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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:10 PM

Wondering When to Take Social Security?

I am a strong advocate for working longer and waiting until you are 70-plus to begin collecting your Social Security. In most cases the primary reason to wait to collect your benefits is the receiving of a higher annual income that will better support your living expenses on your retirement journey.

...

On taking Social Security earlier than age 70, the argument I sometimes hear is: I want my money now, I could die tomorrow. I don't want to wait.

OK. But, consider this, you may not die soon. Increased longevity is a major issue for boomers. Medical science and our knowledge of living healthier lifestyles through exercise and diet are contributing to the increase in our life spans. You just might be one of the many that will be very much alive for the next 30-plus years. If you are, then you will most likely be needing and wanting as much annual income as possible. For many people Social Security will contribute a substantial portion of their on-going income requirement.

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Note: If you do choose to wait be sure to remember that you MUST sign up for Medicare at 65. Medicare sign-up is one of the most important issues that need to be addressed by those delaying Social Security until age 70.


Full article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wondering-when-to-take-social-security--145428605.html

Social Security Quick Calculator: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/index.html


Have any DUers waited until age 70 (or 68, 69) to start taking SS benefits? Are you planning on waiting?

11 replies, 1195 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wondering When to Take Social Security? (Original post)
Common Sense Party Jan 2013 OP
hollysmom Jan 2013 #1
Common Sense Party Jan 2013 #2
hollysmom Jan 2013 #8
Common Sense Party Feb 2013 #11
Downwinder Jan 2013 #3
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2013 #4
Common Sense Party Jan 2013 #5
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2013 #6
buzzroller Jan 2013 #7
Common Sense Party Jan 2013 #9
SheilaT Feb 2013 #10

Response to Common Sense Party (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:24 PM

1. I didn't wait, got laid off at 59, didn't work again,

so retired officially at 62. As did most of my IT friends.
I figured that my benefits would even out in my 90's. no one in my family has lived to then , so I decided the sooner the better, but I also have a small, very small defined benefit retirement plan and salted away a lot of money in my IRA and SEP and my defined contribution plans. to make up the difference as well as having savings from not being able to do fun stuff with a sick mother and being the sole caretaker for years.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:00 PM

2. You make a great point. If your family history doesn't lean toward longevity,

it's probably a good idea to start taking reduced payments at 62.

I'm glad you had savings. I'm sorry to hear it had to come from missing out on fun stuff.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:40 PM

8. I think late 80's is pretty long lived compared to some people

We just don't seem to make it to 90 much.

Nor do most people.

I don't think of it as missing out on much, I loved my parents and enjoyed being with them. I know so many people have many worse stories of care giving. Being ill made my parents quieter and appreciative, not angry and mean. I have many wonderful memories from dragging my parents along on vacation with me, ha ha and I had never lived alone when I got divorced after 25 years of marriage. So after spending some vacations with my husband and then spending some years on vacation with female friends sailing, I spent the later ones with my parents at the beach, sort of bookending how it began with my parents taking me to the beach as a child. After my parents both passed I used the money from them to buy a small place at the beach that just recently got destroyed (Sandy). life can be a wonderful full circle.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:31 PM

11. A lot of people do, and it's happening more all the time.

There were 80,000 Americans that reached age 100 in the year 2010. That's nothing in a country of 310 million, but there are still plenty of people living to 90, 92, 95.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:55 PM

3. Medicare Part D Extra Help is means tested.

That may be a consideration.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:15 PM

4. Excellent advice.

For those that it is practical, waiting is better for exactly the reasons you state.

While I was a broker, one of my clients, who became a friend, was a man named George Bush (Really!), an Englishman who live to 101!

He became my client at the ripe age of 98 and lived all of that time in assisted living facilities. Between his living costs and his medical expenses, he burned through over $90,000 a year.

While he had a substantial 6 figure portfolio when he became my client, and though I did the best I could to keep him conservatively invested, his net worth was reduced by more than half in the 3 years I knew him.

I was one of only two people at his funeral. He had outlived all his friends.

Your comments regarding the increased longevity of Americans is not to be understated,

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:28 PM

5. Oops, sorry for the confusion. Those weren't my words. Those were the author's.

Assisted Living is a huge money-sucker.

Unfortunately, from what I hear, Long-Term Care insurance is getting much more expensive--but still worth investigating.

BTW--how did your friend like sharing the name with a couple of presidents?

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Response to Common Sense Party (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:42 PM

6. He was amused by the attention it gave him.

He was a really interesting guy.

He was born in 1908 and was a ...well...I think he called it "Theoretical Chemistry"...something like that, it's been since 2009 when he passed.

Anyway, he worked for Her Majesty's Armaments in the South of England during WWII in a Cordite facility.

He was also instrumental with and worked on the team that originally developed Carbon Fiber technology and helped bring that product to the public sphere.

He worked for the British Embassy in DC as a Technology liaison through the 1960's and 70's.

One big problem.....I could never get him to properly modify his trust documents to reflect the true intentions he shared with me for what to do with the remains of his estate. As far as I know, it is still in limbo, as there are no heirs.

The trust stated that a Charitable trust was to get it all, but I KNOW he wanted it distributed more broadly. He was a devout Catholic and wanted to help many other charities. The problem is he named a now defunct entity as the successor trustee - AG Edwards Trust company, a division of the firm I worked for that got swallowed by Wachovia and then Wells Fargo at the end. I admit I suggested he do that, as he wanted to name me, but I couldn't and wouldn't as there would have been a MASSIVE conflict of interest issue. Not to mention it just isn't ethical. AG Edwards Trust was the perfect solution, but as I mentioned, I could just never get him to go see his attorney and flesh out the details on the trust docs.

The Moral? Get your shit together early, and if you change your mind, make the changes to trusts and wills RIGHT AWAY.

Don't wait until it is too late to do anything.

BTW, the account is probably back well above $500,000 with the recovery of the market, but as far as I know, just sits there, in legal limbo.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:57 PM

7. When to take Social Security

I researched this subject before I retired and found out that it was a complicated question. In addition to life expectancy, you need to consider your spouse's earnings and age. Because my spouse is younger, I should wait until 70 if I can so that she can receive a greater spousal benefit when I die (The surviving spouse gets the greater of his or hers or the spouse's SS income).
There are social security calculators that will, for a fee, recommend when to take it based on these and other factors (Google social security calculators) but you still have to input your life expectancy, inflation rate, and expected return on investments.

For an individual, there is a break even age of 83, meaning you are better off waiting if you live longer than that; but with a spouse it is not that simple.

Good luck

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Response to buzzroller (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:45 PM

9. I highly recommend listening to Ray Lucia's radio show

especially for questions on spousal SS benefits. Anyone can call in and get guidance on whether it makes sense to take one's own SS or a spouse's. It does get very technical--way beyond my pay grade.

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Response to Common Sense Party (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:32 PM

10. I'm 64 and will wait at least two more

years to collect SS. I actually hope I can put it off until age 70, but that depends on a few other things in my life. I can expect to live well into my 80's, and probably into my 90's.

Oh, and I will continue to work past age 66, although I don't know at this point how long. It's going to depend on a very hard-nosed look at my situation, and what the balance will be between income and leisure time. I'd love to quit work sooner, because I'd like to do a lot of travelling, but if I'm not working I won't have as much money. Currently I am in the enviable position of only working part time, 20 hours a week at a hospital with full benefits.

I have never had a job that I've actually loved. Going to a workplace has always been tedious and boring for me. I have long thought that a 40 hour work week is entirely too long, and I'm enraged that the promise that was held out in the 1950's and 60's that by the end of the century the workweek would be no more than thirty hours, that promise just disappeared.

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