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View Poll Results: When did you (or when do you plan to) start taking Social Security benefits?
Age 62 66 55.00%
Age 63 2 1.67%
Age 64 3 2.50%
Age 65 10 8.33%
Age 66 19 15.83%
Age 67 or older 20 16.67%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-14-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: High Cotton
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Collecting early means locking in a lower payment for the rest of your life – and for your spouse if she/he survives you...unless you pay it all back at age 66 and reset. I'm not so sure that many people have the [future] vision to realize this because all the see is the chance to collect. Of course many of life's events could dictate what you do (e.g. if you are eligible and have lost your job and can't find another one, etc.).

Just to retire as soon as you can start collecting SS at age 62 (and actually collecting it) just does not make any sense to me. Social Security has always been a supplement to pensions, sizeable savings and investments. If a retiree isn't prepared with much beyond what SS pays it's going to be mighty tough, and that's even more true when the lower payment is locked-in for life...
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,469,539 times
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I should explain. My pension is more than my SS benefit will be.

Whether I begin SS at 62 are to 72; whatever the amount of SS benefit is, my pension will drop by that same amount.

So the total amount that I receive each month will remain about the same.

My pension is below the threshold for us to pay income taxes so long as we file M/J. So there will be no tax benefit to receiving SS either. In either case, I will still be paying no income taxes.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:58 PM
 
71,679 posts, read 71,801,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
I am certainly open to and capable of that plan... just worry that changes in regulation sometime over that period will screw up the deal.

While I am dribbling out of the IRA now to keep taxes down this would allow me to retain my tax shelter for earnings and still manage to cover the tax on the withdrawal in the future.

Is there actual experience with people doing this (including taking the payback hit to cover the conversion) without issues, and is there any talk about modifying these tax provisions?

Do you just file for SS at 62 and trust that the tax regs will be stable 8 years later?

I am not sure I trust the US government enough to count on this.

they are actually 2 different laws that allow the above... we do know someone who pulled it off with no hitches.. it was discovered purely by accident.

he really was paying back the ss for the higher payment. he ended up with all this negative income for the Year and it dosnt carry over. while thinking about a use for it he realized the roth conversion would now be a freebe

Last edited by mathjak107; 02-14-2010 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: High Cotton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I should explain. My pension is more than my SS benefit will be.

Whether I begin SS at 62 are to 72; whatever the amount of SS benefit is, my pension will drop by that same amount.

So the total amount that I receive each month will remain about the same.

My pension is below the threshold for us to pay income taxes so long as we file M/J. So there will be no tax benefit to receiving SS either. In either case, I will still be paying no income taxes.
I understand.

I just don't understand why people elect to take SS early (and lock-in a lower and fixed amount for life) unless they feel certain they will die early...or they have lost their job and given up on finding one and have no retirement savings or meaningful assets they can pull from until they reach age 66.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:50 AM
 
71,679 posts, read 71,801,099 times
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for evey year you wait its like getting an extra 8% raise...
forget the old school thinking about what if i die or what age will i break even..thats thinking from our parents generation

current thinking is if you have the resourses(assets) to delay taking it, instead of say withdrawing 4% of your inflation adjusted nest egg each year take say 6% right from day 1... why?

because if you live long enough to collect you have the comfort of knowing your nest egg will be replenished with about 30% more in payments later on refilling the extra dough your pulling out now so you have more money each year while your still healthy and able to enjoy alot of things you may not be able to do later on..

think of it as almost as if your buying an annuity with the money you lay out between 62 and 70 that will give you or your spouse a lifetime of higher payments...

your nest egg will be refilled starting at age 70 with a much larger stream of money and that will go on forever...

to me its not about dying with the biggest pile of money but rather living the best darn life we can while we can.


to me retirement isnt about surviving and getting by... its about enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of work,savings and sacrafice and living better now then before
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:48 AM
 
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I plan to wait until full retirement age (66 for me) unless some disaster, financial/medical, happens to me.
I do think it'll be easier to slog into work if I know that I could cut down or quit by being willing to take my pension or Soc.Sec. earlier. Longevity seems to run on both sides of my family- either you're nice and Jewish and you get cancer, or you're nasty and not-Jewish and you live forever and be crazy.
Those relatives who didn't get cancer live a really long time. In fact, one aunt has had many kinds of cancer for 60 years and is 92 and still drives to the shore every weekend.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:44 AM
 
Location: High Cotton
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I plan to wait until full retirement age (66 for me) unless some disaster, financial/medical, happens to me.
I do think it'll be easier to slog into work if I know that I could cut down or quit by being willing to take my pension or Soc.Sec. earlier. Longevity seems to run on both sides of my family- either you're nice and Jewish and you get cancer, or you're nasty and not-Jewish and you live forever and be crazy.
Those relatives who didn't get cancer live a really long time. In fact, one aunt has had many kinds of cancer for 60 years and is 92 and still drives to the shore every weekend.
I'd say the vast majority of people that have a job and decide to retire and also collect SS early (especially as soon as they can at age 62) are ill-prepared financially to retire and likely ignorant about financial matters in general.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I'll collect at 62 but my SS won't be huge as I moved from the US at age 48. I never made a high salary anyway. I stopped working at age 55 out of choice. Dh retired at 55 as well We have my dh's UK work pension, savings and investments. Dh will get a further state pension (for couples) at age 65 - in 4 years - at which time I'll be 62 and eligible for SS and a small US university pension.

I'm guessing with the exchange rate that my US pensions would probably pay for groceries and not much more. So my waiting until I'm 65 would be pointless.

If circumstances had been different and I was still in the US and single I'd probably have worked at least until age 66, probably longer.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:38 PM
GLS
 
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Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
..........
to me its not about dying with the biggest pile of money but rather living the best darn life we can while we can......
This is the source of disagreement between my wife and myself. She believes I should "die with the biggest pile of money" so she can go on "living the best darn life she can".
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: High Cotton
6,131 posts, read 6,445,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
This is the source of disagreement between my wife and myself. She believes I should "die with the biggest pile of money" so she can go on "living the best darn life she can".
Exactly when does she think you will die?
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