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Old 07-22-2014, 07:07 PM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,440 times
Reputation: 31

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johninvegas View Post
OP,

I found the website to be daunting, however, when I called the 800 number, the people are very nice and patient. They can help you with almost any question. I see that you live in Nevada (according to your location on your post). I did have a small problem with information that they gave me on the phone that was contradicted by the people at the office here in Las Vegas. It was a small problem and only cost me a bit of time (around 40 minutes), but be aware that some offices have different operating procedures than others.

The only other problem I had when I phoned up was the long wait to get someone on the phone in the first place, about an hour. I have a speaker phone next to my computer, though, so it wasn't a problem for me, I just worked on the computer till they answered. Once that person was on the phone with me, all my questions were answered in short order, about 10 minutes.

I will say that if you are making $600 a week and file at age 62, you're going to find that your benefit will be substantially cut. You are allowed to make $15k a year (the amount works out to $1290 per month) until you're 65, then you can make $41k. You don't lose the amount they hold back, it's just deferred. I think the formula is for every $2 you make over the amount allowed, they take $1 off your benefit, but I could be wrong. That is why you really need to speak with the people at the 800 number.
Thanks for this info. While I am not relying on it, and will contact Soc Sec, this does give me the info I need to ask an intelligent question and have an understanding of what the answer might be and to be prepared to ask specific questions, which is why I came here to post.
Thank you.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,440 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
From an IRS perspective, it is rarely worth it for a married couple to consider filing separate. They will get you coming or going.
Yes, that is what I've always found when trying it both ways on turbotax before filing. I thought it might be different when someone is collecting Social Security but probably not.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:11 PM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,440 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by reed303 View Post
[font=Verdana]

]You don't learn if you don't ask.........


One issue with calling SSA is they generally will not offer advice. You have to know what questions to ask.
Exactly! That's why I have not called them yet, and why I want to get as much info from people who know something about it, online, before I call them or take the time to go down to the office - both of which I understand are time consuming and potentially frustrating endeavors.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:25 PM
 
Location: NV
10 posts, read 12,440 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
my opinion is this:

when and how to take social security can be one of the biggest financial decisions most folks make in their lifetime. a wrong choice can leave 100k on the table or cause huge tax ramifications.

why anyone especially with a spouse would leave that choice to asking the low hourly payed SCRIPTED workers at the ss office escapes me.

there are so many options that they are not even aware of it is pathetic.

try to find just one who even knows a single can file and suspend. yep ,and that way they can delay ss or if the need comes up take a lump sum check going back to your fra.

i think it is such a major decision that anyone who does not at least get a minimal work up done by a professional site like social securities solutions may be shooting themselves in the foot.

sites like that are experts on the ss system. they understand all the aspects ,pitfalls and ramifications of the effect on your assets and taxes.
mathjak, I agree that it's an important decision and that any particular worker at the ss office may not be able to provide good answers (though one's mileage may vary in any particular circumstance; i.e.; certainly some employees know stuff, but others probably do not).

That said, I don't think my situation is a complicated one. I am collecting early regardless of how much I would get if I wait, I just need to know the answers I put in my first post, mostly, and that's about it, as far as I know.

Not sure how much the site you recommend charges but I would not be willing to pay too much for it based on the low amount of money I will be getting and my ability to find info on the net for most of my questions.

I did not understand this paragraph of yours at all. Can you clarify:
"try to find just one who even knows a single can file and suspend. yep ,and that way they can delay ss or if the need comes up take a lump sum check going back to your fra." What is "fra" and what does the first sentence mean? Either you are using language I don't know or it's got some typos...?

One last question - and this is not an accusation but simply what I consider to be a fair question: Are you affiliated in any way with the site you recommend or you simply have had good experience with them and believe in what they do? And are we referring to social security solutions dot c om?
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
my opinion is this:

when and how to take social security can be one of the biggest financial decisions most folks make in their lifetime. a wrong choice can leave 100k on the table or cause huge tax ramifications.

why anyone especially with a spouse would leave that choice to asking the low hourly payed SCRIPTED workers at the ss office escapes me.

there are so many options that they are not even aware of it is pathetic.


try to find just one who even knows a single can file and suspend. yep ,and that way they can delay ss or if the need comes up take a lump sum check going back to your fra.

i think it is such a major decision that anyone who does not at least get a minimal work up done by a professional site like social securities solutions may be shooting themselves in the foot.

sites like that are experts on the ss system. they understand all the aspects ,pitfalls and ramifications of the effect on your assets and taxes.
I think you're grossly exaggerating. The last Social Security rep I spoke with not only told me she intends to claim on her ex's record at FRA (while earning delayed credits on her own record), she also suggested in a not too subtle manner that my ex could still withdraw his application for benefits (claimed at FRA) if he chose to do so. I also reached a knowledgeable SSA employee using the 800 number. I honestly think the problem is not with Social Security's staff, but with the "end user".
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:04 PM
 
45 posts, read 44,618 times
Reputation: 116
I also would like to know if anybody has used social security solutions? Were they happy with their results ? How much do they charge? thanks !
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,541 posts, read 44,039,638 times
Reputation: 15150
FRA means full retirement age. We've got a number of threads on the Retirement Forum on the file and suspend technique, which is particularly useful for married couples.

No, mathjak has no affiliation with that site. You are new to this board and, thus, unfamiliar with long-term posters. CD doesn't allow members to promote their own business interests. Mathjak has no need, in any event. One of the more prosperous members here.

Quote:
* If I file for my Social Security at 62 what happens if I then work and make, say $600/week?
$600/wk = $31,200/year income. You are allowed to earn $15,480 without having your benefits reduced. Thereafter, your SS will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $15,480, or $15,720 ($31,200 less $15,480 = $15,720). Which means your $14,400/yr benefit becomes $6,540 ($14,400 less $7,860 [$15,720/2 = $7,860] = $6,540).

Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working

Quote:
* Do they take taxes out of my social security check? (Say I make $1200/month Social Security - how much taxes will they take out of that assuming no other income?
Taxes are not withheld from SS.

Quote:
* If my wife makes $2000/month will that in any way affect what I get from Social Security? or what they take out of my Social Security check? (Obviously it will affect our total tax burden if we file jointly)
There is no withholding on SS. Your wife's earnings have no effect on your SS benefit.

Income tax liability, however, is another matter. A certain amount of your SS benefit will become federally taxable, depending on how far over the threshold of $32,000 your earnings, plus your wife's earnings, plus 50% of your SS is. As much as 85% of your SS benefit could become taxable. So, you need to do the numbers.

Quote:
* In the above scenario will it behoove us NOT to file jointly?
Probably not, but you'll have to do the numbers both ways to determine that. 1040 instructions provide a worksheet on taxability of SS.

Since it appears collecting before your FRA (full retirement age) results in benefits are being decimated by your earnings, you need to think about this a bit more.

Generally, it is not advisable to collect SS early. Do a search on this board for file and suspend. There are many lengthy discussions on the financial advantages of strategically timing collection of benefits and which spouse collects what when. Proper planning can make a HUGE difference in SS benefits long-term - especially if you have a spouse.

You might start by taking the time to read this thread:

Am I crazy to retire now?

and then do a search on file and suspend.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
Reputation: 6866
From the horse's mouth: Retirement Planner: When You Work And Reach Full Retirement Age

Two more helpful links: How to Boost Your Social Security Check by 76% - Bloomberg (has a link to a free calculator, I haven't looked at it)

The Taxation Of Social Security Benefits As A Marginal Tax Rate Increase? | Kitces.com (for those who obsess over taxes).

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Old 07-23-2014, 03:03 AM
 
71,697 posts, read 71,801,099 times
Reputation: 49262
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiree9 View Post
mathjak, I agree that it's an important decision and that any particular worker at the ss office may not be able to provide good answers (though one's mileage may vary in any particular circumstance; i.e.; certainly some employees know stuff, but others probably do not).

That said, I don't think my situation is a complicated one. I am collecting early regardless of how much I would get if I wait, I just need to know the answers I put in my first post, mostly, and that's about it, as far as I know.

Not sure how much the site you recommend charges but I would not be willing to pay too much for it based on the low amount of money I will be getting and my ability to find info on the net for most of my questions.

I did not understand this paragraph of yours at all. Can you clarify:
"try to find just one who even knows a single can file and suspend. yep ,and that way they can delay ss or if the need comes up take a lump sum check going back to your fra." What is "fra" and what does the first sentence mean? Either you are using language I don't know or it's got some typos...?

One last question - and this is not an accusation but simply what I consider to be a fair question: Are you affiliated in any way with the site you recommend or you simply have had good experience with them and believe in what they do? And are we referring to social security solutions dot c om?
not affiliated in any way except that i hear they have a very good reputation. in fact i will talk about many different insurance products all the time too and i don't nor have i ever worked in the financial industry.

i just read a lot.

as far as whether worth it or not for you ? , can't answer that , that is unique to you. but i will say the less you have the more important it becomes to get every dollar available to you .

Last edited by mathjak107; 07-23-2014 at 03:48 AM..
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:04 AM
 
71,697 posts, read 71,801,099 times
Reputation: 49262
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I think you're grossly exaggerating. The last Social Security rep I spoke with not only told me she intends to claim on her ex's record at FRA (while earning delayed credits on her own record), she also suggested in a not too subtle manner that my ex could still withdraw his application for benefits (claimed at FRA) if he chose to do so. I also reached a knowledgeable SSA employee using the 800 number. I honestly think the problem is not with Social Security's staff, but with the "end user".
that is still not what i meant . i mentioned the fact they do not know the finer details like file and suspending if you are not married and doing it solely for yourself.

i have yet to hear of any ss rep that is even aware a single can file and suspend at fra and then give themselves the ability down the road to take a lump sum check going back to when they file and suspended if they need a roof or have an illness down the road before filing again.

file and suspend is common knowledge when it comes to couples, but singles few are aware of.

it is things like that they lack knowledge in as well as knowing the best moves to mesh with your financial and tax situation.

as someone said you already need to be well educated so you can ask the right questions but if you kinew things well enough you wouldn't be asking them.

the point is with so much money at stake go to a pro is my feeling.

Last edited by mathjak107; 07-23-2014 at 03:45 AM..
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