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Old 10-14-2012, 04:40 AM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 9 days ago)
 
30,200 posts, read 27,306,554 times
Reputation: 17589

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i recently learned about a very interesting site called social security solutions. there have been many positives about them on other forums by folks who are the most sceptical of everything financial and they themselves have gone to them for a work up.


the ins and outs of ss are very complex and the folks who work at ss only know what they want them to know about getting you more money.


finally a company of experts have surfaced that for not much money will guide you as to how to play the game for your case.

they have different levels of projections and work ups depending what you want to spend for the service.

one thing i learned about the ss system in trying to learn my way around it is there are many ways you can maximize benefits that arent readily known and you can leave 100k or more on the table by missing a point.

i have not done it myself yet but i believe i will spring for the plus evaluation when i do.

i am not endorsing the site other than to let you all know a service exists that you can turn to if you need to.

Get Your Solution
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:41 AM
 
1,037 posts, read 825,765 times
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I am puzzled about statement that the ins and outs of social security are very complex. I guess it is my ignorance but the tables and choices seem very clear except for special circumstances such as divorce and remarriage. I know there have been some attempts to game the system by taking early retirement and then paying back and starting over. I believe that loophole has closed.

I had planned on delaying benefits for several years. My reasoning: I did not need the money now and the 8% annual increase seemed like a good choice if I live long enough to collect. That plan changed. I need "income" in order to qualify for a mortgage. At today's rates, I want to be able to borrow as much money as possible since the cost of the loan is way less than my return from investments and that difference will only magnify when rates increase. This decision has nothing to do with the ins and outs of the social security program.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:57 AM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 9 days ago)
 
30,200 posts, read 27,306,554 times
Reputation: 17589
its clear like mud: usually when someone says whats complex about ss its a clear sign they know little about the options.

im not saying thats it in your case but generally anyone who thinks dealing with ss is simple is ignorant on the subject.

so for starters these are just the ways i know about for increasing benefits and this is subject to change as i learn more from some very knowledable people on the subject.. .

you have selective application vs file and suspend for getting more out of the system.. not taking advantage of or making the wrong choice here can cost you big bucks in lost payments.

you have the ability to have a marriage of convience for getting spousal benefits.

you have a divorce of convenience for getting 2 spousal benefits while allowing your own to grow.

you have file early and at 66 suspend allowing your own ss to grow again. not to be confused with file and suspend which involves a spouse and not filing early...

you have calculations galore to do to compare break even ages based on possible inflation adjusted returns on investments you think you can get if you take it early.

the break even age of 80.5 assumes zero inflation adjusted returns . everything over that changes the break even age making it even higher. its possible it may not pay to delay taking it at all..

there are survivor benefits to consider the earlier from 70 you file..

there are ways of increasing your ss even after you have taken it by working both before and after fra.


very few folks even understand how it works when you are under fra ,filed and earned over the limit.

then there are the tax stratagies,planning and calculations.

i would venture to say the average person doesnt maximize benefits at all.

if all this is clear to you god bless you but i think the rest of us are still learning to navagate through the options.

Last edited by mathjak107; 10-14-2012 at 11:26 AM..
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
9,341 posts, read 7,307,324 times
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For us single people without any minor children (I have been divorced for a good number of years) I think Social Security is a whole lot simpler. It comes down to guesswork as to how long we think we will live. Taking retirement benefits before full retirement age (66 for most of us posting here) will cost us plenty if we live out our statistically normal age span. Even taking it before age 70 can cost us if we live to a ripe old age.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:24 AM
 
1,037 posts, read 825,765 times
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Sorry there are no marriages or divorces of convenience in my life. I am not interested in such schemes to game the system even if they could be done legally.

I have been retired almost 2 years and have no plans to work in retirement.

My estate and tax planning are very simple and done. I have no interest in constantly rehashing to gain little or no return.

My retirement planning is real simple at this point. If I had been really interested in getting the most possible money, I would have worked a few months or a year or so longer and well exceeded any possible increase for strategies, plans and calculations. There is something to be said for living without all that. I did enough worried planning before I retired.

My main concern at this point is investing. I want simplicity and a plan where I can travel and not need to constantly watch my investments. I use but do not trust financial advisors. The whole pack of them have repeatedly proven themselves to be idiots. This means I need to spend more time on this issue than I would like.

I did a quick read of what I have written and realize that I cannot avoid a common error. I referred to "retirement planning" as a financial issue. My plans in retirement have very little to do with finances. I have other interests that leave me little time or energy for managing money. Try to remove yourself from the rat race, you might like the alternatives.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:37 AM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 9 days ago)
 
30,200 posts, read 27,306,554 times
Reputation: 17589
im 100% with you on the making life simpler part as far as how our income is generated.

my plan based on what we learned is my wife just filed at 62. at 66 ill be filing a selective application for 1/2 hers as a spouseal benefit and let mine grow to 70.

if the investment out look looks better i just may file earlier for my own

i know folks who retired and never took spousal benefits because they were ignorant on the subject and they delayed their own.

i would never want to own individual stocks in retirement.

i would have to buy so many to stay diversified i would have to take on a new retirement job of following all those issues a day.

i have better use for my time then that.

my investment life the last 25 years has never required more than 1 minute a week and that is the way i want to keep it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:42 AM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 9 days ago)
 
30,200 posts, read 27,306,554 times
Reputation: 17589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
For us single people without any minor children (I have been divorced for a good number of years) I think Social Security is a whole lot simpler. It comes down to guesswork as to how long we think we will live. Taking retirement benefits before full retirement age (66 for most of us posting here) will cost us plenty if we live out our statistically normal age span. Even taking it before age 70 can cost us if we live to a ripe old age.
it still can be more complex and require more than average knowledge to maximize even for a single..

as an example:

if you know how ss is calculated if you didnt work at least 35 years then those years you are short or missing are filled in with zeros.

that can dilute your benefit big time depending how many years your short .

it may pay to work a few years if you filed early and bump out the zeros with real numbers.

if over fra and already collecting then you may want to suspend what your getting allowing it to grow at almost 8% a year to 70 while replacing the zeros in your record with real earnings. you can only do this at full FRA

your not paying it back , your suspending it.

while perhaps this stuff may not be of use to you i can tell you there are a whole load of folks who can use the extra dough.

ill bet not many are even aware of stuff like this.

Last edited by mathjak107; 10-14-2012 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: WA
4,071 posts, read 13,391,852 times
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There are numerous factors that can be considered so it is not as straightforward for some as others. On top of the issues regarding the best strategy to take the benefits (many options for a couple that both have benefits) there are tax and investment considerations.

If you have much in tax deferred accounts that will trigger mandatory withdrawals at 70.7, flexibility to restructure a portfolio before taking SS, ability to take advantage of stable investments, or the ability to make changes affecting your tax bracket, etc.,it is worthwhile to spend time understanding the system and impact on your finances long term.

I have not filed for early SS and am making some changes that should allow SS of which 85% will be taxed to substitute for some of an income stream 100% taxed. I don't intend to use this planning service but can see how it could be valuable.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:11 PM
 
4,128 posts, read 7,836,020 times
Reputation: 4521
Maybe I'm foolish or possibly simple minded, but we both retired early, took our SS and pensions. Haven't touched investments and live extremely comfortably. After being diagnosed with cancer in '05, having a kidney removed, totaled a car in auto accident and watching supposedly very healthy friends passed before reaching retirement and being able to take SS, we figured we would take the money now...may not be around when it's worth more. You just never know when your numbers going to be called...
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:14 PM
 
23,901 posts, read 19,988,856 times
Reputation: 5891
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
There are numerous factors that can be considered so it is not as straightforward for some as others. On top of the issues regarding the best strategy to take the benefits (many options for a couple that both have benefits) there are tax and investment considerations.

If you have much in tax deferred accounts that will trigger mandatory withdrawals at 70.7, flexibility to restructure a portfolio before taking SS, ability to take advantage of stable investments, or the ability to make changes affecting your tax bracket, etc.,it is worthwhile to spend time understanding the system and impact on your finances long term.

I have not filed for early SS and am making some changes that should allow SS of which 85% will be taxed to substitute for some of an income stream 100% taxed. I don't intend to use this planning service but can see how it could be valuable.
A very good summary. It can be complex or it can be simple. Retirement planning can be as involved as you want it to be and it can have as long a time frame as you want. It is very individually oriented and what is best for you can depend on what your end game is. We have one and it has guided our decisions about a number of things. We want to maximize income for the surviving spouse and have demonstratable assets if we need LTC at a top tier facility.
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