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Old 05-11-2015, 12:00 PM
 
Location: R.I.
979 posts, read 606,846 times
Reputation: 4248

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemycat View Post
Glad you have a good person assisting you on the FERS end, and I agree that adding the $400.00 extra each month is the way to go.

Back to your original post: when you are getting your widow's estimates, is the person at SSA just pulling up the estimate on the computer? They would be able to do so if you had collected for surviving children or as a young mother with children?

The reason I mention that, is because, as an "aged widow"- past age 60, very often the estimate they give you just by pulling up the old record is lower than what you might actually receive. Because your husband died before age 62, you would be due a "windex pia". It is a more beneficial type of computation. SSA can get you a truer estimate by requesting a survivor earnings record. It will provide the different computations and of course you will always receive your benefit based on the highest.

So, when you get a chance, ask for one, unless they were getting you the correct kind already.
Hi again, my husband and I had no children so there would be no record of surviving children's benefit. The SSA person I spoke with did pull up my husband's earning record and did some calculation and told me if I collect off his benefit first at age 64 it would be about $1,700/month. My benefit at 66.5 is around $2250/month and at age 70 in the $3,000/month ballpark. I would really like to shoot for at least $2500/month which would happen around age 68.5 as my health is good. Lots of decisions that are not that easy to make.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:08 PM
 
739 posts, read 1,611,096 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
you cannot file at 62 for your own and spousal. you only get your own.

as far as your question did your file for benefits at 62 too?
I am only 60 and haven't filed for anything yet. I understand that you can only collect one benefit. The current plan is for me to file for my own at age 62. I hope my spouse is healthy for many more years. When he is gone, I will file for a widow's benefit.

Is that a good plan?
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,851,516 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExNooYawk View Post
I am only 60 and haven't filed for anything yet. I understand that you can only collect one benefit. The current plan is for me to file for my own at age 62. I hope my spouse is healthy for many more years. When he is gone, I will file for a widow's benefit.

Is that a good plan?

it is if you need the money. but if you file early (62 to FRA is early) you will get less. If you need the money then please do. If you can live on your income or investments to FRA then you should do that. each situation is different and no one way is best for all.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:49 AM
 
674 posts, read 840,365 times
Reputation: 1191
Yikes,I think they need to give this as a college credit course for all students! Not that I would have taken a course on SS at that young age, but, gee, it almost sounds like you need to really sit through a thorough educational class on this.

Simply put: I am almost 60, spouse 62. He was laid off a year ago so the amounts that SS has that he would get at age 62 is probably spot on, but the ages 66 and 70 will obviously be reduced because he's not contributing much anymore (he does some consulting work). My benefits state that I will get almost exactly half of his amount, so it really doesn't matter if I take my own or his.

We don't have a penison so we are trying to hold off until he's 66 and I am 63 1/2.

From what you are stating is this my understanding:

He files at FRA and I file under his at age 63 1/2 taking a reduced amount. At age 70 I can switch to mine as it will have grown to be more than 1/2 of his. But, it will be reduced some because I took it out 2.5 years early?

Or...He files at his FRA (66) and suspends it. I file at same time (63.5). I get a reduced amount. He files for spousal under mine and gets 1/2. Then at age 70 he files under his own.

Or....even another scenerio: He files when I am at my FRA (66.2) and suspends. I get half of his. When he turns 70 he collects on his own. When I turn 70 I transfer and collect on my own. But, without a pension that may be too many years without an income. So, to maximize SS it makes sense, but probably won't be practical in our personal situation.

Or is there a better, more effective way that will work for us.

In the meantime we are using cash instruments that aren't earning any interest.
Thanks

Last edited by saralvr; 05-24-2015 at 08:12 AM.. Reason: correction
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:56 AM
 
71,659 posts, read 71,801,099 times
Reputation: 49251
your plan that "He files at FRA and I file under his at age 63 1/2 taking a reduced amount. At age 70 I can switch to mine as it will have grown to be more than 1/2 of his. But, it will be reduced some because I took it out 2.5 years early?"
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you can't file for anyones but your own if you re under fra. you have zero choice pre fra. there goes that plan!

plan 2 and 3 is ok
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:25 AM
 
39,277 posts, read 20,376,459 times
Reputation: 12761
Quote:
Originally Posted by beer belly View Post
I am years away from collecting SS (currently 55), and trying so hard to understand, but just can't get it......I think I need pictures
LOL, oh thank god. I thought it was me. If you ever find the pictures please send them to me.
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:01 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,184 posts, read 2,858,918 times
Reputation: 4879
Me too.

It's my understanding you cannot file and defer. And I would only defer one year as my FRA is 66 and I plan on retiring at 65.

Big deal.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,851,516 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlb View Post
Me too.

It's my understanding you cannot file and defer. And I would only defer one year as my FRA is 66 and I plan on retiring at 65.

Big deal.
Waiting to FRA is not deferring. It is just not filing. You file and defer at FRA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petch751 View Post
LOL, oh thank god. I thought it was me. If you ever find the pictures please send them to me.
That goes for me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saralvr View Post
Yikes,I think they need to give this as a college credit course for all students! Not that I would have taken a course on SS at that young age, but, gee, it almost sounds like you need to really sit through a thorough educational class on this.

Simply put: I am almost 60, spouse 62. He was laid off a year ago so the amounts that SS has that he would get at age 62 is probably spot on, but the ages 66 and 70 will obviously be reduced because he's not contributing much anymore (he does some consulting work). My benefits state that I will get almost exactly half of his amount, so it really doesn't matter if I take my own or his.

We don't have a penison so we are trying to hold off until he's 66 and I am 63 1/2.

From what you are stating is this my understanding:

He files at FRA and I file under his at age 63 1/2 taking a reduced amount. At age 70 I can switch to mine as it will have grown to be more than 1/2 of his. But, it will be reduced some because I took it out 2.5 years early?

Or...He files at his FRA (66) and suspends it. I file at same time (63.5). I get a reduced amount. He files for spousal under mine and gets 1/2. Then at age 70 he files under his own.

Or....even another scenerio: He files when I am at my FRA (66.2) and suspends. I get half of his. When he turns 70 he collects on his own. When I turn 70 I transfer and collect on my own. But, without a pension that may be too many years without an income. So, to maximize SS it makes sense, but probably won't be practical in our personal situation.

Or is there a better, more effective way that will work for us.

In the meantime we are using cash instruments that aren't earning any interest.
Thanks
Easiest way to understand it is to look at your own situation. If you need the income take it. Do not wait. No sense in putting yourself into trouble just to make a few extra bucks.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:52 AM
 
674 posts, read 840,365 times
Reputation: 1191
Easiest way to understand it is to look at your own situation. If you need the income take it. Do not wait. No sense in putting yourself into trouble just to make a few extra bucks.[/quote]


Agreed. That's why we will evaluate our portfolio each year and make the right decision for us. As it has been said in almost every post on this forum...these opinions of others are only guides to help you make the best decision for you. Armed with all the information we stand a greater chance of making the right decision. I thank everyone who takes the time to help others on this board.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Cape Elizabeth
425 posts, read 387,774 times
Reputation: 745
Quote:
Originally Posted by saralvr View Post
Yikes,I think they need to give this as a college credit course for all students! Not that I would have taken a course on SS at that young age, but, gee, it almost sounds like you need to really sit through a thorough educational class on this.

Simply put: I am almost 60, spouse 62. He was laid off a year ago so the amounts that SS has that he would get at age 62 is probably spot on, but the ages 66 and 70 will obviously be reduced because he's not contributing much anymore (he does some consulting work). My benefits state that I will get almost exactly half of his amount, so it really doesn't matter if I take my own or his.

We don't have a penison so we are trying to hold off until he's 66 and I am 63 1/2.

From what you are stating is this my understanding:

He files at FRA and I file under his at age 63 1/2 taking a reduced amount. At age 70 I can switch to mine as it will have grown to be more than 1/2 of his. But, it will be reduced some because I took it out 2.5 years early?

Or...He files at his FRA (66) and suspends it. I file at same time (63.5). I get a reduced amount. He files for spousal under mine and gets 1/2. Then at age 70 he files under his own.

Or....even another scenerio: He files when I am at my FRA (66.2) and suspends. I get half of his. When he turns 70 he collects on his own. When I turn 70 I transfer and collect on my own. But, without a pension that may be too many years without an income. So, to maximize SS it makes sense, but probably won't be practical in our personal situation.

Or is there a better, more effective way that will work for us.

In the meantime we are using cash instruments that aren't earning any interest.
Thanks
Ok, just my opinion, but I am not crazy about your husband not getting anything, or just getting 1/2 of your low amount at 66. At 66, he already has sat home, not worked and not collected for 4 years of eligibility, and that doesn't include this past year when he has been unemployed and wasn't able to collect.

An option for you guys that I like better is for him to file and collect his own at 66. He can collect, work as much as he likes and finally gets to get the reward of paying into SS his entire life.

Now, you, you can delay until you are 66.2 and then just file as his spouse. Then you can have your own garner the delayed retirement credits from 66.2 until 70 - just shy of another 32%. At 70, you finally file for your own with the credits.

One more thing, he will not be penalized much for not working past 61. From age 60 on, for earnings to be be included in the computation they have to be higher than his indexed earnings. Meaning, SSA just uses his "actual earnings" and doesn't apply the indexing formula. Indexed earnings means "what are they worth in today's dollars? and indexes them for changes in wages. So, most often, a year past 60 of earnings in the $20,000's, even $30,000's are not higher than a prior year of indexed earnings - which often are in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's.

Since SSA will always use a person's highest 35 years in a retirement case (less in survivors, disability), even if his consulting yielded a net profit of $25000.00, but his prior lowest year was an indexed year of $22000.00, only $3000.00 would be added in.

Now, if he didn't have 35 years of earnings, of course, they would remove a zero and anything he earns is better than a zero.
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