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Old 12-29-2018, 06:14 AM   #21
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I'm sticking with my Investment Policy Statement. Regarding Social Security:
"We view SS as insurance. So, we plan to take Social Security at age 70 to insure against high inflation, poor portfolio returns and unexpected longevity".
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:40 AM   #22
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Not thinking about SS till I reach FRA. Goal is 70 but I am open to taking any time after FRA if that makes sense.

If this is a bear market, then it's got a long way to go (down) still.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:15 AM   #23
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SS has not been factored into my retirement plan. However, it is one of my two SHTF emergency sources of funds in case a true black swan event comes along. I hope to never really have to pull those levers. Otherwise, as stated above, I consider it to be my longevity insurance...
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:30 AM   #24
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No change for me. Still taking SS in 10/18 at age 62.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:34 AM   #25
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SS has not been factored into my retirement plan. However, it is one of my two SHTF emergency sources of funds in case a true black swan event comes along. I hope to never really have to pull those levers. Otherwise, as stated above, I consider it to be my longevity insurance...
+1

So far, if this is a bear market, the bear has not been that ferocious. But, it could still be hiding in the bushes, watching, and waiting to come after us as we wander down the trails of the Investment Forest.

Starting SS earlier than planned may the the bear spray that keeps it from taking a big chunk out of me. Time will tell.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:36 AM   #26
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No change for me. Still taking SS in 10/18 at age 62.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:46 AM   #27
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This is not a dire drop in the stock market. So our plans are to still wait on SS.

However, we will buy that calculating software to double check out plans as to timing the collection.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:19 PM   #28
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I took it at 62, knowing full well a bear market in one or both classes of paper assets could happen at any time. I also figured real estate prices and rents would decline at some point and vacancy would go up.

Since early 2016, when the first deposit arrived, I have paid off a number of mortgages using the Social Security money as part of the funds to accomplish that.

If we have a bear market in equities, the only thing I am likely to do is to cut the distributions from the inherited IRA. I had been taking more than the minimum to smooth out taxes and reduce the taxable income when I turn 70 and have to start taking my own IRA distributions. Paying off mortgages increased my income and reduced my leverage risk so I'm fine with a multi year bear market and a severe recession. I would not change my decision to take Social Security at 62 at this point even if I could.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:53 AM   #29
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The market isn't factoring into my decision, but I plan now to take SS next year at age 65 rather than waiting until 70. DW, whose SS benefit approximately equals mine, reaches FRA in eight months, and we plan on collecting her spousal benefit at that time in addition to my monthly check (she'll wait until 70 to collect her full benefit).
The Open Social Security table shows that strategy to be advantageous until a break-even point sometime in our 90s.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:14 AM   #30
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Personally I think another test of the lows, maybe around S&P500 2100, is reasonably likely before this bear market is done. But that still doesn’t factor into my current investing actions. I’ll just rebalance again if my equities get low enough again and do a bit more tax loss harvesting.

SS - still waiting for 70.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:59 PM   #31
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We've always planned to take SS at 62 and have a low allocation to stocks so no change for us.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:42 PM   #32
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Managing income for ACA purposes, plus lump sum pension at 65, so minimum right now is 66, perhaps until 70.
Spend down of portfolio vs. SS always a doozy of a decision.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:47 PM   #33
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Absolutely. The beer market needs to be propped up & me taking SS sooner will aid that.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:29 PM   #34
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One reason we’re waiting for 70 is we are trying to realize some gains before drawing SS will push all cap gains income to 15%. Also potentially do some Roth conversions once cap gains are sorted out.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:56 PM   #35
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In 2019, I will turn 62 and DH will turn 66, his FRA. Each SS analyzer we've run tells us that I should begin mine at 62, and he should take my spousal benefit at 66. We'll let his percolate until he's 70.

This has been our plan for years, but I'm especially glad to have it starting in 2019. Not having some $$$ magically appear in our checking account after all these years of auto-deposit paychecks has made me a little queasy. And in light of the market gyrations, it will be even more comforting. Whatever helps you sleep...
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:28 PM   #36
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Not thinking about SS till I reach FRA. Goal is 70 but I am open to taking any time after FRA
+1

We'll see how solvent SS is/what % of promised benefits it's paying out, what my health looks like, and whether the sequence of returns were in my favor or not from retirement to FRA.

Too many variables and too long of a horizon for me to decide now at 52...a lot can happen in 15 years!
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:06 PM   #37
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We turned 62 last year, but have no plans to take SS until FRA at 66 and 4 months. We have enough cash, CDs, dividends and a small pension to hold us over if things go south.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:30 PM   #38
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As I approach 62 this year and have been retired since 2015 I am very intrigued about the debate of early/late SS benefits. I have come to a conclusion that certain retirees have been able to accumulate enough cash to delay pulling SS early and bravo to them.

My wife and I both reached mid-management levels later in our careers and after paying college expenses maximized our 401K and IRA contributions to minimize our taxes so 95% of our funds are in taxable accounts, which present a set of challenges. For example our AGI is about $130K to support $100K in spending and that pushes us way past ACA limits so we are paying almost $17K for a high deductible plan this year. (It was only $8400 4 years ago so it has been a pain). So with a pension of about $50K and then combined early SS of close to that for both of us in the next and following year the need to "tap" our retirement accounts nearly disappears. Therefore bear market or not we plan to dip early into the federal coffers to stem the taxable withdrawals.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:23 PM   #39
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As I approach 62 this year and have been retired since 2015 I am very intrigued about the debate of early/late SS benefits. I have come to a conclusion that certain retirees have been able to accumulate enough cash to delay pulling SS early and bravo to them. ...

So with a pension of about $50K and then combined early SS of close to that for both of us in the next and following year the need to "tap" our retirement accounts nearly disappears. Therefore bear market or not we plan to dip early into the federal coffers to stem the taxable withdrawals.
You have an answer, but what was the question?

I could also arrange our finances to manage from early SS + pension, but I can live much better by using our savings. Why wouldn't I tap into them at some conservative rate?

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Like quite a few have posted, taking SS early is an option in my thinking--but only after a sustained downturn after I burn through more than 3 years of cash and to avoid selling stocks after a sustained long-term downturn of 3 years or more. ...
I've mentioned this multiple times before - it isn't just cash. If you have a somewhat conservative AA, say 60/40, you are probably getting ~ 2.5 % in dividends. If you have a somewhat conservative WR, say 3.5%, you only need to draw ~ 1% from your portfolio on average. Using simplistic math (but close enough to make the point), you could draw from fixed for 40 years before you need to sell stocks. Yes, a more detailed analysis would not be that good because the portfolio would be shrinking, but it gets the point across - dividends plus fixed income means no selling of stocks for a long time, not just a few years. Even with zero cash.


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No change for me. Still taking SS in 10/18 at age 62.
Double - I had to check the post date. I'm confused.


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Absolutely. The beer market needs to be propped up & me taking SS sooner will aid that.
No!!!! The beer market is already too high. I'm tired of paying $10 for a six or four pack of something interesting. My home brew helps offset that, but I like to sample what is out there.

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Old 01-04-2019, 11:20 PM   #40
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As I mentioned in the next paragraph of my original post, part of the complication is that DW is almost 5 years younger than I and it will be close to 5 years before I can draw from her half of the portfolio/401k.
So it ain't quite as simple as you state, although I'm fairly confident I can run out the string to FRA without taking SS early. But it is an option, if necessary. If so, we'd probably wait to draw her SS until she is 68-70 since I then will be able to draw dividends and cash from her 401k.



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You have an answer, but what was the question?

I've mentioned this multiple times before - it isn't just cash. If you have a somewhat conservative AA, say 60/40, you are probably getting ~ 2.5 % in dividends. If you have a somewhat conservative WR, say 3.5%, you only need to draw ~ 1% from your portfolio on average. Using simplistic math (but close enough to make the point), you could draw from fixed for 40 years before you need to sell stocks. Yes, a more detailed analysis would not be that good because the portfolio would be shrinking, but it gets the point across - dividends plus fixed income means no selling of stocks for a long time, not just a few years. Even with zero cash.


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