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WhooHooo! Signed up for SS today!!
Old 12-13-2016, 08:04 PM   #1
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WhooHooo! Signed up for SS today!!

Today was THE day - Looking forward to the big 7 OHH, I met with an SS rep and filled out the stuff (actually she did everything except sign the form.) From my experience, SS is even more complicated than I thought. So my recommendation would be to meet with an SS rep at least by the time you are approaching your FRA. I would even suggest a couple go meet with them before claiming at 62. I found the rep very willing to get us every last cent possible. Meeting early might help those of us SS-challenged individuals do some better planning. I know there are web sites devoted to SS planning, but talking to an expert in person makes things clearer (if not completely clear.) Now, I'm looking forward to those checks rolling in early next year.

As we left, I felt almost giddy (and I'm not sure why.) DW and I decided to celebrate but couldn't think of a good and well known (to us) restaurant in the area. So we filled up at Costco gas and went across the street for a $1.50 hot dog and $4 BBQ sammich. (We're gonna have to watch all this profligate spending!)

Now, all I have to do is live into my early 80's to come out ahead. Think I'll go for it. YMMV
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:11 PM   #2
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It is hard to beat the certainty of claiming while you can and available. You are correct, the math is twisted, particularly with potential tax reforms. I believe you can always suspend should the tides shift, but for now in a growth economy and potential lower tax rates why not? It is a hard bet that you will outlive the break point, but by that age maybe the delta in SS payment will not be so important as living now and getting that new Bentley coup.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
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...So we filled up at Costco gas and went across the street for a $1.50 hot dog and $4 BBQ sammich. (We're gonna have to watch all this profligate spending!)...
Congrats. Quite a few never make it to 62 to be able to claim anything at all.

By the way, you could walk into the same Costco to get their $1.50 hotdog, which comes with a soda too.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:25 AM   #4
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Congrats. Quite a few never make it to 62 to be able to claim anything at all.

By the way, you could walk into the same Costco to get their $1.50 hotdog, which comes with a soda too.
Heh, heh, right! Costco IS where I got the hot dog (and soda). Their gas station is across the road. My bad.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:26 AM   #5
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It is a hard bet that you will outlive the break point, but by that age maybe the delta in SS payment will not be so important as living now and getting that new Bentley coup.
The wait to 70 was primarily to give DW the biggest payday possible if I "graduate" before she does. YMMV
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:44 AM   #6
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My advice is to understand AHEAD OF TIME what you believe your benefit to be prior to the time you sign the papers.

I have heard reports on this board of reps signing up people to receive cash up front by applying retroactively for benefits and not receiving the full Delayed Retirement Credit.

The numbers provided by the Rep should serve as a confirmation of your initial investigation.

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Old 12-14-2016, 07:47 AM   #7
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I'd be happy too in that situation. Congratulations!

DW and I are still a few years away from 62 but we realize the need to really understand the options available to us before we walk in an claim our SS payments. Sounds like you stumbled on to a well-informed agent. I've heard from some other people that not all agents are as helpful. Guess that's why there is an industry of sorts to help guide people to the best possible outcome for their individual scenario.

When the time comes for us to claim SS benefits we'll be looking at threads like this to understand the best options.

If you don't mind explaining more of your details, without getting too personal, that would be helpful for others. I realize you waited until 70 but there may be other nuggets of wisdom related to your situation that would be useful to forum readers.

Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2016, 08:43 AM   #8
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........... From my experience, SS is even more complicated than I thought. So my recommendation would be to meet with an SS rep at least by the time you are approaching your FRA.........
Interesting thought. DW turns 62 when I turn 66 (FRA), so I plan to file a restricted, spousal application when she starts to draw at 62. I'm not sure if typical SS rep can handle that.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:23 AM   #9
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That is a big deal and congratulations. You got your rocking chair pay check! lol
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:04 AM   #10
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Congratulations Koolau!

Y'all should have splurged and got some potato chips too....but then again, that's just crazy talk.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:24 AM   #11
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A little off-topic, but what is the difference between the Costco hot dog and the Polish sausage? Never ordered either one, but would like to know if those are better choices than the pizza slice.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:00 AM   #12
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A little off-topic, but what is the difference between the Costco hot dog and the Polish sausage? Never ordered either one, but would like to know if those are better choices than the pizza slice.
And are there free refills with the soft drink?
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:54 AM   #13
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Congrats Koolau!

I too applied to get my SS bennys but I actually did it all online and found it to be a painless process...early benefits at 62 and I even got a phone call from the processor (someone in NY) who needed a couple of questions answered, one of them to actually straiten out an incorrect response on my part :face palm: My first check (actually direct deposit) should be in my account in February!

AND I would actually recommend the online process
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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A little off-topic, but what is the difference between the Costco hot dog and the Polish sausage? Never ordered either one, but would like to know if those are better choices than the pizza slice.
You need a poll.

Or you can splurge and order both to find out for yourself. Sets you back $3, but come on, you only live once.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:57 AM   #15
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You need a poll.

Or you can splurge and order both to find out for yourself. Come on, you only live once.

Don't you mean a "pole"
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:59 AM   #16
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It would be a gross exaggeration to call a hotdog a pole.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:22 PM   #17
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If you don't mind explaining more of your details, without getting too personal, that would be helpful for others. I realize you waited until 70 but there may be other nuggets of wisdom related to your situation that would be useful to forum readers.

Thanks.
I think the biggest fallacy I was under was thinking DW would qualify (immediately) for half my at-70 benefit. In fact, she only qualifies for half my at-FRA benefit. Because of this, she will continue to receive the benefit she earned on her own (which she began at 62, because it is larger than half my at-FRA benefit.) Now, when I pass on (assuming I go first) she will be upgraded to my at-70 benefit as I thought. That was the big thing I wanted to accomplish by waiting to 70.

The other stuff is in the actual calculations. The "estimate" you receive every year was fairly close but still off by quite a few dollars.

There was some income listed in my credits (since I retired) because of a small business director fee that never appeared on my yearly statement.

All the calculations were done by computer and were quite opaque to me. Since they came out fairly close to the yearly statement, I chose not to ask for an explanation of "how the sausage is made."

The "going back six months option" was offered but not explained particularly well though the precise figures were shown.

My impressions was that IF the rep or the system wanted to "cheat", it would be difficult for the layman to detect it. I did not get such a vibe, but the thought did occur. SS benefits are not a simple algorithm, easily understood by the SS challenged such as DW and myself.

Without looking at my notes (and without my first cup of coffee) those are the things that come to mind now. YMMV
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:26 PM   #18
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Congratulations Koolau!

Y'all should have splurged and got some potato chips too....but then again, that's just crazy talk.
Thanks!

DW joined Weight Watchers (again) and has been pretty strict - thus, no potato chips in her future and therefore, probably not in mine unless I can sneak some at a Christmas party.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:30 PM   #19
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A little off-topic, but what is the difference between the Costco hot dog and the Polish sausage? Never ordered either one, but would like to know if those are better choices than the pizza slice.
Unless you compare them side by side, I don't know that most folks would know the difference between the dog and PS. BUT, since I HAVE tried them at one sitting, heh, heh, the PS is a bit more heavy on the spices (and, er, 'after-taste' and er, um, 'sausage breath'). YMMV
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:38 PM   #20
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You need a poll.

Or you can splurge and order both to find out for yourself. Sets you back $3, but come on, you only live once.
OK all you smart a**es. I have no idea how to set up a poll. Or a pole. The question is which item is the best cheap quick meal at Costco?

Here are the choices:

Hot Dog and a soda $1.50
Polish Sausage and a soda $1.50
Slice of whichever pizza you prefer $1.99 (drink extra)

And congratulations to the OP for waiting to grab the SS brass ring until 70.
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