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Deferring SS
Old 05-15-2020, 08:32 AM   #1
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Deferring SS

I deferred taking SS until almost 69 and that was two years ago. I decided that my longevity based on family history is not that good, and was also concerned about SS's ability to payout 100% in the early 2030s becoming an issue. Therefore, I decided to get as much as I could without further delay. Given Covid's impact on federal debt and SS running out of money in the next decade or so, I am curious if anyone is revising their decision on whether to still take SS at 70 or move to an earlier age to collect?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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Not so far, but I'm only 60.9 anyway.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:56 AM   #3
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We thought about it but I have one year to FRA and my wife has 2. we are currently 65/64 and we have enough cash on hand to sustain us till then. We are staying with our plan.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:01 AM   #4
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DH/me will be 63 this year. We may reconsider when we're 65 and the pension kicks in. Our spending is drastically reduced. It depends where we are in terms of safe travel, family and friend gatherings and getting out into society to spend more. My thoughts are if we don't need it, why hurry, other than to set aside for our heirs? That's something to consider. Before Covid hit, our plans were to wait until 70.

I feel confident about the pension. It's from a large food industry megacorp and they are doing very well. I may recalculate firecalc.com without SS and play with less in the portfolio to see where we land. We will not take distributions from the portfolio until 66 or 67 yr. old.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:04 AM   #5
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It is very hard to speculate on where SS is going. I read that because of the mounting debt, there was/is an "Eagle Plan" being circulated, it proposes buying off SS recipients with a lump sum (I read ~$10k) in exchange for something, perhaps lower distributions. Again all this is just speculation for now, but worrisome none the less.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:05 AM   #6
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I never intended to go out to 70. My family health history is not on my side, although as of now (age 61) I have fared better than both of my parents. My father died at age 56, and my mother had a life-altering stroke at age 56. You can imagine what I was thinking when I turned 56.

My plan was to start SS at 65. I figured since I would be starting Medicare at that time, might as well start SS also. Not sure if I will bump that up to 62. I've run the numbers, and there isn't a great deal of difference for us whether I take it at 62, 70, or somewhere in between.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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Still planning for the higher income earner to take it at 70.
The lower income earner to take at full retirement age or maybe 70 - have to re-run numbers again then.

SS will not run out of money.
It at worst will be reduced to 80% along with many Congress individuals.

However, if the economy tanks to Great Depression levels, might take it early to stretch out stock holdings.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:10 AM   #8
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Not there yet, but getting closer by the day. This drop in market has caused me to look at the numbers and market when I can draw. If economy is still stalled and just beginning to pick up I'll look at details and see if may be better to let money sit in market for gains and get sure thing with monthly benefits before the administration at that time decides social security fund needs to be stolen from and benefits reduced in future.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #9
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I was going to <try> talk my wife into delaying her's when she hits minimum age next year.
Now I'm thinking taking it as soon as eligible.
IF inflation kicks off, and IF the COLAs stay in (and a lot of other IFs) it'll be sucking every $ out of the system while still possible. IF not, I can chose my own delay on my much larger (projected) SS 2 years later.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:21 AM   #10
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I would posit that if Congress does nothing to shore up SS than that is indicative of substantially broader problems. In that case, SS will be the least of my worries. Starting with what are the implications for Medicare.

So to answer the specific question of OP our decision on when to activate SS will be solely based upon our own specific decision points and NOT that future payments are likely to be lowered. And in that regard, playing the ACA subsidy game has been the determining factor...
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
... Given Covid's impact on federal debt and SS running out of money in the next decade or so, I am curious if anyone is revising their decision on whether to still take SS at 70 or move to an earlier age to collect?
Still planning to wait until 70... good genes in family (DM turning 90 this year). Will monitor. DW just turned 65 and plan to wait until 66/2 FRA next year.

I'm thinking 70 but may start at 66/2 FRA as well.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:26 AM   #12
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DW has no SS benefit, so we both started at her FRA (I was 62). For us, it was never about getting the most. When I turned 60, a couple of modest pensions kicked in. With those, and a planned IRA high burn rate (for ~2 years), I retired in 2017. The stock market was very kind to us, and those 2 years ended with basically the same IRA $$ as when I retired. Regardless of who dies first, the survivor will be comfortable (not wealthy). If I make it to 75-ish, my larger, COLA'd will increase by 40%. That could be a nice pay raise. Worst case, it will negate any potential SS haircuts that will occur around the same time.

I'm in the camp that there is no "right answer." It's just a very important and very personal decision. For us, it was about buying my freedom a few years early and allow both of us to have some quality time while health permits. June will be the 3rd anniversary of a very, very sweet ride. :-)

Best.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:29 AM   #13
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I get survivors benefits, so as long as I can live on that and other income sources I will wait until I turn 70 (4 years away) to switch over to my own, higher, benefit.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:30 AM   #14
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I stay curious about all financial factors, and still feel it is better to maximize the SS number for my spouse by waiting until 70. I'll look again at the end of 2020 and go from there.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:42 AM   #15
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So far, despite the current economic issues, my plan is working. Part of that plan is taking SS at 70. That was/is to compensate for taking my pension early. So far it's working even in this time of financial distress. If my stock investments decide to wallow for years in a CV19 induced bear market, the extra SS dollars will be very welcome.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:43 AM   #16
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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?
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
My thoughts are if we don't need it, why hurry, other than to set aside for our heirs? That's something to consider. Before Covid hit, our plans were to wait until 70.
I didn't need it either, but just wanted to get would I could out of government while the getting is still good. It's a crap shoot, but you have to place your bets on what makes sense.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:06 AM   #18
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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?
Not here.
In fact it's a bit low for me, spouse is also not near the max. But we both did work, just first bunch of years the earnings were not great.
And we did early retire so missed out on about 7 more years of earnings at our highest rates.

This type of question really needs a poll to see the distribution.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:20 AM   #19
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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?
Nope, I only have 24 years worth, since I worked for the government (DoD) for 10 years. And a fair number of those 24 were below the tax threshold.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:25 AM   #20
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I took my SS at age 70. I will be 72 next month.

I *planned* to take it in my early to mid 60's, but played it by ear. Things were looking good with the market booming, a moderate inheritance, and other unpredictably fortunate events. So, I just delayed applying, month by month, through my 60's. I would have taken it in a heartbeat if things hadn't been going so well.

Anyway, age 70 SS has been wonderful to have. It's nice to have that solid, reliable income hitting my checking account like clockwork each month. This income is especially welcome now that I am getting to be so old that finding work, if needed, would probably be harder for me than it once was; seniors aren't even hired as "Welcome to Walmart!" greeters any more.

Personally I don't happen to believe for a minute that anything will happen to reduce the SS of those presently receiving it. They might increase the age at which you can get the full amount, or increase paycheck deductions, or something like that, but I don't think those already getting it are in much peril (as long as inflation is kept in check). Bear in mind that I am no expert.
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