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Old 05-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #21
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She can't defer her start date past age 70. When she starts at 70, he will be 64.

The way I read the SSA explanation I linked, at that point, he is eligible for a spousal benefit and he has to start. He can't wait till 67.


he can take spousal any age he wants . he just gets reduced switching to spousal pre his fra but any time after is fine if the reduction is an issue .

there is no time limit on spousal . but waiting past your fra to take spousal does not make much sense.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:29 PM   #22
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I'm trying to follow this, but I'm a bit lost. So, is it agreed that he should file first at 62, and I would then have to wait until he filed before I file. (This would make me 68.5)

I'm not understanding I don't think. His reduced benefit for filing early would be approximately $1050. Then after I have filed, he can file for spousal (does he have to wait until his full retirement age of 67?) Half of my PIA would be approximately $1370. So he would then get MORE than his original $1050 but LESS than half of my benefit? So, our plan for him to file at age 62 and me to file at age 66.5 won't work because of our 6.5 yr age difference - I would be filing before him, and that will lower his spousal somehow? Sheesh.... sorry for the questions.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by davef View Post
This worked for me. SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management. SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management

It was consistent with the Kotlikoff suggestion for me.
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Originally Posted by Debinnov a View Post
I'm trying to follow this, but I'm a bit lost. So, is it agreed that he should file first at 62, and I would then have to wait until he filed before I file. (This would make me 68.5)

I'm not understanding I don't think. His reduced benefit for filing early would be approximately $1050. Then after I have filed, he can file for spousal (does he have to wait until his full retirement age of 67?) Half of my PIA would be approximately $1370. So he would then get MORE than his original $1050 but LESS than half of my benefit? So, our plan for him to file at age 62 and me to file at age 66.5 won't work because of our 6.5 yr age difference - I would be filing before him, and that will lower his spousal somehow? Sheesh.... sorry for the questions.
Have you tried plugging your situation into the tool that davef mentioned? If so, what did it say?

Things I'm fairly certain of:

Neither of you are grandfathered under the 2015 law, since you're both born after 1954.

As a married couple, as long as you both are alive, you can potentially qualify for four benefits:

1. You can qualify on your own earnings record,
2. Your husband can qualify on his earnings record,
3. You can qualify for spousal benefits on your husbands record,
4. Your husband can qualify for spousal benefits on your record

At any time that you are collecting benefits, if you try to collect two benefits (for example, you trying to collect benefits 1 and 3), you will get the larger of the two and Social Security will describe this as getting the smaller benefit plus an amount of money for the second benefit that will result in a total equal to the second benefit. For example, if you your retirement benefit is $1000 and your spousal benefit would be $1200, they'll give you $1200 and describe it as $1000 retirement benefit plus $200 excess spousal benefit.

I'm pretty sure that spousal benefits don't increase after FRA (the FRA of the person claiming benefits on the spouse's record, not the FRA of the spouse).

From the Kotlikoff book I referenced, I also find the following information:

You have to be 62 or over to collect spousal benefits and your spouse has to have filed for his/her retirement benefit. (page 69)

The full spousal benefit equals one half your spouse's full retirement benefit...the spousal benefit is equal to half of your spouses retirement benefit at FRA. So whether your spouse takes theire retirement benefit early or late doesn't directly impact the size of your spousal benefit...If you were not grandfathered, you'll be forced to take your retirement benefit at the same time as you take your spousal benefit. This is a key feature of a provision called deeming. We call it the deeming deamon, since Social Security won't pay you both benefits. They'll pay you, roughly speaking, the greater of the two. This means you lose one of the two benefits. (58, 59)

Furthermore, deeming works in two directions. If you file for your retirement benefit and you are subject to deeming, you'll be deemed to be filing for your spousal benefit as well if you're eligible. (60)

If you take retirement or spousal benefits before FRA, they will be subject to an early retirement reduction for each month early. Taking your own retirement benefit at 62 vs FRA is a 25% reduction. Taking spousal benefits at 62 entails a 30% reduction. (51)

If you qualify for spousal benefits, your benefits will be no larger if you wait beyond FRA to take them. (92)

---

I'd still recommend trying out the tool that is linked at the very top of this post. Since you mention that he is in poor health, I would pay particular attention to the life expectancy that the tool provides for your DH is one that you find reasonable. It's simply too hard to figure out otherwise.

That being said, because you're both subject to deeming and you are the higher earner, you'll end up collecting your retirement benefits and he'll end up collecting spousal benefits on your record. If he had longevity, it will probably recommend that he start collecting spousal benefits on your record at his FRA and that you start your retirement benefits at your age 70. The shorter his longevity, the more it might make sense for him to collect spousal benefits closer to 62.

One other note: You can start collecting benefits at any age and they'll be calculated to the nearest month. So, for example, you could start collecting retirement benefits at 68 years and 7 months of age, and they'd calculate benefits based on that full age, and not round it to 68 or 69. This applies to reductions for benefits before FRA and the increase in benefits after FRA.

Hope that helps.

Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #24
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My plan when we become eligible is to run the various free calculators and to pay for the services of 2 that I read about in various magazines.

This is one of them Get more Social Security benefits with Social Security Solutions.

I have not used them, so folks should look up reviews etc to be sure, but the risk is a pretty low $20 or $50 expense (I'm going to do the $50 one to compare senerios).

The risk of getting it wrong, or being told by some worker at SSA the wrong answer is literally thousands of dollars per year.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:18 AM   #25
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He does not have to start at 67. SSA never requires anybody to start. You are not even "required" to start at 70, but it's pointless to wait past 70 since benefits no longer grow. He can wait until 68, 69 or 70. His choice.
The context is someone who has already decided to take his own benefit at age 62, and whose higher-earning spouse is six years older.

Given those two facts, he can't defer the spousal benefit to 67.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:30 AM   #26
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he can take spousal any age he wants . he just gets reduced switching to spousal pre his fra but any time after is fine if the reduction is an issue .

there is no time limit on spousal . but waiting past your fra to take spousal does not make much sense.
I'm looking at this:

Quote:
For example, if you begin receiving your retirement benefit and only later become eligible for a spousal benefit (or vice versa), you will be “deemed” to have applied for the second benefit as soon as you are eligible for it.
I read that this way:

Suppose he starts his own benefit at 62 and she waits to age 70. With the six year age difference, he will be 64 when she starts.

He becomes eligible for a spousal benefit as soon as she starts her benefits.
He is "deemed" to have applied for the spousal benefit. He was born too late to have a choice.

How do you read it?

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:36 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Debinnov a View Post
I'm trying to follow this, but I'm a bit lost. So, is it agreed that he should file first at 62, and I would then have to wait until he filed before I file. (This would make me 68.5)

I'm not understanding I don't think. His reduced benefit for filing early would be approximately $1050. Then after I have filed, he can file for spousal (does he have to wait until his full retirement age of 67?) Half of my PIA would be approximately $1370. So he would then get MORE than his original $1050 but LESS than half of my benefit? So, our plan for him to file at age 62 and me to file at age 66.5 won't work because of our 6.5 yr age difference - I would be filing before him, and that will lower his spousal somehow? Sheesh.... sorry for the questions.
You can see that people disagree. That's frustrating.

My opinion is that in your case, there won't be any spousal benefit regardless of when you file.

The largest possible spousal benefit is ( half your PIA ) - ( his PIA ). That's what he gets if he starts at his full retirement age (apparently 67).
When I do the math, I get ( .5 x $2,730) - ( $1,500 ). That's less than zero. He doesn't get a spousal benefit if he starts at 67.

If he starts sooner, he will get less than he could have had at 67. But, the age 67 benefit is already zero.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:07 PM   #28
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I've got a question about the medicare "hold-harmless" provision which I think means that medicare can't go up more than the cola you get for social security. If you delay social security until say 70 is the medicare increase limited by cola increases or do you actually have to be taking social security to limit the medicare yearly increases? If it doesn't then the break-even analysis for delayed social security is flawed.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:51 PM   #29
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:53 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Independent View Post
I'm looking at this:


I read that this way:

Suppose he starts his own benefit at 62 and she waits to age 70. With the six year age difference, he will be 64 when she starts.

He becomes eligible for a spousal benefit as soon as she starts her benefits.
He is "deemed" to have applied for the spousal benefit. He was born too late to have a choice.

How do you read it?

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html

he is only deemed to have taken spousal if he files after her . in this case he takes his benefit only at 62 . he can then take spousal anytime after she files at any point in time .

but if she files first he automatically gets the larger benefit . if it is spousal he gets spousal . if he is under fra it gets reduced .

so like my wife , she took her benefit at 62 . she is fra now and has been collecting hers all these years . if i file at 65 this year in october then she can get a spousal adder to her early benefit .

she gets half my full less her full added to her early benefit . since she is fra she gets no further reduction on the adder portion . it will be less than 1/2 my full since it is added on to her already reduced lower benefit .
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #31
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I think it is hard to figure out how to maximize Social Security.
Now there's the understatement of the day! And I agree.

You can't project SS outcomes without making assumptions about how long you'll (and spouse if applicable) live and the time value of money, both crap shoots.

Given some wild-ass guess about longevity and future investment returns, you can calculate pro-forma numbers very accurately. Unfortunately, your assumptions are likely to be far from accurate.

So, you pays your money, you take your chances.......
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:24 PM   #32
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you either take on more market , interest rate and inflation risk or more longevity risk .

which one is your choice ? that is what it comes down to .

i already have lots of market risk so diversifying a bit in to longevity risk , especially with a spouse and having two horses in the race with one bet i am delaying a bit .
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:29 PM   #33
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he is only deemed to have taken spousal if he files after her in this case he takes his benefit only at 62 . he can then take spousal anytime after she files at any point in time .
This is the SS website:
Quote:
For example, if you begin receiving your retirement benefit and only later become eligible for a spousal benefit (or vice versa), you will be “deemed” to have applied for the second benefit as soon as you are eligible for it.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html



Quote:
but if she files first he automatically gets the larger benefit . if it is spousal he gets spousal . if he is under fra it gets reduced .

so like my wife , she took her benefit at 62 . she is fra now and has been collecting hers all these years . if i file at 65 this year in october then she can get a spousal adder to her early benefit .

she gets half my full less her full added to her early benefit . since she is fra she gets no further reduction on the adder portion . it will be less than 1/2 my full since it is added on to her already reduced lower benefit .
Note that the law has changed.
Quote:
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-74; November 2, 2015), made some changes to Social Security’s laws about claiming retirement and spousal benefits
And the changes only apply to people who turn 62 on or after January 2, 2016.

I expect that your wife is on the prior side of that line. I'm sure the husband in the OP is on the after side.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:40 PM   #34
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This is the SS website:https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/claiming.html




Note that the law has changed. And the changes only apply to people who turn 62 on or after January 2, 2016.

I expect that your wife is on the prior side of that line. I'm sure the husband in the OP is on the after side.

again don't get confused .

we are not using restricted application . birth date has nothing to do with the way spousal works in our case . those rules i stated apply to everyone.

if instead i waited until my fra and filed restricted application for 1/2 my wife's while letting my own grow to 70 that is filing restricted application . that is what you have to be grand fathered for . we are not doing that .


as far as deeming under the new law and the quotes you posted ..

what they are saying is under the old law at fra you used to be able to take spousal instead of your own benefit . you had a choice through either file and suspend or restricted application to just take spousal and let your own benefit grow . .

now under the new changes ,whether you apply pre fra or after fra you cannot choose either your own or just spousal anymore , unless you were grand fathered with restricted application . , you always are deemed taking your own now and if a spousal benefit is available because your spouse filed first you are deemed to have taken both your own and spousal . but if the higher spouse has not filed yet you are not eligible for spousal until they file .

it is just as i said my wife and i are doing it .

she filed at 62 ,,, i will file at 65 when she is 67 since she is older . once i file at 65 she becomes eligible for spousal so she gets the spousal adder on top of her early benefit . .. that is how it is done for everyone regardless of birth date .

what you are referring to is restricted application or file and suspend . file and suspend is gone for us but restricted is an option .. that is this :

had we went the restricted application route since we were grand fathered , we could have done this if i wanted to wait until 70 and we could have gotten the biggest amount .

she started collecting at 62 . at her fra she stops her benefit which she can do . anyone can do a start stop once they reach fra . her benefit starts growing again at 8% a year while stopped.


when she hits 70 she takes her benefit again , at that time i would be 68-10 months .


i file restricted application for 1/2 hers leaving my own to grow to 70 . at 70 i take my benefit at which point she is eligible for the spousal adder now that i filed .

see the difference ? in scenario 2 a benefit is not taken and allowed to grow while only spousal is taken . that is what you can't do anymore . scenario 1 is open to anyone to do .


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Old 05-14-2017, 05:00 PM   #35
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It's slightly different for me (divorced and not grandfathered in under the 2015 rules). Bedrock Capital's web site recommends I file for my benefit at age 69 because it thinks I will die at 83. Kotlikoff's book recommends that I wait to age 70. Although the difference in NPV between 69 and 70 is only a few thousand bucks. Maybe I'll see how sick I feel in the summer of 2038 and then decide.
Seriously ? ....... Imagine yourself lying on your deathbed and being happy because you took SS early or Sad because you waited.

Delaying SS to age 70 is old age insurance. If you die early, you don't collect, but you're dead, so you won't care.

Think of it like Fire Insurance. If you don't have a Fire, do you feel 'ripped off' because you didn't get to collect on it?
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:01 PM   #36
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delaying social security is a decision you will never live to regret . lol
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:24 PM   #37
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Seriously ? ....... Imagine yourself lying on your deathbed and being happy because you took SS early or Sad because you waited.

Delaying SS to age 70 is old age insurance. If you die early, you don't collect, but you're dead, so you won't care.

Think of it like Fire Insurance. If you don't have a Fire, do you feel 'ripped off' because you didn't get to collect on it?
I think one of us is misunderstanding the other.

Yes, I'm serious about deciding at 69 whether to take it then or wait another year.

I don't see a whole lot of difference between taking SS at 69 vs. 70. As noted, the NPV difference is about $3K, and that's over the remainder of my life, so essentially it's a coin toss.

I certainly understand about how SS insures against longevity risk. In my particular case it's insurance I probably won't even need.

I doubt I'll be thinking about SS one way or the other on my deathbed. I'll probably be thinking about my kids.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:58 PM   #38
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I think one of us is misunderstanding the other.

Yes, I'm serious about deciding at 69 whether to take it then or wait another year.

I don't see a whole lot of difference between taking SS at 69 vs. 70. As noted, the NPV difference is about $3K, and that's over the remainder of my life, so essentially it's a coin toss.

I certainly understand about how SS insures against longevity risk. In my particular case it's insurance I probably won't even need.

I doubt I'll be thinking about SS one way or the other on my deathbed. I'll probably be thinking about my kids.
I was only commenting on YOUR Statement of "Maybe I'll see how sick I feel in the summer of 2038 and then decide."

I just don't see how this factors into this decision?
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:06 PM   #39
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now under the new changes ,whether you apply pre fra or after fra you cannot choose either your own or just spousal anymore , ... . , you always are deemed taking your own now and if a spousal benefit is available because your spouse filed first you are deemed to have taken both your own and spousal . but if the higher spouse has not filed yet you are not eligible for spousal until they file .
I went through your post and deleted everything except the part that applies to the couple in the OP. They are not grandfathered into anything, they are operating with the new law.

So, they are just left with this paragraph. Maybe I missed something that is relevant to them. If so, please add it.

This is an earlier post that bothered me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
he should file first at 62 for his benefit only . after he files then she files when she likes as long as it is after him . .

he then can then put in a spousal claim at his fra and get the full spousal adder on top of his early benefit . it will never be equal to 1/2 the higher benefit because it goes on his early benefit and that was reduced but he gets no further spousal cuts for being under fra .
In the OP case, the husband is six years younger than the wife, and has an fra of 67.

I don't see how he can wait till age 67 to start a spousal benefit. She will have to start when she is 70 and he is 64. At that time, he will be "deemed" to be applying for both benefits. If any spousal is available, he will have to start then.

Maybe you can explain otherwise.

-------

I think we should also look at the numbers for this case. It seems to me that his PIA is more than half her PIA. So, in their case, spousal is off the table regardless of ages. Do you agree with that?

All this discussion of spousal benefits assumes that his PIA is lower than the OP states - you used $1,000 in post #11. I've been going with to try to sort this out in general.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:08 PM   #40
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I was only commenting on YOUR Statement of "Maybe I'll see how sick I feel in the summer of 2038 and then decide."

I just don't see how this factors into this decision?
Ah. Sorry, sometimes I write obscure stuff.

Whether to take SS at 69 or 70 depends on my life expectancy. I was born in 1969 and will turn 69 in the summer of 2038, at which point I may know if I'm healthy enough to make it worth waiting until I turn 70 in the summer of 2039, or if I should take it early because my life expectancy is on the shorter side of things.

HTH.
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