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Thread: Social Security Questions for you smart people

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Social Security Questions for you smart people

    Question #1
    My husband started claiming his benefits at age 64.
    His benefits are about half of mine.
    Can he claim a portion of MY benefits to increase his SS?

    Question #2
    I have two years before I'm 70, max SS benefit.
    The difference if I wait instead of claiming now is a couple of hundred dollars a month
    I've been thinking about claiming now because
    • It would provide a buffer in case my work lags as I get older
    • I could accellerate paying off the little bit of debt I have now
    • I could stash it in the bank and increase my savings


    Do those "pros" exceed the "con" of getting a reduced benefit for the rest of my life? I am in good health. Females in the family tend to live to 80-90. Males tend toward heart disease and earlier death.

    What would you do?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    #1 yes, but only once you start to collect. He can't collect on your benefits until you collect on your benefits. But spousal benefit is only 50% of the higher earners benefits, so in this case it likely won't make a difference if he's already at 1/2 of yours.

    My opinion on #2 is to wait, if this will be your primary income in retirement. A couple of hundred dollars can make a difference. If you have a pension/401k/other investments that will provide a good chunk of your retirement income, then it doesn't matter so much.

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    It is my understanding that once you turn 70 he must claim his own. Is that worth the hassle of switching twice? I also don't know if he can switch. It's my understanding from a friend, that if you stop taking your SS you have to pay back all benefits received. (She investigated this heavily about 8y ago so I don't know if that has changed.

    I would wait to collect yours. Why? 8% annual increase up to age 70. Do you think you can get that return in the market and are your interest rates higher than that on your debt?

    A lot of questions, not a lot of answers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Question #1
    My husband started claiming his benefits at age 64.
    His benefits are about half of mine.
    Can he claim a portion of MY benefits to increase his SS?

    Question #2
    I have two years before I'm 70, max SS benefit.
    The difference if I wait instead of claiming now is a couple of hundred dollars a month
    I've been thinking about claiming now because
    • It would provide a buffer in case my work lags as I get older
    • I could accellerate paying off the little bit of debt I have now
    • I could stash it in the bank and increase my savings


    Do those "pros" exceed the "con" of getting a reduced benefit for the rest of my life? I am in good health. Females in the family tend to live to 80-90. Males tend toward heart disease and earlier death.
    What would you do?
    First question is about him receiving spousal benefits, and here is what I think, based on talking to ss last year with my husband: he will not receive bigger spousal benefits if you wait until 70, as they are calculated on what you would receive at full retirement age.
    From an Aarp article on this question,
    https://www.aarp.org/retirement/soci...urity-benefit/

    "If I wait until 70 to claim Social Security, will my spouse get a bigger benefit as well?

    AARP | Comments: 0






    En español | No. The most your spouse can receive on your work record is 50 percent of your primary insurance amount, which is the monthly benefit you are entitled to at full retirement age."

    So if he receives half of what you receive at 68, there would be no increase in him getting yours, as that is calculated on what you would get at full retirement age. Obviously, check this out yourself with social security to see if this is correct.

    Second is about whether you should take benefits now. Personally, I would, as for me, it would take until I was 82 to break even, and you have debt to pay off. I would also want to save it as emergency savings.

    However, the advice of the others is correct; how much more can you make if you wait until 80, and it's like longevity insurance. But usually, that is based on folks who have already saved a bundle, are out of debt, and can self fund for those 2 years. If I were in debt and did not have much saved, I would take it early. But that's just me, and it goes against the common wisdom you'll read in things like Kiplinger retirement, who would agree with the advice you've gotten.

    But for me, debt and lack of a big pile of savings would mean I would probably go taking it now and continuing to work and trying to pile it up between now and when I retired.





  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We have been through this sort of. My SS payout is more than DH’s, but his is about 3/4 of mine so no real advantage to him. When I die tho, I think he can opt to take mine (?)

    since we are talking about Social Security, today I turn 66 years old, in the eyes of the Social Security administration “full retirement age. “

    I started drawing Social Security a couple months ago because it was a new tax year and I want to get all the bureaucratic crap completed before gardening season started. So now I am fully on the government dole: Medicare, Social Security income, the whole array of social service entitlements. Yay for socialism!

    DH turns 66 next October and is evaluating his option for SS draw.

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    Happy FRA Birthday, that's neat!

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Happy FRA Birthday, that's neat!
    Thank you. Sometimes I wonder how many of you out there think “ that Iris Lily, have you noticed how she turns every thread into a thread about herself? “

    It’s kind of embarrassing, please know that I am at least aware of it although it doesn't stop my poor behavior. Haha.

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Since this my Full Retirement Age Day, a Social Security administration celebratory event, I will take this opportunity to bitch and moan about the Feds removing a benefit that they had out there for years and then took away. We were mere weeks from qualifying for it age-wise. It would’ve allowed him to “file and suspend “ Which would, in a nutshell, give us several thousand more dollars per year in income.


    I only mention this as a cautionary tale for those of you who are quite confident that all of your SS income will be there. It’s a good example of Social Security administration changing the rules, pulling the rug out from under you, beware.

  9. #9
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yes, Happy birthday! Taurus the Bull, eh? Earth sign, eh? It all fits!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Since this my Full Retirement Age Day, a Social Security administration celebratory event, I will take this opportunity to bitch and moan about the Feds removing a benefit that they had out there for years and then took away. We were mere weeks from qualifying for it age-wise. It would’ve allowed him to “file and suspend “ Which would, in a nutshell, give us several thousand more dollars per year in income.


    I only mention this as a cautionary tale for those of you who are quite confident that all of your SS income will be there. It’s a good example of Social Security administration changing the rules, pulling the rug out from under you, beware.
    Which supports the idea of taking the benefit at 68 and not waiting, as that money could all be saved.
    If someone earned 2000 a month (I am a low earner, so that's not me) then 2 years of that benefit is $48,000. Which could all be put in savings for retirement life.

    If someone waits until they are 70, yes, they will earn 2320 instead, but will not have the $48,000 plus interest in the bank.

    Yes, I was sorry to see file and suspend go.

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