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Old 11-15-2020, 06:48 PM   #41
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I have great difficulty understanding why a man would not want to take care of his widow. I see it as part of the deal when you got married in the first place.
I agree- and yes, it does go both ways. My late husband was 15 years older, started on SS when we married (he'd just turned 65), and I worked FT till 61. Our estate plans were written to make sure he'd be taken care of if I went first.

What I heard third-hand about step-grandma's late husband was that he wasn't very nice. I can see a not-very-nice husband figuring that if she went first he still got his pension and if he did...oh, well, he wouldn't be around when she discovered the truth. Win-win for him.

She hit the gold mine with Grandpa in more ways than one.
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:50 PM   #42
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Same situation with my paternal Grandparents. He was 6 years older and had a pension. He thought he would live longer because she was a smoker. He got lung cancer and died at 76 while she lived 19 more years after that with no pension. She just had his SS of around $1500/mo plus an inheritance from her parents that allowed her to draw $500/mo for the rest of her life. With a paid off house she got by fine but that pension sure would have helped. Everyone in the family seemed to think it was a bad decision but it was his decision. It cost her hundreds of thousands
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:44 AM   #43
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When DH retired his state pension had 100% survivor as the default option and you could change it if you wanted to. I had to sign at a notary and also submit a copy of our marriage certificate.

We chose 100% to survivor because we were both only 55 and all I was getting on my own was a small Social Security benefit later. Also, the pension has a fixed COLA and I knew that if we could live off the beginning benefit, reduced for the 100% survivor option, that I'd be fine later on.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:53 AM   #44
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She should contact the union, there might be a minimum payout of say 5 years--may or may not be applicable, but she should check on that as well as health care. Not everyone understands what they are entitled too.
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:54 AM   #45
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I have great difficulty understanding why a man would not want to take care of his widow. I see it as part of the deal when you got married in the first place.
Because that larger monthly check when he is still alive is so alluring.
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:52 PM   #46
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I have great difficulty understanding why a man would not want to take care of his widow. I see it as part of the deal when you got married in the first place.
As do I. Some may think that is a chauvinistic attitude, I think it is simply that if you love someone part of that is putting their interests ahead of your own. In my case I knew when I married DW that it was a virtual certainty that she'd be in dire financial straights at retirement age if I didn't take a spousal benefit option. It wasn't that she was derelict or careless in looking after her own interests, but the reality is that not everyone's life situation allows them the opportunity to do so.

Doing that was simply one more gift that I was fortunate enough to be able to give her. She won't be taking any 'round-the-world cruises (which she doesn't want anyway) but she won't be living anywhere near the edge of poverty.

Besides, if I hadn't I'd have had to grow a beard because I'd never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:40 PM   #47
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This is easily explainable for those who need to take the spousal option but fail to do so.

You cannot fix stupid.

Both on the part of the retiree who asks his or her spouse to agree and on the part of the spouse who signs it away without understanding the potential consequence of doing so.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:46 PM   #48
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This is easily explainable for those who need to take the spousal option but fail to do so.

You cannot fix stupid.

Both on the part of the retiree who asks his or her spouse to agree and on the part of the spouse who signs it away without understanding the potential consequence of doing so.
OP here.

Unfortunately, I agree with you.
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:31 PM   #49
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One thing that I donít recall being mentioned is the cost of the survivor benefit can be higher if the surviving spouse is much younger (e.g. > 5 yrs). That couldíve contributed to my cousins situation.
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:35 PM   #50
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Millennials: What is this pension thing everyone is talking about?
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:30 PM   #51
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The post to which I was responding talked about dead guys and destitute widows, so that's why I framed my response the way I did (also because I am male and see it from that point of view). Sure, marriage is a two way street and women also should consider the potential needs of their widowers, although I suspect that, even today, it is mostly women who interrupt their careers to raise children.

But if you insist on being one of those aggrieved men's rights guys, go ahead. It's not a good look, but hey, it's yours.

And, by the way, it's probably Joseph Goebbels to whom you were referring.
My input is rarely well written. I had a secretary for that (juskiddin). I used to do paperwork needed in businesses myself, I was the only one billing & interpreting my own gibberish!

As a example:
I had a best friend from days gone by since we were both 12yrs old.
His marriages left him near destitute from a 3.8Mil apex position he'd attained before wife #1s settlement.

I now call it as I see it, like every politician is a crook! D/R/I all of them!
I'm usually correct, but sometimes wrong also.

Should females be considered in the front lines in the Army, Navy, AirForce, Marines, Police, Fire, EMTs etc....not in my world. Males incur injuries because their female co-workers that were there because of employment equality nonsense issues when the males scoietal conditioning toward females was the governing factor in the injury.(supportingthem)

I reviewed UPS delivery service data. Females retired disabled 4:1.
However laws dictate they be hired for delivery routes.
I operated a number of income operations yrs back. One was a stevadoring outfit, not one female considered applying.
Yes, there are outliers as I'm sure all recognize.
I digress....

Heres one: Consider an Alpha Male in the Gorilla hierarchy.
All the females gravitate to his position of security, shelter, reproduction, affection & nourishment.
IIRC-Humans are what, 99.?% the same base DNA as certain primates.
AFAIK- I might be incorrect. I did not google it

I was not berating anyone.
This post took me close to 3hrs
We've all deficits and strong points.

No doubt your correct Gumby, all I recalled was something "?" Goebbels.

The public would be amazed how China, Greek, Rome, Spain, Britain, & USAs histories seem similar. Not like I'd learned in schools 1-8.
I'd also heard Henry Ford said: If the American public knew about the USAs currency providers (FED) actions they'd ......... fill in the blank or google it I forget the exact terms.

This pension thread got me thinking of another pal whom did right for himself. The current female he was living with thought she should benefit from his 32yrs of .gov service and select that option. He disagreed.
I agreed with him. He got her a pensioned courthouse position w/in 30days. / shrug /

This is a great site, my hats of to you & crew.
I hope alls well.
Good luck & Best wishes......

This has been close to 4 hrs modifying....I hope you get my drift.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:09 PM   #52
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As for gender and pensions.... My dad was the recipient of my mom's generous county pension. It was a great pension, so good that 10 years in they tried to get employees to buy out (lump sum) and switch to the crappier pension that replaced it. She was savvy enough to say no-way. Dad got 100% survivor when she passed. FWIW - he also chose 100% survivor option on his, less generous, but still nice, corporate pension.

When you partner up for life - that should include planning for a surviving spouse when you make financial choices - and discussing these choices with your spouse....
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:36 PM   #53
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We look at all the options and decided that the 100% survivor benefit was the way to go. In our case, the difference was just too small to justify taking a lower percentage for the survivor. DW was fully informed and involved in the decision.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:11 PM   #54
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I retired under FERS, the Federal Employees Retirement System, in 2014. My DH and I chose the 50% survivor benefit (the most available), which reduced my annuity by 10%. The survivor benefit ensured that, should I predecease him, he would receive half my annuity AND (more importantly) be eligible to continue FEHB health benefits under my record. That peace of mind is totally worth the 10% that is deducted from my annuity. If, on the other hand, he should predecease me (probably likely since he has health issues), I will get a 10% raise upon his death. Of course, I'd much rather keep him around and take a 10% hit forever.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:49 AM   #55
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Wow to the OP, this is why I am planning now (at 55) of taking the full survivorship when I retire at 62 for my wife. I have had health issues all my life, but am mostly healthy now. She comes from a family of long livers, so I want to make her future completely secure, she has no pension, or retirement plan available.

I am planning on taking the reduced pension amount from a full survivorship, at an early age, so I have ramped up my 401K deductions in recent years to compensate. I believe that we (or just her) will be fine throughout our entire lives.

The difference was only a few hundred $$ a month, which is much easier to make up now through investments, than later through scrambling budget cuts.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:30 AM   #56
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When you partner up for life - that should include planning for a surviving spouse when you make financial choices - and discussing these choices with your spouse....
I agree. Same of the saddest comments I see on FB "suggested posts" related to retirement are from people trying to live on tiny SS income- mostly women. One I saw today has income of $500/month. I also see this among some of the widows I know- hopefully not such low income levels, but since women typically outlive their husbands, they spend down any meager retirement savings too quickly and when the husband dies the widow is left with depleted savings and only 2/3 of the SS they were getting when he was alive. You wonder what (if) they were thinking. I know many didn't have the means to save much, but some could have.

I have two granddaughters, ages 6 and 4. This year I'm going to give them each 5 crisp $10 bills for Christmas and let their parents help them make decisions on what to give, spend and save. If they buy cheap stuff that falls apart, that's a lesson, too. I plan to talk with them later about what they did with it. I do NOT want them to be passive financial partners.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:52 AM   #57
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We have 2 years to decide on pension. I find these numbers confusing:

75% Survivor Annuity - $2763 monthly, if one dies $2072

100% Survivor Annuity - $2626 monthly, one dies $2626

50% Survivor Annuity - $2926 both live, one dies $1457 - $1469 difference for survivor.

This seems like a no brainer. Why would someone work their whole life then chance losing all of the pension b/c of early accidental or health death? This show over $1000/month survivor benefit loss between 100% an 50%.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:06 AM   #58
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I worked with defined benefit plans for many years and the life only option was by far the most commonly chosen. People just don't understand and picked the largest amount. Some employers did a better job of explaining and those people fared better.

We did the full survivorship option on both of our pensions......
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:13 AM   #59
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We have 2 years to decide on pension. I find these numbers confusing:

75% Survivor Annuity - $2763 monthly, if one dies $2072

100% Survivor Annuity - $2626 monthly, one dies $2626

50% Survivor Annuity - $2926 both live, one dies $1457 - $1469 difference for survivor.

This seems like a no brainer. Why would someone work their whole life then chance losing all of the pension b/c of early accidental or health death? This show over $1000/month survivor benefit loss between 100% an 50%.

couldn't agree more.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:13 AM   #60
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We have 2 years to decide on pension. I find these numbers confusing:

75% Survivor Annuity - $2763 monthly, if one dies $2072

100% Survivor Annuity - $2626 monthly, one dies $2626

50% Survivor Annuity - $2926 both live, one dies $1457 - $1469 difference for survivor.

This seems like a no brainer. Why would someone work their whole life then chance losing all of the pension b/c of early accidental or health death? This show over $1000/month survivor benefit loss between 100% an 50%.
Yes!!
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