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Old 05-17-2015, 10:47 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,177 posts, read 1,275,748 times
Reputation: 4506

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My circumstance is similar and opposite, in that my wife is 5 years and 2 months older than me, and worked most of her life, retired at 54 and started collecting SS this year at 62. The finance gap such as yours, we dont have, but deciding when to retire to spend more time together traveling and such is the same. Paying off the house is not an issue, in fact DW keeps suggesting we remortgage to get money out so I could retire early. She's not very good at long term financial planning. My solution, which may not be available to a lot of people, is to work part time after 62, 7-8 months a year,i in my present position and take off 4-5 months. By then, Part time, I would be earning the same salary I had 2 years ago, continue to earn pension credit, which maxes at 65, and carry full health and savings benefits, so we can afford to travel the way we want.
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Location: R.I.
987 posts, read 611,483 times
Reputation: 4291
These decisions are never easy. I am 58 y/o and was widowed when I was 44. My live in partner for the last 12 years is age 63 and essentially retired as he went out on workman's comp a year ago after a wall fell on him at work causing a neck injury and I don't see him returning to work. We have put off marriage until after I turn 60 so that I can initially collect on my late husband's SS benefit which my plan will be to do this at age 64. At age 64 I will retire with 20 years of federal service under the CSRS pension plan and my monthly benefit will be around $2,000, and my SS amount collecting at this age on my late husband's benefit will be $1,700. I will convert to my own benefit sometime after my FRA/66.5 which at my FRA is $2250 and at 70 around $3,000. What helps not being able to retire sooner is I like my job, I get paid well as an R.N., and do no physical labor just computer and phone work. Fortunately my house has been paid off a number of years, and that former mortgage money gets socked away in my TSP which I don't have to draw on until I have to or need to. Although my live in partner/future husband significantly contributes to our expenses, having been widowed once I do my retirement finance calculation only on my finances because that is all I can truly count on and this is the reason why age 64 works best for me. We have no big travel bucket list for our retirement years as we do a good amount of traveling now. We do plan to sell the house and relocate to likely Florida down sizing to a smaller home which we will purchase in cash.

Not to be a pessimist, but I never in my wildest imagination thought I would have become a widow at age 44, so this can happen at any time. That being said, make your retirement plans with a high focus on the ability of the surviving spouse to be self supporting which includes going into retirement as debt free as possible.

Good Luck.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:20 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,211 posts, read 2,873,226 times
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I'm 61 and my husband is 59 - 2.5 years younger than I.

I'm holding out until 65 - so there's no dinging of the state pension for "leaving early" (seriously? - I will have 27 years of service at that point).

But we will have to think about health coverage for my spouse - he could start taking Social Security at that point. He's semi-retired now as he's had trouble finding work in sales...... he's my househusband.

Ironically - he'll bring home more SS than I - as I will be subject to the WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) as I work for a government entity that does not pay into Social Security.

I think we'll be OK - I just don't want huge medical premiums until he's in Medicare.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,386 posts, read 3,728,408 times
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If you can survive now if he died then retire when you are ready to start doing retirement things.
Consider life insurance on him if you will need more money.
If he post pones SS until 70 you will get 50% of that he gets when he dies.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:23 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,177 posts, read 1,275,748 times
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Incorrect. She would get 100% of what he was getting if he dies. She can get 50% of his FRA amount if it is more than hers (doesnt sound it though) , anytime after her FRA.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,431 posts, read 2,578,936 times
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Regarding all the SS discussion, my benefit should be higher than his -- I've always paid into SS, even with the current state job. That doesn't address what I'd get if he were to pass away at some point in the next ten years, but comparing apples to apples, mine would be more. It might be one of those situations where I claim the spousal benefit on him and let mine accrue to age 70 then switch. But I haven't really broken that all down yet.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:16 AM
 
Location: R.I.
987 posts, read 611,483 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakabedy View Post
Regarding all the SS discussion, my benefit should be higher than his -- I've always paid into SS, even with the current state job. That doesn't address what I'd get if he were to pass away at some point in the next ten years, but comparing apples to apples, mine would be more. It might be one of those situations where I claim the spousal benefit on him and let mine accrue to age 70 then switch. But I haven't really broken that all down yet.
My situation is a little different because my husband died a number of years before his FRA. When I called SS they did a calculation based on his work history prior to his death and have a formula which predicts what his income growth would have likely been had he been able to work to his FRA. I was surprised at the amount SS came up with since my income significantly grew since my husband's death, so taking his reduced benefit at 64 is not much different than taking my own at 64. SS told me this has to do with a few years I did not work which produces zero no SS credit years on my SS record. My late husband who was 5 years older than me began working full time at age 18 even during college so at his death at age 49 he already had a no gap 26 year SS credit producing work history. So for me, working to age 64 will give me the years I need to replace those zero years with 35 SS credit credit producing years so when I convert to my own benefit at my FRA or beyond, it will be higher than what they predicted my husband's benefit would be.

I have found all the SS reps I have spoke with over the phone to be very helpful, so give them a call because talking to a live person can produce much clearer info than trying to obtain it from the SS web site.
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