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View Poll Results: When Did You or Are Planning to start Soc Sec?
Age 62, as early as possible 103 22.25%
More than 62 but less than FRA 41 8.86%
Your FRA (65 to 67) 71 15.33%
More than FRA age but less than 70 40 8.64%
Age 70, as late as possible 208 44.92%
Voters: 463. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2021, 02:22 AM   #41
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Current plan is 69 for me (FRA is 67) and 62 for my wife. My benefit is much larger and I am 2 years older so I am concerned with the survivorship benefit.
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Old 03-19-2021, 03:03 AM   #42
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DW took hers at 62 as she’s concerned about her family history with regards to longevity (one of the few times I can insist she’s wrong and get away with it). I plan to wait as long as possible since my family history is the opposite, but mainly because we don’t need the money in the near term. I think of my SS as my LTC insurance and an ace in the hole for our later years. We both made about the same amount of money while working so survivor benefits aren’t a factor.
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:23 AM   #43
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DW took hers at 62 as she’s concerned about her family history with regards to longevity (one of the few times I can insist she’s wrong and get away with it). I plan to wait as long as possible since my family history is the opposite, but mainly because we don’t need the money in the near term. I think of my SS as my LTC insurance and an ace in the hole for our later years. We both made about the same amount of money while working so survivor benefits aren’t a factor.
Good point about viewing SS as LTC insurance--I am doing that too along with moving into a CCRC. Between DH and I we will get about 5500/month in SS when I turn 70 in 6 months. To me that is a lot of $$.
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Old 03-19-2021, 04:36 AM   #44
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$5500/month is a nice chunk of change. Have you done any Roth conversions in your 60s? I am concerned with RMDs since the bulk of my retirement savings is in tax deferred. My current plan is to live off of my taxable account and a relatively small pension after retirement (probably 5 years off) and convert some of the deferred money before collecting social security.
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Old 03-19-2021, 05:53 AM   #45
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I just turned 61 and my wife is 57. Retired four years ago. I am looking at this very differently. In fact, this is a timely question because I have just begun to ponder this question.

My wife and I are in the fortunate position of not needing social security in retirement. Having said that I look forward to getting my money back and receiving the only check I have ever seen made out to me from the government. In fact I have always thought that the government would find a way to reduce or eliminate the sum I would receive. I am in the highest federal tax bracket and it appears I will remain there until it is my time. Accordingly, 85% of my SS will be taxable and always will be unless the government changes the tax law.

The SS payment will largely be used to fund a portion of our travel and vacation plans each year. Having said that, I would rather have the funds earlier rather than later, but I realize that it grows 6-8% per year for each year I do not collect. We plan on doing much more travel in our 60s than our 70s.

So at this point I am inclined to strike a balance and collect at 65 which is two years prior to my FRA of 67.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:00 AM   #46
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I know a lot of people that worked till 64 to 65 years old. When they retired they took SS at that age. And most that retired at 62 took it or waited till 65 then took Medicare at the same time.

Just had a good friend that will retire at end of month and will be 69 year old. He has a high profile job and said he will take it right away.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:13 AM   #47
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This is NOT completely accurate as the “bins” are different, call it an approximation at best. But it appears this audience is not unlike the mainstream other than those waiting until 70 where there’s a marked difference, kind of as I expected.

We’re in the 70 crowd as our parents passed away aged 88, 93 and 96...and none were fitness/health fanatics.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:15 AM   #48
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I re-evaluate this yearly. Currently I will not take it any earlier than my FRA (66 and 8 months). IThe current driving reason is to maximize the spousal benefit. The secondary reason is to have "room" for Roth conversions and stay in the current tax bracket. As I get closer to FRA I might move it out more, based on what our situation is at that time. I am fortunate that I had 35 years of paying the maximum SS tax, so will get the maximum benefit.

I do not know about longevity. Dad died at 72, Mom at 86. My health is better than my Dad's was at the same age as I am. I have 3 older siblings who are in their late 60s and earlier 70s who are in good health and still very active. So odds are currently good that I will live beyond my Dad's age, but they are odds. The proverbial bus/truck may be right around the corner .

DW took her SS at 62 (actually several months after turning 62), she wanted it, and it is much less than her spousal benefit. So far we haven't been spending it, but putting it into her Roth IRA while she still have enough income to cover it.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:23 AM   #49
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Midpack >> Thanks for your graphs and data. It didn't surprise me of your findinds here on ER.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:26 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
This is NOT completely accurate as the “bins” are different, call it an approximation at best. But it appears this audience is not unlike the mainstream other than those waiting until 70 where there’s a marked difference, kind of as I expected.
From the graphic that you posted I would say that this audience is much different than the mainstream... those taking at earliest age of 62 are 66% of the mainstream... similarly those taking at FRA is 64% of the mainstream... and those taking at 70 are more than 10X the mainstream.

That 27% of this audience take SS at 62 was a small surprise to me... I would have thought it would be lower.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:50 AM   #51
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One thing to keep in mind is that the reason that so many people take SS at 62 is that they have no significant savings so they realistically have no other choice. Wealth give you choices that other people don't have, so let's count our blessings.
True. And some people take it early because they would rather have the money now. And if you have a COLA pension and very little investments then there's no reason to wait in most cases.

I'm taking CPP (Canada) at 60 which is the earliest allowable. The break-even for me is about 74, so for 14-15 years I'm ahead, but more importantly I have extra money to enjoy during my healthiest remaining years.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:58 AM   #52
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From the graphic that you posted I would say that this audience is much different than the mainstream... those taking at earliest age of 62 are 66% of the mainstream... similarly those taking at FRA is 64% of the mainstream... and those taking at 70 are more than 10X the mainstream.

That 27% of this audience take SS at 62 was a small surprise to me... I would have thought it would be lower.
Fair enough, I didn’t choose my words well. I meant other than age 70, the pattern is somewhat similar. 62 was the largest cohort, etc.
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Old 03-19-2021, 07:54 AM   #53
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$5500/month is a nice chunk of change. Have you done any Roth conversions in your 60s? I am concerned with RMDs since the bulk of my retirement savings is in tax deferred. My current plan is to live off of my taxable account and a relatively small pension after retirement (probably 5 years off) and convert some of the deferred money before collecting social security.
We have done a modest amount of Roth conversions. We had to wait until we got on Medicare at age 65 to do the Roth conversions because we got our insurance through the ACA and did not want to fall off the subsidy cliff. We have fairly large IRAs but we are not too concerned about RMDs because we give quite a bit to charity and we will do that through our IRAs starting this year (DH is reaching 70.5 this year). The charitable gifts from our IRAs will reduce our RMDs.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:30 AM   #54
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I started at 62. For each dollar of SS I receive is one dollar I don't have to withdraw from my IRA. Considering legislation risk, I would rather spend the government's money instead of mine.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:41 AM   #55
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I started at 62. For each dollar of SS I receive is one dollar I don't have to withdraw from my IRA. Considering legislation risk, I would rather spend the government's money instead of mine.
Fair point.


Isn't it also true that even though your benefit rises each year you delay collecting, that is offset by the smaller number of years you will collect? I assume there's a breakeven point somewhere and if you outlive it, you come out ahead.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:45 AM   #56
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Isn't it also true that even though your benefit rises each year you delay collecting, that is offset by the smaller number of years you will collect? I assume there's a breakeven point somewhere and if you outlive it, you come out ahead.
Most studies show the breakevens around age 77 to 83, with lots of caveats. I usually assume about 81.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/13/thos...1;%20in%20mind.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:04 AM   #57
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Most studies show the breakevens around age 77 to 83, with lots of caveats. I usually assume about 81.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/13/thos...y”%20in%20mind.
Thanks. That really makes it impossible to know what the right answer is. You could wait until 70, die at 80, and have ended up getting just about the same as you would have had you collected at 62. In fact, if you didn't need the money and invested it for 18 years, you might even come out ahead collecting early.


These are the things that make my head spin.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:30 AM   #58
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My plan was always to wait until age 70, if possible, which seemed prudent due to some familial longevity.

But then, Katsmeow and others on this forum explained how I could take divorced spousal SS, equal to 1/2 of the amount he was getting, at age 66. Then at age 70 I could switch over to the full, unreduced amount of my own SS based on my own work record. So I did that. (THANK YOU!!) Don't know if that is still possible but it was then. What a windfall!

For the poll I said "age 70".
This is exactly what I did and, no, it's not an option for younger folks anymore...
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:59 AM   #59
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Our current plan is for both of us to take SS at 67. Seven years away for me and 10 years for DW who is still working.
As for family history, if I have more of my mom's genetics, then I will make some money on SS. She is 90, her sister lived to almost 101, and her aunt to 105. If I have more of my father's genetics, then the house wins.
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Old 03-19-2021, 11:26 AM   #60
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Thanks. That really makes it impossible to know what the right answer is. You could wait until 70, die at 80, and have ended up getting just about the same as you would have had you collected at 62. In fact, if you didn't need the money and invested it for 18 years, you might even come out ahead collecting early.


These are the things that make my head spin.
Yup. There are lots and lots of things that would be possible to optimize if only you knew your expiration date. SS is just one of them.
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