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Old 03-08-2016, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,763 posts, read 10,837,755 times
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You haven't provided enough information to determine if you have a financial problem or a compulsive stress issue. (It sounds like you have been saving and investing for long enough, you are in the latter category). What percentage of your retirement finances will SS provide? What percentage of your 'retirement nut' will you eat during the 4-years waiting to reach 70 with SS? Will the 4-years added SS really add that much to your retirement well-being?

Most important, how strong is your wife's and your motivation to retire sooner, rather than later? How is your health and other issues that are likely to restrict your retirement enjoyment if you wait until later?

If you check on the retirement forum, you will find some threads dealing with how many people stress over accumulating a 'huge' $number, that they really didn't need once they were retired. I retired at 61-62 and took SS at that time, but, my wife had a pension and we both had SS. We've traveled extensively and denied ourselves little, but, even after 8-years, we've still not tapped into our IRA's ... and will probably not do so until RMD's kick-in in about 2-years.

This is a good opportunity to really think-out your lifestyle, expenses, assets and future resources. We artificially reduced our income to our anticipated retirement income level, 1-2 years in advance - to test out the theory. Ironically, once one retires, the pressure to "save enough" is released and replaced by figuring-out how to make what you have last.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,224 posts, read 8,523,201 times
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Great question! I have some of the same fears and go back and forth a bit on how long to wait. The thing I keep in mind though is that I don't HAVE to hold out until 70...I can reassess, and will, all along the way. Depending on what the market is doing and how the money is holding out...and what the tax situation is shaping up to be.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:07 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 2,198,175 times
Reputation: 6130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
You haven't provided enough information to determine if you have a financial problem or a compulsive stress issue. (It sounds like you have been saving and investing for long enough, you are in the latter category). What percentage of your retirement finances will SS provide? What percentage of your 'retirement nut' will you eat during the 4-years waiting to reach 70 with SS? Will the 4-years added SS really add that much to your retirement well-being?

Most important, how strong is your wife's and your motivation to retire sooner, rather than later? How is your health and other issues that are likely to restrict your retirement enjoyment if you wait until later?

If you check on the retirement forum, you will find some threads dealing with how many people stress over accumulating a 'huge' $number, that they really didn't need once they were retired. I retired at 61-62 and took SS at that time, but, my wife had a pension and we both had SS. We've traveled extensively and denied ourselves little, but, even after 8-years, we've still not tapped into our IRA's ... and will probably not do so until RMD's kick-in in about 2-years.

This is a good opportunity to really think-out your lifestyle, expenses, assets and future resources. We artificially reduced our income to our anticipated retirement income level, 1-2 years in advance - to test out the theory. Ironically, once one retires, the pressure to "save enough" is released and replaced by figuring-out how to make what you have last.
Thanks for sharing that.

I asked these questions, because there is a big difference between making a plan, and having actually lived it. The question isn't about the math, it is about actually having done this. Simply saying "Isn't that what the retirement savings is for?" doesn't talk about how someone felt who proceeded with the plan.

I have a retired neighbor who is 78 years old. When he took a buy-out from his employer to retire early at age 62, he automatically decided to take social security along with the pension. He has repeatedly told me how much savings he has because he continues to invest and it is substantial. So I asked him why he decided to take social security at age 62 instead of waiting later and perhaps to age 70, because he could have easily afforded it. He told me, when the opportunity presented itself he took social security as soon as possible because he didn't want to spend his savings. I mentioned it would have carried him through though, and he said he didn't like the idea of seeing his savings go down each year.

I only have him as a single data point in this, because not many people who are retired past age 70 are going to tell you their financial situation without being anonymous, which is why I posted here.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,498,448 times
Reputation: 27565
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
You haven't provided enough information to determine if you have a financial problem or a compulsive stress issue. (It sounds like you have been saving and investing for long enough, you are in the latter category). What percentage of your retirement finances will SS provide? What percentage of your 'retirement nut' will you eat during the 4-years waiting to reach 70 with SS? Will the 4-years added SS really add that much to your retirement well-being?

Most important, how strong is your wife's and your motivation to retire sooner, rather than later? How is your health and other issues that are likely to restrict your retirement enjoyment if you wait until later?

If you check on the retirement forum, you will find some threads dealing with how many people stress over accumulating a 'huge' $number, that they really didn't need once they were retired. I retired at 61-62 and took SS at that time, but, my wife had a pension and we both had SS. We've traveled extensively and denied ourselves little, but, even after 8-years, we've still not tapped into our IRA's ... and will probably not do so until RMD's kick-in in about 2-years.

This is a good opportunity to really think-out your lifestyle, expenses, assets and future resources. We artificially reduced our income to our anticipated retirement income level, 1-2 years in advance - to test out the theory. Ironically, once one retires, the pressure to "save enough" is released and replaced by figuring-out how to make what you have last.
I did the same and for the same reason. I didn't want to pull the plug if my numbers were off.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,624 posts, read 4,462,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastguyz View Post
Have any of you actually done this? Did it bother you psychologically to see your savings statement become less and less over the years even though you had enough money to live on.
I know exactly how you feel, because I feel the same way. I had a plan, and recently had a fee-only financial advisor review it. It's a good plan, and he suggested several modifications, one of which is to live on my 403(b) savings and delay SS benefits until I'm 70.

I'll be retiring in exactly one year from today, at age 65 and a half. The plan was for that big check I get for unused vacation and sick time to last me the half year until I get to my FRA in August. It does bother me that he wants me to draw down the 403(b) so that I could delay SS.

I had originally planned get an immediate annuity for half of the 403(b) money, use some of it to pay off the mortgage of my new retirement house that existing equity won't cover, and leave the rest as an emergency/reserve fund.

It will be a very, very difficult decision to tap into those funds for daily living expenses.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,507 posts, read 9,567,372 times
Reputation: 15773
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastguyz View Post
My wife and I have been doing retirement planning. She talks about wanting to retire before we are eligible to receive full benefits. Which means living off our retirement savings and holding out until age 70 to get the max benefit from Social Security.

All my life I have saved money and invested. I'm thinking about it, and I think it is going to feel strange having our entire savings decline until we start taking Social Security benefits.

Have any of you actually done this? Did it bother you psychologically to see your savings statement become less and less over the years even though you had enough money to live on? How did you feel when you finally started taking the max social security? Was it a relief or it wasn't a big deal for you?

Having done this plan, how do you feel about it? Did you feel you still have enough money past age 70? Any regrets in this type of plan?
We are in our 50's and just started working our plan a few months ago. We do have a company pension that covers part of our income and we have paid for real estate that provides income as well. We have the option to draw down our 401K accounts which we don't expect to start until 2017...we actually believe we will not have to see our savings decrease as the growth should cover the withdrawals we'll need but there is always the possibility the market will crash and we will see our savings go lower. It doesn't bother me but it bothers my wife as the market crashed in Dec and January but I just see it as market fluctuation.

You can kill yourself working or if you have enough, why not enjoy life and stay healthy?

One thing to keep track of is the relationship of your withdrawals and its affect on social security taxes. I'm hoping to take maybe 30-40% of my 401K savings out before taking ss.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:01 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,265,616 times
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That would be a good discussion. What percentage is not too much to withdraw while delaying for SS. My plan on paper is 20%. I don't see that as too much at all.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:05 AM
 
6,878 posts, read 7,276,074 times
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Whether a person should be nervous about spending down savings…ultimately I would think… have to do with:
-- how much they have to start with
-- how much and how quickly they draw it down…and….
-- how low they're willing to let it get, before claiming their benefit.

Some people wouldn't want to spend down to below seven figures….others don't have seven figures to even start with.

If a person HAS enough money to drawn down their funds, and not get to their DIScomfort level of savings (whatever that number is for them), then I guess they have enough to live off those monies until the Soc Sec starts.

HAS any one here spent down past their comfort level? And has that ultimately worked out OK? or unfortunately not.

I would imagine that before you spend down, you'd better have a very good idea of what you think is likely to happen or not happen in your life…..and even then some people would say ANYTHING can happen.

For example, suppose your not really thinking of buying into a CCRC, at the start of your retirement. But then your health changes, or whatever…maybe you just read more about them and start to consider them. Well, you won't be able to buy into one if you've spent down your savings/investments to below what you'd need to buy in. Some times INCOME isn't everything. Some times you need MONEY ON HAND already.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
..................

You can kill yourself working or if you have enough, why not enjoy life and stay healthy?
..........................
I enjoyed life while I was working. Why would a person wait decades until retirement to start enjoying life? As to health, one is not ipso facto healthier because one has retired. Sure, one might be heatlhier if work was high stress involving anger and 60-hour weeks, etc. One might also be less healthy if one feels no sense of purpose and/or is socially isolated after retirement. This Retirement Forum is liberally supplied with examples of the latter. Neither of your assumptions is automatic, although I don't doubt they derive from your personal experience. My point is that your personal experience is not universal and will not necessarily apply to the OP of this thread.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:20 AM
 
71,520 posts, read 71,712,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
That would be a good discussion. What percentage is not too much to withdraw while delaying for SS. My plan on paper is 20%. I don't see that as too much at all.
i would say a max of 40% . even 50% would be pushing it in to danger . we are at about 28-30% right now . but i retired at 63 so we saved a year of spending other wise we would be at about 33% for the 8 years delaying . it will be less once i file restricted application on my wife in a few years since she is two years older then me .

but the more then 50k in inflation adjusted dollars we will get will have about 1/2 our budget covered once ss kicks in . right now markets account for 85% of our income .
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