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Old 12-20-2016, 11:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by alaska55 View Post
I guess you know when you're going to die.
Touché.

I do not expect to live that long, but when including my wife, the chance of one of us getting to the 80s is better.

On the other hand, the survivor would lose one SS, and I should take that into consideration too.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:49 PM   #22
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OP has been lucky the market has gone up, if it stayed flat he would not be so happy.

Myself, I'm going to take mine early at 62, buy the winning PowerBall ticket , and tell you all how smart I was, even though others say it's not the best choice.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:03 AM   #23
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We did something crazy and both took it at our respective FRAs.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:45 AM   #24
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Here's a calculator so people can play different what-if scenarios: SSAnalyze - Bedrock Capital Management.

When I plug in our expected SS benefits, and play with different expected longevities, the calculator recommends both of us to delay to 70 only when we are both going to live beyond 85.

When I start to cut either of our lifespans from 85, the calculator cuts back my wife's claiming age. That makes sense because when one of us dies, the survivor will keep mine which is higher. As her lower SS is lost at either death, it makes sense to claim hers early.

When one of the lifespans is 75 or less and the other is at 85 or better, the calculator recommends claiming at 62 for her and 70 for me.

The above has been my thinking all along.

PS. If both of us are going to expire before 75, of course the calculator says we both should claim it ASAP, as it should be.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:56 AM   #25
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I forgot to add that if both of us are going to die before 75, barring some catastrophic market events, we will be leaving behind quite a bit of money, even if we do not both claim it at 62.

It's because that means we will only have 15 years to spend our stash (we are 60 now), and that would require a WR of 100/15 = 6.7%. As we do not spend anywhere near that, even if we draw no SS until 70, my children will still get plenty of money.

In other words, I do not see the need for both of us to draw at 62. The argument for my wife to draw at 62 is a lot stronger.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:38 AM   #26
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the real question boils down to do you want to take on more market and interest rate risk or longevity risk ?

if we delay , at age 70 our market dependency drops greatly compared to age 62 . withdrawals are much less and sequence risk drops if we delay.

for a couple the actual real return if even one lives to 90 (about a coin toss chance ) can be about 5% which rivals the real return from a balanced portfolio but you get it from what amounts to a gov't bond
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:55 AM   #27
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(Has anyone else considered that if you use invested assets to pay living expenses while waiting to get to age seventy to collect Social Security, you are losing the value of those assets? Even if I don't get a 7% annual increase promised if I wait to collect, I move my break even date up significantly by getting more checks and investing the money I would have spent.)

Your thoughts?
I did a full workup spreadsheet a few years ago, to compare taking at age 66/70 vs. 62 and investing the money with different earnings rates.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gebanzrbr3...0calc.xls?dl=0

As about a zillion people have computed, the break-even age at 0% earnings is in your 80's.

People keep stumbling over the fact that it was specifically designed to be very close to actuarially neutral.
The fact that it is actuarially neutral is demonstrated by the fact that we always have these discussions. Because if it was clear that one way was better than the other, there would be no debate & no discussion. Note that we never have debates about the sum of 2 + 2.

If (on average) it doesn't matter when you take SS, then you might as well take it at 62. Or 70. Because it doesn't matter.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:00 AM   #28
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OP has been lucky the market has gone up, if it stayed flat he would not be so happy.
OP is a story teller, and we have no idea what his true story is. He's also been banned (gone travelling). See the other thread he started for the probable reason.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:07 AM   #29
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Note that we never have debates about the sum of 2 + 2.
Actually, I have seen several posts here pointing out that 2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:20 AM   #30
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i took ss at 62. i did not need the check to make ends meet. I did it to make myself comfortable, and VERY comfortable at that. My thinking is that I can use and enjoy that ss check now and at 80 i cannot see myself enjoying life like i do now.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:28 AM   #31
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i took ss at 62. i did not need the check to make ends meet. I did it to make myself comfortable, and VERY comfortable at that. My thinking is that I can use and enjoy that ss check now and at 80 i cannot see myself enjoying life like i do now.
+1

I have been following threads on "the when to file" for several years. I see much reduced travel and activity by the time I am 80+ if I live that long.
62 it is for me.... its been a hard decision
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:48 AM   #32
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++1.

I would rather have it and lose it (die), than not have it (wait) and lose it.

Besides, every month I get the feeling that I am getting back some of what was taken (invested?) from me. (Fist pump) YES!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:03 AM   #33
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If (on average) it doesn't matter when you take SS, then you might as well take it at 62. Or 70. Because it doesn't matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitesurfer2 View Post
i took ss at 62. i did not need the check to make ends meet. I did it to make myself comfortable, and VERY comfortable at that. My thinking is that I can use and enjoy that ss check now and at 80 i cannot see myself enjoying life like i do now.
It basically came down to this for me. Plus the unknowns of the SS system going forward. Yes.....I'm a bird in the hand kind of guy.(Single guy) I filed online over the weekend. I did delay 5 months btw so I guess I can be thrown into the defer camp.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:27 AM   #34
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If single, like op R&R, don't think there's a large impact whenever you take SS. If married, it's a big deal that the larger earner waits till 70 if at all possible due to the survivor benefit. Particularly true if the high earner is older & older relative to spouse.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:39 AM   #35
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Prior to age 62, it's an easy decision, wait. You can say 62, 65 or 70, it doesn't matter; you have no choice.

When you determine when to take SS, you have insider knowledge of your health. Knowing when you are going to die is the main unknown factor that would make the decision easier.

When SS says actuarial neutral, they do not know a lot of individual items that make a large difference. SS knows noting about your personally.

You know if you have high-blood pressure, diabetes, prior heart attacks, smoking or drinking issues, previous cancer, etc. The SS administration doesn't.

You can go to a mortality calculator and guesstimate longevity based on life style factors.

You can hedge your bets with the insider knowledge. Of course, if it means eating dog food until you can collect a larger SS, that was the wrong choice.

Quote:
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If married, it's a big deal that the larger earner waits till 70 if at all possible due to the survivor benefit. Particularly true if the high earner is older & older relative to spouse.
Very true. The DGF is 12 years my junior. I plan on getting married at ~age 69 (or when health is diagnosed as bad) so we can get larger SS when the DGF starts collecting.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:46 AM   #36
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DW and I are the same age (70). She took SS at 62 and then I took a spousal benefit at FRA. This year we switched with me drawing directly and her taking a spousal benefit.

We are happy with this approach both because it will provide a larger benefit to the surviving spouse and because of the tax advantages of skewing the income source toward SS.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:12 AM   #37
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It may be actuarially neutral in a broad sense. But women live longer then men yet it doesn't consider gender in the payout rate. So wouldn't it favor a woman to take it later and a man to take it sooner?
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:22 AM   #38
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Hopefully, I will collect on my ex's SS for a few years while mine build up. That's another factor that some of us have to take into consideration.
Same here. DW has a smaller benefit which we will draw at 62 and let mine ride till later.

The 7% is meaningful. No one's "safe" type money is earning 7% guaranteed presently.

Having said that, you have to be alive to collect it, which could otherwise put a damper on returns.
When the "experts" tout waiting, they tend to not mention that.

So who knows? Individual decision to make at any time, based on each unique situation.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:32 AM   #39
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OP is a story teller, and we have no idea what his true story is. He's also been banned (gone travelling). See the other thread he started for the probable reason.
He got figured out pretty quick this time.

Watch for him to come back with a pay-the-mortgage-early-or-not thread.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:47 AM   #40
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As mentioned there are a factors that make it less actuarial neutral. Like Katsmeow - we have/had minor children when DH retired - so it was a total no brainer for DH to take it at 62 to get the added benefit. Couples with a stay-at-home spouse with no SS under their own name also skew the neutrality since the spousal benefits are not actuarial neutral. And the divorced spouse scenario makes it better for a person to take on the divorced spouse's benefit and grow their own.

And as Senator suggested - you have more insight into your own health and family longevity than the statisticians... In my husband's case - his family lives till age 90. In my case - I have only 1 grandparent that made it to 90, the other 3 died in their 60's and 70's... as did my parents. So that would argue for me taking it earlier...

But I'll decide closer to the time... It's almost 7 years off till age 62... no reason to decide today.
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