UK SS and your DW will be entitled to 50% of whatever you are drawing.

Our SIL's mother is married to a man who worked in the UK for 19 years (2nd marriage for them both). He is 70 and is drawing his UK SS and this year when she turned 60 she started drawing her UK SS even though she has never worked in the UK and was not married to him at any time he was working in the UK.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:31 PM   #13
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Not for me, I work for the US govt as a school teacher. My wife just hasn't worked enough years,or at a high enough salary to get much in the UK system. Raised a family/got divorced from a pratt/who hasn't helped out etc. Only 12 years or so into her pension as a teaching assistant.....she thinks she will be lucky to get the equiv.of a couple thousand dollars a year.....especially with quiting early. The teachers she works with etc are making a good salary and if they work until full retirement will get a good pension.....we are just dealing with the cards we are dealt.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:54 PM   #14
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Not for me, I work for the US govt as a school teacher. My wife just hasn't worked enough years,or at a high enough salary to get much in the UK system. Raised a family/got divorced from a pratt/who hasn't helped out etc. Only 12 years or so into her pension as a teaching assistant.....she thinks she will be lucky to get the equiv.of a couple thousand dollars a year.....especially with quiting early. The teachers she works with etc are making a good salary and if they work until full retirement will get a good pension.....we are just dealing with the cards we are dealt.
I wasn't sure of your situation, but could see that you are located in Harrogate and have been there quite a few times. We both love Yorkshire and plan to spend a lot more time in that part of the world when we retire, but certainly agree with you that England is more expensive to live in than the USA.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:04 PM   #15
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Fairly simple choice for us.....we can retire in 2-3 more years at 54-55/ 52 or so for her and live cheaply in Spokane on maybe $40-45k a year......or work another 3 years or more on top of that and live here.....cheaply as well and she wouldn't get the SS. I have lived in the Uk for about 12 years over time....love it here. I used to live out by Pateley Bridge.....would retire there, just not willing to work longer.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:40 PM   #16
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Fairly simple choice for us.....we can retire in 2-3 more years at 54-55/ 52 or so for her and live cheaply in Spokane on maybe $40-45k a year......or work another 3 years or more on top of that and live here.....cheaply as well and she wouldn't get the SS. I have lived in the Uk for about 12 years over time....love it here. I used to live out by Pateley Bridge.....would retire there, just not willing to work longer.
DW and I lived in the Bradford area for 4 years during college and then for 6 years in Guisborough '79 - '85 and we had good friends in Harrogate. We are going to the UK for 3 weeks end of April, then for 6 weeks next year. In 2011 we plan on living there for 6 months (in Guisborough). Just got to be careful not to run foul of the residency rules. I already have one UK pension from an early employer plus I'll have a 2nd pension from another UK employer available next year plus UK SS at age 67. May decide to live there one day, who knows ....
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:53 PM   #17
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... I think Dreamer's answer is correct ......that her benefit is based on her husband's FRA benefit (even if he took early benefits) and her own derating factor for taking early benefits.....so
her benefits would continue to increase if she waited till her own FRA.
That's the way I see it as well but would want SS to confirm before I made any decision.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:37 PM   #18
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Has anyone figured this one out?
I was born in 1946, spouse in 1956.
If I wait till 70 to collect SS at 36,000 per year, does my wife get
18,000 per year when she reaches her full retirement age of 67?
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:10 PM   #19
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Has anyone figured this one out?
I was born in 1946, spouse in 1956.
If I wait till 70 to collect SS at 36,000 per year, does my wife get
18,000 per year when she reaches her full retirement age of 67?
Yes, but you should verify this with SSA (SSA.gov), but even then it will be 7 years from now, so a lot can change.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by theloneranger View Post
Has anyone figured this one out?
I was born in 1946, spouse in 1956.
If I wait till 70 to collect SS at 36,000 per year, does my wife get
18,000 per year when she reaches her full retirement age of 67?
didn't do any more work so don't rely on this but...... if, in OP, spouse was not penalized if primary worker drew SS early, it would seem fair that,
in this case, spouse would not be rewarded because primary worker drew SS
later than FRA when primary worker's SS would be enhanced above benefit at FRA. I would think that spouse would earn 50% of the FRA benefit, not the enhanced benefit, with possible derating/upgrade if she drew earlier/later than FRA.
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