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Old 10-25-2017, 07:00 AM   #81
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The program started by saying that in 1917 George V started a tradition of sending a card to everyone on their 100th birthday. That year he sent 24 cards. So far this year (October) the Queen has sent over 6,000.
My Great Grandfather received a letter from the president of the US when he turned 100 (back in the mid 60's). Not sure if they still do that but I'm sure I won't live long enough to find out.

I wonder how they start the letter? Greetings , congratulations, or condolences.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:39 AM   #82
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Need another strategy

If the difference between taking SS at 62 and 70 is the deciding factor on when to clock out, then I'm not FI enough to RE.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:44 AM   #83
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If the difference between taking SS at 62 and 70 is the deciding factor on when to clock out, then I'm not FI enough to RE.
Exactly. Or most of any of the other concerns I see. In the end, I was probably the last one to jump off the rate race wheel due to being too cautious. Many people jump way too early.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:52 AM   #84
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Error in your % of change, it's actually (35.94%).
Yup, fat fingered a number in excel...

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You did find an absolute period to period drop, However that wasn't a sustained drop of over 25% for that 5 year period.

Also, the drop on 3/5/09 was really short lived as well, recovering back to the 3/5/04 level in Nov 2009. It's all about timing in the market for sure.
The question was "when was the last 25% drop over five years?"....

I would retire today if I KNEW the stock market was going to average 7% over the next 10 years. But if it was going to be down 25% five years from now I wouldn't.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:52 AM   #85
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Many people jump way too early.
Is this true? from reading these forums, it seems that upon post evaluation, most here feel that they could have jumped sooner. Or, maybe it's not fair to use just the folks on this forum as an accurate sample of the ER population, in general?
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:04 AM   #86
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Is this true? from reading these forums, it seems that upon post evaluation, most here feel that they could have jumped sooner. Or, maybe it's not fair to use just the folks on this forum as an accurate sample of the ER population, in general?
You are right, most including myself, could have jumped sooner. But things have done well over the past few years, so even if they made a mistake, the stock market covered it up for them.

When I quit, there was no doubt in my mind it would work.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:19 AM   #87
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Yup, fat fingered a number in excel...

The question was "when was the last 25% drop over five years?"....

I would retire today if I KNEW the stock market was going to average 7% over the next 10 years. But if it was going to be down 25% five years from now I wouldn't.
I'd only be concerned if it was have an extended drop over the 5 year period, not a momentary dip as was the case. As I mentioned already, within about 7 months after that significant dip the market was back to 2004 levels and we've seen where it's gone from there.

With a 4% withdrawal rate I'd still be able to weather the storm if the market truly sagged for 5 years, especially if I also knew it would have the run it's had since then.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:21 AM   #88
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The only thing that is for certain.... there is no one right answer to when someone should take SS benefits.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:23 AM   #89
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The only thing that is for certain.... there is no one right answer to when someone should take SS benefits.
True, but when the Dr. gives you bad news, you better sign up quick...
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:33 AM   #90
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True, but when the Dr. gives you bad news, you better sign up quick...
So I guess another thing for certain, what's right today may not be the right decision tomorrow.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:33 AM   #91
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Collecting a 62 may have been the best option for the OP but the OP's analysis has some flaws in it.

First, the OP had no choice since he had insufficient retirement savings to stop working at 62 without drawing SS prior to FRA.

Second, and post importantly, the period that the OP has collected has had great investment returns and as a result have skewed his analysis.

Third, it is unclear if the OP is single or married. If single then the outcome is less sensitive to the decision, but if married and spouse benefit is a lot different, then it makes a big deal in the analysis and one needs to look at joint mortality in evaluating the decision.

P.S. OP is "gone traveling" after 2 posts... that must be close to a record!
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:35 AM   #92
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I am with ya. I'm treating SS like a fire extinguisher on the wall. If the market makes a SERIOUS retreat, I'll pull it off the wall and squeeze. Right now, I'm waiting.
+1 DW turned 62 this year and I am next month.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:45 AM   #93
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An intangible benefit to the OP's strategy is that the risk of a future haircut is diminished. (This assumes current retirees will be somewhat less likely to get reduced benefits at the time of the haircut as opposed to future retirees.....not sure if that's true, but it will be a hard sell to not grandfather in everyone already in the game IMO.)
I disagree with your premise that current and future beneficiaries will be treated differently... if that is the case then everyone that is eligible will just start benefits just prior to the change.

If nothing is done and haricuts ae needed in the future, I suspect that both current and future beneficiaries will be haircut... but in any event, by the time that happens I'll be collecting my age 70 benefit that is 130% of my FRA benefit... so if the haircut is 25% it just reduces my benefit down to my FRA benefit and I'm still 30% ahead of where I would have been.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:59 AM   #94
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If the difference between taking SS at 62 and 70 is the deciding factor on when to clock out, then I'm not FI enough to RE.
Yep. Especially since that for most folks, the difference at the end will likely be inconsequential.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:02 AM   #95
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Yes - it was the right decision for the OP given his circumstances and the date. It may have been a very different result if that was October 2007.

Why is there this rush to claim the "best" generally when it is so obvious that "it depends"? I see it in headlines all the time.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:04 AM   #96
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My Great Grandfather received a letter from the president of the US when he turned 100 (back in the mid 60's). Not sure if they still do that but I'm sure I won't live long enough to find out.

I wonder how they start the letter? Greetings , congratulations, or condolences.
That would be a nice family heirloom to have around. None of my family or my wife's have lived to a 100. There have been a few made it well into their 90's, the oldest being a great aunt who made it to 98.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:05 AM   #97
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I'd only be concerned if it was have an extended drop over the 5 year period, not a momentary dip as was the case. As I mentioned already, within about 7 months after that significant dip the market was back to 2004 levels and we've seen where it's gone from there.

With a 4% withdrawal rate I'd still be able to weather the storm if the market truly sagged for 5 years, especially if I also knew it would have the run it's had since then.
Agree 100%! Can you let me know if the US stock market will drop 50% in 2018 and then a flat return for the next 15 years, similar to the Japanese Nikkei 225 did from 2000 on?

I agree that in hindsight, if I was in the same place I am now in 2007 I would be fine, but a big drop in 2018 and then stagnant returns could cause a problem.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:14 AM   #98
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Why is there this rush to claim the "best" generally when it is so obvious that "it depends"? I see it in headlines all the time.
Claiming their way is the "best way" despite varying personal circumstances or insisting on having the last word is baked into the personalities of many on this board. With discussions on subjects such as "when to take SS" and "pay off the mortgage or not," it's best to keep this in mind, sort through the misstatements and inaccuracies and try to just take away that which applies to yourself.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:22 AM   #99
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I disagree with your premise that current and future beneficiaries will be treated differently... if that is the case then everyone that is eligible will just start benefits just prior to the change.

If nothing is done and haricuts ae needed in the future, I suspect that both current and future beneficiaries will be haircut... but in any event, by the time that happens I'll be collecting my age 70 benefit that is 130% of my FRA benefit... so if the haircut is 25% it just reduces my benefit down to my FRA benefit and I'm still 30% ahead of where I would have been.
It seems to me if they cut benefits even for those already eligible, you'd have been better off starting at 62, since once they cut benefits for all it'll be harder to reach the crossover point. The worst case is if they make the cut when you are 70, because you'd have had 8 years of uncut benefits if you'd have taken at 62. Your benefits are cut in both cases, but the difference between the two amounts is less, so doesn't it take longer to reach the crossover? On my personal spreadsheet, which makes some estimates on the annual SS inflation increase and the alternate return on investments (on money I wouldn't be taking out if I was collecting SS at 62), my crossover moves from 83 to 90. I'm not 100% sure of the accuracy and as I get closer to 62 I'm going to be looking at this more critically, but it's clear to me if you have a gap to close starting at 70, it's going to be harder when the benefit numbers are reduced.

If the change comes while you are just 62 or a bit older, you wouldn't have had that much time with the uncut benefit. And if it comes well after you're 70, you've already gone a long way to closing the gap or may even be past the crossover. So a change that happens at 70 is the very worst case.

I think if/when SS changes start being seriously discussed, it's going to be important to try to gauge whether people who have reached 62 will be grandfathered in, whether they've started collecting or not. If they grandfather everyone 62 and older in with the old benefit plan, it's not an issue, you just make the decision based on your factors of health, longevity, and other personal situations. Unfortunately, someone age 62 right now doesn't know whether they're grandfathered in, and probably nobody else will know that when they hit 62 either.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:39 AM   #100
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I think if/when SS changes start being seriously discussed, it's going to be important to try to gauge whether people who have reached 62 will be grandfathered in, whether they've started collecting or not.
My own opinion is that the cuts will be means tested in some way or another. Perhaps it will be similar to the method currently used to have folks with higher incomes pay much more for their Medicare Part B than folks with lower incomes.

It won't matter what age you are or if you've already started SS or not. Your cut will depend on your other income.
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