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View Poll Results: When Did You or Are Planning to start Soc Sec?
Age 62, as early as possible 102 22.27%
More than 62 but less than FRA 39 8.52%
Your FRA (65 to 67) 70 15.28%
More than FRA age but less than 70 40 8.73%
Age 70, as late as possible 207 45.20%
Voters: 458. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-20-2021, 05:18 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Brdofpray View Post
I took my SS as early as possible. My wife, a retired teacher, never participated in SS. She is not eligible to receive benefits. And, if I pass before her, she is not eligible for survivor benefits, on my record, due to her pension, and IRS WEP exclusion.

We decided to take my benefit, and funnel it into our portfolio. In this way she will get a greater benefit if I check out first. So far, this plan is working out very well.
Same here.

And since we recently bought a new home and got a mortgage, it goes into the same account that auto pays the loan. I’ve Been ER now for 13 years, 63 now. So we’ve been getting by without the SS check just fine.

We also went with the option of 100% survivor benefit for me. If I go first the wife can change that and receive more , if she goes first I’ll get the same as we are now.
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Old 03-20-2021, 05:33 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
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.
I know- I laugh cynically at the retirement planning articles that exhort people to work till FRA to maximize SS, preferably waiting to age 70 to file- but for many people who lost a job and can't find another or whose bodies have been beaten up by the physical demands of their work, that's not an option.

My late husband was 15 years older. I retired at 61 but chose to delay SS, preferably to FRA or age 70. He died in 2015; I was 62 and having the Survivor benefit made the decision even simpler. I was planning on waiting till age 70. I'm 68 now and have decided to file on my own record when I'm 69. I'm not giving up that much by taking it at 69 and when RMDs start I'll get taxed up the wazoo so I want another year of collecting SS and not having a giant tax bill. I'll still have to put a chunk of the increase aside for State and Federal taxes on SS.
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Old 03-20-2021, 05:57 AM   #83
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I am 65, retired 6 mos ago. I plan on taking at FRA next year. I am the large wage earner but, not by much. My wife is still working, likely for another 3 yrs.
I figure the next 10yrs for me will be my most active an the income will be best appreciated during this time.
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Old 03-20-2021, 06:53 AM   #84
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I just cannot imagine how it would be to lose your job, have no savings, have to take SS at age 62 and try to live off SS only. I know some people in the unfortunate situation and it is very tough. Watch the movie Nomadland for an idea what is is like. Most of us on this Forum are so fortunate.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:36 AM   #85
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I just cannot imagine how it would be to lose your job, have no savings, have to take SS at age 62 and try to live off SS only. I know some people in the unfortunate situation and it is very tough. Watch the movie Nomadland for an idea what is is like. Most of us on this Forum are so fortunate.
I disagree about not having to live on just SS is somehow "fortunate."
Obviously, everyone's situation is different.
It has to do with proper planning, sacrificing early in life, and not engaging in activities early in life that derail future financial independence.

And yes, some people do have issues such as medical issues, divorces, etc. that may set them back ; but many just make poor life choices early in their lives.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:48 AM   #86
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Then you were fortunate not to have made poor life choices.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:14 AM   #87
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I plan to get as early as possible, and invest it!
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:15 AM   #88
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DW was born in 1953, so we were able to file and suspend her personal benefit and collect her spousal benefit on my SS if I filed at FRA (66). Meanwhile, her benefit can increase until it maxes out when she turns 70. Opensocialsecurity suggested this was the best way to maximize benefits. I believe that option is not available for people born after '53.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:15 AM   #89
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Just an update that the Social Security web site now shows a very nice graphical display of the benefit levels vs. age, future annual salary, spouse, etc.

(This is where you go to get your annual benefit statement, etc.)

This is a great way to estimate your personal future benefit, and it allows you to adjust the parameters to see the changes in the benefit level. I'm sure this only handles simple situations, but it's really great for answering the simple questions about delaying benefits, retiring early, etc.

This tool should have been there all along, but at least it is now!

Waiting for 70 myself, I hope/expect.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:18 AM   #90
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Part of me likes the idea of collecting earlier when we’re more likely to be able to use the extra income for travel and stuff. I realize you get more later if you wait but then we won’t need the income as much.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:21 AM   #91
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Just stumbled on this at ssa.gov. Tons of good info there as many know? There’s a good reason sss.gov doesn’t offer a breakeven calculator, too many variables, some not even unquantifiable. 81 is a good rule of thumb, “an axe not a scalpel” where a scalpel isn’t possible anyway.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:39 AM   #92
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Just an update that the Social Security web site now shows a very nice graphical display of the benefit levels vs. age, future annual salary, spouse, etc.
It seems to be hit and miss. I see the new display on my social security account, but my wife's account still shows the old page layout.

As for SS, I'm planning to take it at 65, but am open to taking it earlier if we need the money, or later if we don't. Running simulations in Flexible Retirement Planner, 65 is currently the best balancing point between maximizing SS payments and spending down our retirement savings (the longer we wait to take SS, the more of our savings we would spend).
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Old 03-20-2021, 04:03 PM   #93
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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".
Yeah....no. At least not for me (DOB in 1963). It would have been a nice bit of money to tide me over as I STILL would like to wait until I'm 70 to collect my own, but it has since been disallowed.
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Old 03-20-2021, 04:55 PM   #94
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Not, sure. There are a few things that play into this:

- I am one of those who turned 60 in 2020 which may lead to a serious ding in my monthly payments (and I would like to have something left after paying for Medicare);

- Roth Conversions may play into when I decide to pull the trigger;

- The markets may play into when I decide to pull the trigger.

The plan for DH, with the higher earnings record, is to wait until 70.
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Old 03-20-2021, 06:15 PM   #95
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If one truly needs the money to live on, then no real decision to make.
If one is deciding on using other funds or using SS to support their lifestyle, then the decision gets more complicated.
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Old 03-20-2021, 06:40 PM   #96
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If one truly needs the money to live on, then no real decision to make.
If one is deciding on using other funds or using SS to support their lifestyle, then the decision gets more complicated.
Right.
I'm wondering what a proper metric would be.
I delayed seven years from start of retirement at 63 until starting SS last year at 70.

I had pension/annuity income as a base and withdrew $3000/month from tax deferred in lieu of SS for seven years.

If that $3000/month, $36k/year, had been 10% of my total retirement savings would that have been inadvisable?

What if it was just 4% of my accumulation per year?
That would be OK, right?

We need metrics to allow proper planning...
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:02 PM   #97
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What you said, Wizard.
Each circumstance is different. I think we will be spending about 3% going forward, plus an annuity that will bridge the gap to DW's SS. During that time we will be doing Roth conversions at the best tax rate we can get. 10% tax savings is no joke!
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:32 PM   #98
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Right.
I'm wondering what a proper metric would be.
I delayed seven years from start of retirement at 63 until starting SS last year at 70.

I had pension/annuity income as a base and withdrew $3000/month from tax deferred in lieu of SS for seven years.

If that $3000/month, $36k/year, had been 10% of my total retirement savings would that have been inadvisable?

What if it was just 4% of my accumulation per year?
That would be OK, right?

We need metrics to allow proper planning...
I don't think it has to be too complicated.

Figure out what you feel is a safe withdrawal rate on your retirement savings. Use a side fund for income until you start social security. If the SWR works with the rest of your savings, and the side fund doesn't drain your savings too low that you can't handle an unexpected or uneven expense, then you're good. If the SWR works but you run your savings too low, recalculate by taking SS earlier and see if that works.

What "too low" for savings is up to you. But for an example, if SS+pension+annuity just barely covers all of your expenses, I wouldn't want to run my savings down to $10,000 or anywhere close to that. But in that case you probably retired too early anyway. Maybe the "too low" number is $100K. I'm not facing that so I haven't really thought about it.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:36 PM   #99
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I don't think it has to be too complicated.

Figure out what you feel is a safe withdrawal rate on your retirement savings. Use a side fund for income until you start social security. If the SWR works with the rest of your savings, and the side fund doesn't drain your savings too low that you can't handle an unexpected or uneven expense, then you're good. If the SWR works but you run your savings too low, recalculate by taking SS earlier and see if that works.

What "too low" for savings is up to you. But for an example, if SS+pension+annuity just barely covers all of your expenses, I wouldn't want to run my savings down to $10,000 or anywhere close to that. But in that case you probably retired too early anyway. Maybe the "too low" number is $100K. I'm not facing that so I haven't really thought about it.
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Old 03-20-2021, 08:53 PM   #100
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Break even calculations (should) consider investment return on your social security dollars that you take early. Either you don't spend the SS money or you don't deplete some other investments. It really doesn't matter which way, it's all the same pot of money. The numbers can change based on your rate of return assumption, but there is a return on that money. If you aren't able to invest, it means you need the SS money to live, so there's no option but to take it early.
It always amazes me how little attention expected rate of return gets in these discussions, but the choice of rate can swing the decision. And the somewhat counter intuitive idea that in many cases, one can get fewer dollars from the treasury while having more money to spend in retirement is hard to grasp. A decent stock allocation and an expected return equal to what happened in the past might yield unexpected results. I'm only now entering the decision zone. The plan has been 62&70, but I plan to think more about that, given now I could actually do something actionable. Sad that I can no longer put it off.
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