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Old 05-16-2020, 09:10 PM   #61
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Am I to assume that most on this forum are at or near the maximum benefit allowed under Social Security? 35 years of work history plus a salary for each working year at or above the threshold for SS taxes would be needed. I suspect some here would qualify (including those who appear to have won the game many times over), but how many who were truly early retirees?
For me, it depends on how you define "early" <grin>. I started working at Megacorp at age 21, worked for 39 years, maxed out SS for 35 of those years, and retired at 60. I evaluate whether or not to take SS on a yearly basis. I am 62 now, my current earliest target is 64. At that age my pension plus my SS and spousal SS benefit will result in a 0% SWR for our generous expense plan.

I am not sure about waiting to 70. my older brothers and sister (5, 8 and 9 years older than me) are my "canaries in a coal mine" to see how their health goes (and all are in good health now now). Two took at their FRA, one will take later this year when he turns 70.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:52 PM   #62
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No, I am still planning to collect starting at age 62 in a few months. I don't need it but the family history math says take it.

Just applied online last week. Took less than 5 minutes. Not quite maximum - 27 years maxed, plus a few partial years, retired at 48.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:35 AM   #63
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Dh is eligible to start SS this October at 62. Thatís been the plan. I do not get SS and wonít get a survivor benefit. Since dh is 4 years older than me, it seemed to make sense to take it early.

However, Iím still working and weíve discovered my salary and his pension is enough to make things work out just fine, especially since all our travels have been cancelled. Iím socking away money for future trips. So we may delay him taking it for a year or two.

I work in education and planned on working 2-3 more years. But with Covid, that may change. And if that changes, our plans for SS may change yet again.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #64
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The plan, such as it was, was to wait at least until FRA (still about 3 years away). My inclination was to wait until 70. Now the inclination has moved the other way.
Just have to wait and gauge feelings in a few years.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:49 AM   #65
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However, I’m still working and we’ve discovered my salary and his pension is enough to make things work out just fine, especially since all our travels have been cancelled. I’m socking away money for future trips. So we may delay him taking it for a year or two.
So much of our budget was for travel and restaurants, that our spending has been well below budget. We've made two unplanned transfers to savings since March, and have set up automated transfers through October.

On the original question: My spouse will take at 62, I'm postponing until 65 and will reconsider then.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:49 AM   #66
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Sure is interesting the change of thinking from just a year ago. Waiting till 70 isn't all what it is cracked up to be is the picture I'm seeing.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:57 AM   #67
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Most of our SS was paying for our fun travel budget, which is extremely low this year for obvious reasons.

So most of the surplus has been diverted to charitable giving. The local food bank is a big one, and so many other places. We would have spent it all anyway, so it's only right that it go to others who need it. Plus it makes me feel good.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:06 PM   #68
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Sure is interesting the change of thinking from just a year ago. Waiting till 70 isn't all what it is cracked up to be is the picture I'm seeing.
I don't see much change in thinking, before some folks were living off the increasing dividends, and rising stock prices, year after year.

Now that those are reduced, they are considering other ways to get money.

If I was renting grazing land and suddenly nobody was renting it since they had killed off their herds, would I want to sell the land cheap (since grazing is no longer viable) or look to other sources of income until things return to normal ?

I'll bet folks did get used to the 10 year bull market, so the plan B, seemed pretty remote and faded from thought. It's my plan B, but I'll hold off until things get REALLY bad.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:45 PM   #69
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My plan has been to take SS at FRA. (I turn 64 this week, so 28 months from now). My main reason to wait for FRA was to keep selling real estate and not get penalized for to much income. If the RE business goes to crap then I might revise my plan.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:43 PM   #70
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I plan to start SS at 65. (Born Aug, 1958)

DW (5 years younger than me) will start hers at 62 and will change over to spousal at 67.

I am flexible and can start SS earlier if needed.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:19 PM   #71
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I guess you can start getting SS early if the market takes a huge downturn, but if the market gets better, you can stop the SS and restart it much later? Is that even possible? I'm not planning to take my SS until my full retirement age, but I was just wondering...
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:58 AM   #72
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I guess you can start getting SS early if the market takes a huge downturn, but if the market gets better, you can stop the SS and restart it much later? Is that even possible? I'm not planning to take my SS until my full retirement age, but I was just wondering...
Yes, but you can suspend only after you reach full retirement age.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:33 PM   #73
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I have not run the numbers yet because I am only 50 and my wife is 45. My thoughts are to take it as early as I can and invest it etc. I do not have great odds of longevity, although most in my family live lengthy lives. I need to lose a substantial amount of weight to make that happen. My wife is in great health but both of her parents passed of cancer prior to 70. Until I run the math to see different, I imagine we will try to collect early and often, as opposed to waiting.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:47 PM   #74
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I have not run the numbers yet because I am only 50 and my wife is 45. My thoughts are to take it as early as I can and invest it etc. I do not have great odds of longevity, although most in my family live lengthy lives. I need to lose a substantial amount of weight to make that happen. My wife is in great health but both of her parents passed of cancer prior to 70. Until I run the math to see different, I imagine we will try to collect early and often, as opposed to waiting.
If you have enough assets to defer SS, the tax benefit of doing so, coupled with incresed earnings, may outweigh your desire to take it early.

One reason to defer to 70 if you have enough other assets is that you can spend distributions from tax-deferred accounts between 59.5 and RMD age, without paying taxes on SS. Filing MFJ, 85% of SS is taxable if your Provisional Income is >$44K.

My plan is to spend taxable gains through 59.5, then maximize tax-deferred distributions prior to 70. That way, when SS kicks in, I will have minimized my tax bill throughout my retirement, if no major changes to the tax code don't force changes to the strategy. I'll enjoy 8 years of lower taxes (nearly no Federal taxes), while minimizing future tax liabilities.
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Holding steady
Old 05-19-2020, 04:15 PM   #75
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Holding steady

Iím 67, and currently taking a spousal benefit as my wife started soc sec age 66, two years ago. I retired at 58, and have managed just fine. I started collecting a state pension at 60, and we have several ret accounts that we are not even tapping yet. Our current income - state pension, a deferred comp account and some TIAA-CREF accounts ó brings in about 10-11k per month with fixed costs ranging about 4K per month. I was traveling about two months per year but I suspect that this will be reduced significantly, thanks to the virus.. hence lower overall costs. But I will wait to 70 to collect my full soc sec ó last time I checked, my benefit would increase from about $2300 per month to about $3200. Yes something may happen to soc sec around 2035, but I will take my chances....
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:27 PM   #76
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I'm 70 and its nice to get that money every month. My retirement age was 63 and we had enough savings and retirement accounts to do okay. I did cash in some assets to help cash flow from 63 to 70 but I have a wife who is 5 years younger and I think one of us may live quite a while. In any event, I don't worry at all about SS running out of money. We seniors would vote somebody in who would figure out to restore SS. We are a pretty big voting block!
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:45 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Born2Fish View Post
I plan to start SS at 65. (Born Aug, 1958)

DW (5 years younger than me) will start hers at 62 and will change over to spousal at 67.

I am flexible and can start SS earlier if needed.
FYI

The rules have changed for people born after 1954. When your DW claims, she will get the higher of her benefit or the spousal benefit. We are no longer allowed to claim one and not the other.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:45 PM   #78
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No change for me - still set to go at FRA, not sure where else you can get an 8% increase every year and god willing the health is still there. 65 in August but timing almost perfect that my FRA and wife 62.5 happen same month so she will take early and I will take FRA draw and our income will stay the same as before she retires
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:56 PM   #79
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I started taking mine at about 62 and 8 mos of age.

We have our money saved and I don't trust the government as far as I can throw them, so every payment that makes it to the bank, I figure that I am that much better off.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:01 PM   #80
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I have a few friends who are pretty well off. They said I was crazy not to take SS at 62
Just ran my numbers again for S&Grins.

Basically it boils down to playing the odds. According to SS I have an expected average life expectancy of 76.5 years. If I make it to 65 they expect me to kick the bucket at 78.5. If I run my numbers assuming I live beyond average to age 80 (since I've always been and always will be above average). I come up with the following payouts:

$367,416 starting at 62
$374,040 starting at age 65
$374,088 Starting at age 70

So given those numbers it doesn't matter 1 bit when I start collecting if I'm only going to live to age 80. What will make a difference is if I manage to kick the working can down the road another 9 years from now, which has a lower probability then SS going broke.
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