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Thread: Social Security's place in retirement income stream

  1. #1
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Social Security's place in retirement income stream

    Most of the seniors I know personally seem to have started collecting their SS benefits right at 62 years old. I realize some people don't really have a choice in the matter, but it seems like it would be preferable to start SS benefits later if possible to lock in a higher benefit. I was recently talking to someone in her seventies who said she hasn't touched her 401k money, but had started collecting SS at 62 because she needed the money to live on. This seemed backwards to me, but maybe I'm looking at it backwards. What do you all think?

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    I started collecting SS last year at age 62 1/2. A big factor was my guesstimate of my own life span given my family history. I'm healthy, but our family typically makes it to about age mid to late 70s and then it's lights out.
    If I thought I'd be living into my 80s or 90s I would have considered taking cash out of my 401(k) to live on and start collecting SS later.

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    If the amount in the 401K is small I could see keeping it as an emergency fund in case one's car dies or something.

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    For details on the reductions in benefits if the recipient begins to receive benefits before "full retirement age" there is a page at

    http://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html

    The primary advantage in starting to receive benefits before full retirement age is to receive social security benefits for a longer period of time, or, stated differently, to break-even on your lifetime of social security taxes at a younger age.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    It is all a crapshoot. While theoretically I believe in taking all of the gubmnt money it throws at me, we have the practical consideration of the ACA which will not give us big subsidies or ANY subsidies if we draw Social Security. So, we are not drawing it yet and we are both 63 years old.

    I dont expect to live a real long time, I expect DH to live a long time so he may wait u til he is 70 to draw it. That will not be a problem if I am still alive, my income is ok and I plan to draw SS at age 65 (Medicare age.) He needs every penny of his SS because it won't be all that much.

    By the way, that rule where you could,only work X number of hours in a year before your SS is affected was deleted a few years ago.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 1-24-18 at 9:12pm.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    DH just started drawing on SS. He is SO financially clueless that he was amazed at this "free" money coming his way. I've been bugging him since he turned 62 to draw on it now because he has no other income, and it would take the load off me a little, but one day he whined, well, what's the use. It's only $300. I've gotten those annual statements from SS every year, so I know it was more than that, but he has zero interest in any financial stuff, so he never read them. I told him to call the SS Administration.

    The next day he was grinning from ear to ear. You'd have thought he won the Powerball.

    My plan is to wait until 70, and I'll try to live off that, because my 401k will not be huge, although I'll be working on growing it over the next 4-5 years.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    I plan to wait until my FRA because due to WEP mine will be tiny and they take some $ away after you earn a certain amount and I am still working p.t. and make more then what they allow before they start keeping some of your $.

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    We took at 62 last year as that along with my pension was more than enough to support us in retirement. Especially with paid off house and no car payment. Neither one of us wished to continue slogging away at work for four more years so that we could have a few hundred more each month. I wanted to be able to do things like travel or garden while I still could - who knows as one ages how health will turn out. I also don't have great faith in the future of "entitlement" programs so figured we better get what we can while we can. I do however continue to save in various accounts and our small 401K will sit until we have to withdraw.

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    I plan to wait until my FRA because due to WEP mine will be tiny and they take some $ away after you earn a certain amount and I am still working p.t. and make more then what they allow before they start keeping some of your $.
    wait, what? I “heard” that “they” took away those rules that reduced incme if someone worked.

    I dont know the acronyms you use anyway. Speaka da Engleesh, please! Haha.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post

    ...The next day he was grinning from ear to ear. You'd have thought he won the Powerball.
    .
    My man! Tell him Welcome to the gubmnt teat, the taxpayer’s dime, the welfare state! He is rollin’in it!

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