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Old 05-25-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Central Ohio
10,511 posts, read 13,372,845 times
Reputation: 15327

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We got already retired, parents retired and retired on a shoestring but what about those who are within a few short years of crossing the retirement threshold?

I have some questions to those that went before me.

Is something wrong with my "benefit estimates"? Never paid much attention to them before always thinking social security was $500 a month or so but if I am reading it right if I retire at 66 (five years from now) and my wife retires at 62 (two years from now) my benefit will be $2,020 a month, my wife will receive $1,022 for a combined social security income of $3,042 per month.

This seems awfully generous compared to what I always thought in my mind social security would be.

Given where and how we live today, we dramatically downsized and moved four years ago, I calculate we can live very comfortably on half what our combined benefit might be.

Some questions you might know the answer to.

Are the estimated figures right? Do they look realistic?

My wife collecting at age 62 will have no bearing on my decision to work to 66 or eve 70, right?

If something happens to me my wife will collect the larger of either her social security or mine, right?

Medicare. Medical insurance is the only thing tearing us up right now and starting age for medicare is 65, right?

How long before retirement should you make a formal visit to a social security office? What about medicare?

Medicare, did it start the first of the next month after you turned 65 (or whatever date it starts) or the first of the month you turned 65?

Can you get medicare before age 65?

How much are you finding medical care costs after medicare and the supplements pay?

On top of this my wife will get a small state pension, starting in just a few months when she turns 60, of $350 a month. Not a lot but like found money and starting soon!

Though having taken a terrible beating, like all of you have, we still have IRA and 401K money. When do you have to start taking this? How did you decide to take it an annual check or monthly? How do you decide what to take?
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
7,431 posts, read 7,987,101 times
Reputation: 17424
I'm anxious to hear about these same topics. Stay tuned....
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:32 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 88,794,510 times
Reputation: 18192
Go to the social security site ;all the answwrs are there/ medicare starts at 65;unlesss disabled and quailfied.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:52 PM
 
31,030 posts, read 37,136,605 times
Reputation: 13326
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
We got already retired, parents retired and retired on a shoestring but what about those who are within a few short years of crossing the retirement threshold?

I have some questions to those that went before me.

Is something wrong with my "benefit estimates"? Never paid much attention to them before always thinking social security was $500 a month or so but if I am reading it right if I retire at 66 (five years from now) and my wife retires at 62 (two years from now) my benefit will be $2,020 a month, my wife will receive $1,022 for a combined social security income of $3,042 per month.

This seems awfully generous compared to what I always thought in my mind social security would be.

Given where and how we live today, we dramatically downsized and moved four years ago, I calculate we can live very comfortably on half what our combined benefit might be.

Some questions you might know the answer to.

Are the estimated figures right? Do they look realistic?

My wife collecting at age 62 will have no bearing on my decision to work to 66 or eve 70, right?

If something happens to me my wife will collect the larger of either her social security or mine, right?

Medicare. Medical insurance is the only thing tearing us up right now and starting age for medicare is 65, right?

How long before retirement should you make a formal visit to a social security office? What about medicare?

Medicare, did it start the first of the next month after you turned 65 (or whatever date it starts) or the first of the month you turned 65?

Can you get medicare before age 65?

How much are you finding medical care costs after medicare and the supplements pay?

On top of this my wife will get a small state pension, starting in just a few months when she turns 60, of $350 a month. Not a lot but like found money and starting soon!

Though having taken a terrible beating, like all of you have, we still have IRA and 401K money. When do you have to start taking this? How did you decide to take it an annual check or monthly? How do you decide what to take?
Did you use this calculator? If so it is very accurate. It enables you to enter personal information and you get the estimate based on the current info at SS Admin.
Estimate Your Retirement Benefits

You can make a nice chunk of change with SS. Remember it is based on your income and not the income of other people. As you can see from the next link the maximum benefit per month is 2,323 per month. That comes out to 27,876 per year. Now you might not be at the top but if you and your spouse were high income earners you are looking at 40-50K per year at your normal retirement age. There are financial tricks to taking it that can enhance your long term benefits. Remember at 66 one of you can take their benefits and the other can take spousal benefits and allow theirs to continue to increase til 70. Yes you can be looking pretty good and you have developed a plan to compartmentalize your retirement expenses.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Central Ohio
10,511 posts, read 13,372,845 times
Reputation: 15327
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Did you use this calculator? If so it is very accurate. It enables you to enter personal information and you get the estimate based on the current info at SS Admin.
Estimate Your Retirement Benefits
Yes, I did.

Just seems off or high to me but if it's right we'll both have a good retirement if if I opt to work until 70 (high probability of that) we should be able to live on half of what we will receive. The other half we can use on vacations.

The formula is relatively simple for a good retirement; no debt, house paid for, no debt, living in an inexpensive property tax area of the country, no debt, moderate climate so you don't get pounded by $800 a month heating bills, no debt and for God's sake keep healthy and active. Work out at a gym even if it's nothing more than 20 minutes on a treadmill.

But it is good to know it appears we won't be eating dog food anytime soon.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,966,493 times
Reputation: 27653
You planned it right..congrats. If you don't have to work til 70 then why do it ? Unless of course you want to. Life is short, enjoy it to the fullest and if you'll be comfortable retiring at 66 then I recommend doing it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,474 posts, read 21,258,718 times
Reputation: 5641
I second the HappyTexan... Don't work a day past the day you can afford to retire...
I may need your company, but I can assure you, they don't need you...
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:58 AM
 
31,030 posts, read 37,136,605 times
Reputation: 13326
To each their own. However my thinking is as follows:
If you have planned and half of your retirement income is available for vacations then you are not working towards retirement you are working because you want to work and it is something you want to do. You have already reached the point where you are able to comfortably retire and enjoy life. However it may be that the planning and financial picture available is if they do work to 70. Not knowing anyone's finances it may project out that their debt reduction to zero is concurrent with reaching 70.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:02 AM
 
31,030 posts, read 37,136,605 times
Reputation: 13326
My wife collecting at age 62 will have no bearing on my decision to work to 66 or eve 70, right?

The above is from the OP and the following is my response

Yes it can play a major role. She can retire now and at 66 you can begin to collect spousal benefits and allow yours to continue to increase til age 70. You could retire at 66 and collect off of her benefits while yours continue to increase. At 70 you will get your full benefits based on that age. If you continue to work you are doing so for the difference between your benefits at 70 and the spousal benefits you would be getting at 66.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:09 AM
 
8,999 posts, read 13,028,858 times
Reputation: 21703
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
Though having taken a terrible beating, like all of you have, we still have IRA and 401K money. When do you have to start taking this? How did you decide to take it an annual check or monthly? How do you decide what to take?
I haven't researched Social Security because I've never paid into SS, and I won't be eligible for a spousal SS annuity either, so I can't help with any of those questions. However, I can answer your question about required distributions from IRAs & a 401k.

You must begin traking money out by April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which you turn 70 1/2. In other words, if your 70th birthday is June 15, 2009, you are 70 1/2 on December 15, and you would have to take money out by April 1, 2010. If your 70th birthday is July 15, 2009, you become 70 1/2 on January 15, 2010, and you wouldn't have to begin taking out any money until April 1, 2011.

The above scenario assumes that you are retired. If you are still working at that age, you don't have to begin taking distributions until the calendar year in which you retire.
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