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Old 12-12-2019, 07:14 AM   #61
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What if DH demise is before pension kicks in:

Pension begins at 65 (Private pension, does not affect SS)

SS at 66.5

We're both 62, DH demise 63 (god forbid, but since we're on the topic)

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:14 AM   #62
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Good discussion everyone. Hopefully people realize that survivor plans should be part of every retirement plan.

For us, we will likely opt for 50% survivor benefit on my wife's middle-ish (only 16 years) school teacher pension - if she ever retires. That cut plus loss of her even smaller SS is doable if I am the survivor.

On the other side, GPO/WEP adjustment to SS survivor benefits based on my account take a big bite if I file early, so I plan to file at age 70 and it will make the adjustment less. At that point, her GPO/WEP reduction of survivor benefits is about the same as the reductions I would face with her demise.

Weak part of the plan is if I die before age 70 and the survivor benefits don't grow that 8% per year between age 66.5 and 70. But if I die early there should be more in the portfolio as I would not have had the time to blow as much of the dough. She should be fine, but I think I'll shoot to make 70 anyway.

ER'd 6/5/2015 at age 58. DW targets R in June of a future year.
Planned WR before my SS (2021-2026) is 5-6%, then start SS and 4% WR at age 70 (2027)
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:27 AM   #63
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One of the best things you can leave the survivor is printed instructions about who to call and the numbers .Plus where all the investments are and the phone numbers .When a spouse dies the most clear headed person gets a little scatter brained .
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:52 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
One of the best things you can leave the survivor is printed instructions about who to call and the numbers .Plus where all the investments are and the phone numbers .When a spouse dies the most clear headed person gets a little scatter brained .
I agree. I have a diatribe printed out that starts with Iím dead, now what? It outlines where all the money is and life insurance and RSUs and what not. It also gives her the phone number to our Fidelity advisor. I donít use him but maybe I should get him involved so he can advise my wife better when I die.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:27 PM   #65
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Now that the smoke cleared

I felt gas won't change, because we don't go driving around much, and when we do it's together, or to get groceries or some other essential. No driving for fun!

So if one of us is dead, the gas usage will remain pretty much the same.

I can see for folks who go driving for fun by themselves, or drive to visit their own friend/interest by themselves, that driving won't be done by the surviving spouse.

I only referenced gas in my post earlier, and as others point out, if you have 2 cars, you will save by having 1. This assumes a survivor will want only 1 car.

My neighbor a survivor has 2 cars and 2 motorcycles, years after his wife died, so it doesn't always apply.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:25 AM   #66
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I just ran another scenario with Roth conversions. If I do 100% conversions to the top of the 12%/15% bracket until age 70, my DW is MUCH better off than if I don't do any conversions. The taxes later on as a single really kill her. The conversions+SS+pension push her well into the 25% tax bracket and her SS is 85% taxable (vs. 47% if we do conversions).

So, do those Roth conversions early and often!
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:29 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Totally wrong IMO.

We have two cars... frequently headed in different directions doing different things, and sometimes traveling together... but in any event, if only one then our ~25k miles a year would likely be ~15k... so that is substantial savings in gas, repairs, tires, brake pads, car replacements, etc.

Food will be less too... certainly not 1/2 of current, but still substantial savings.

8lbs of chicken cost the same as 3lbs.... not sure what you're smoking but I might like some.
Just returned from the grocery store.
Chicken legs are 99Ę lb for the family pack, $1.59 for the small pack. It's just me but I buy the large pack and freeze them.
Milk is $2.50 gal and $1.79 for a half gallon. Even the half will have some tossed out.
Even things like potatoes and onions the single item is much more expensive than the large bag.
It's not half, but it's not negligible either.
Travel costs certainly doesn't drop to half. Hotel and car expenses are the same.
Taxes are crazy as a single.
My expenses are probably around 75% of what they would be if DW was still alive. Lifestyle changes are so huge it's impossible to accurately compare.
Largest savings were healthcare and eating out. Fine dining was not fun alone, DGF now picks up the check often.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:34 PM   #68
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Not sure why car costs are not half assuming you go from 2 cars to 1. When my husband goes out of town for a month my grocery costs are half.
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Old 12-17-2019, 04:40 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by corn18 View Post
So, I have my retirement model all set up in excel and did a bunch of what ifs. Basically, as long as I slid into SS @ age 70 with $1, pretty much anything I did would work. SS+COLA pension covers all my expenses with a little room to spare.

I took that info and started running retirement date scenarios. Turns out I can retire @ 55 (2021) if I VPW to zero dollars @ age 71. That sure gives me a lot of money to blow in 15 years. YES!!!!

But then I got to thinking about what happens if I die. My SS benefit is greatly reduced (she has no SS). My pension goes to 55%. And then there are taxes. Hmmm, let's plug all that in:

Sorry hon, it was a good ride. If she dies first, no problem. If I die first, YIKES!!!

I do have laddered term life policies out to age 78, but inflation eats them up pretty bad.

So, now to think about how to break this to my wife. Or what to do to fix that "you go broke, but I'm dead so what do I care" chart.


Turns out I will need to work longer and save more to prevent survivor poverty. I did reduce her spending by 20% vs. both of us, but even that didn't get her to 100. That sucks. Glad I looked, because I was making big plans for retiring in a little over a year and spending like a madman.
So what happens if you take social security early and invest it, creating a nest egg that will produce money in the event of your death. It will reduce her long term benefit of SS but will improve the upfront nest egg?
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:37 PM   #70
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When do/did you start your Roth conversions?

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