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Periodic Contributor

Wondering if I made the right decsion

Hi everyone: Don't know if this topic is of interest but I'm 63 and last year I made the decision to begin collecting my social security. I have worked full-time for over 45 years and decided it was time to dial it back and do other things. After talking with my employer about it, they asked me to stay on at least part-time and I have agreed to do that since I will likely have to work in some capacity the rest of my life. Anyway, I have been looking forward to this new chapter in my life and we recently hired my full-time replacement. Now suddenly, I find myself depressed. What should be a time of looking forward to new possibilities and adventures is turning into a time of sadness. Has this ever happened to anyone else? And what do I do about it?
Periodic Contributor

I took mine at 62....based on the fact that most of the women in my family died fairly young (before age 65), I figured I'd rather get less now, than risk getting nothing if I too die young.  I've been unable to work for several years now, due to living with chronic pain. Fortunately my husband is younger than I am & is still working full time.   It's a crap shoot....depends on your circumstances.  Only YOU can decide when it's the right time for you.

Regular Contributor

Am Adding a very late response to your 2016 poar. You absolutely made the right decision to take SS early. WWe did the same since then Jan, my wife, has had two strokes, kidney transplant and now getting a hip replacement. 

The biggest factor by far were the stokes - needs significant help on most activities of daily giving now so travel very difficult.

Kudos to you for "living your life to the fullest"

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Gold Conversationalist

Get it now.  The only way you could make an accurate decision would be if you knew when you would die.  

Contributor

I 100% agree, take it now.  I'm 55 and plan to take it at 62.  If I don't need the money I will invest it.  If I were to wait and die, my family gets nothing, but If I take it at 62 and don't need it and invest it, they would get something.

Regular Contributor

Do the math. If you retire at 62, total the amount you would loose if you wait. Then figure how much you would earn after that. Papa2 is right. Take it now. Me thinks "they" want us to wait. 

 

Newbie

Everyone is different and all of us have varying, different situations.  It depends on what you need and what you want, and what your $$$flow is at the present.  'Adding' up the Math is not always the right answer.  None of us know how long we will live. If you need the money now, because you are strapped, definitely take it at 62!

 

For people who do not need it and want the max they can get, I think waiting til 70 is a good idea. I will wait as I really do not need it.  My friend took it at 70 and is getting $2600 a month.  My sister could not wait and is getting around $700/month.  IF I live longer I will count on that additional income I most likely will need when I get really old and decrepid, and have huge medical bills!!!

Regular Contributor

Glad you are able to delay SS so you can get the max later.
We did just the opposite. We took SS at 62 1/2 as we wished to travel and do more when we had good health. ( My Wifes parents died of heart related problems at age 61 and age 70 so that probably had some impact on our decision) However, You of take a chance when you do this.
Anyhow, thought I would share our experience .
In our case it worked out - we were able to "do" for many years. It is now 9 years later, we are both now 71, and thankfully are still in reasonably good health I, thankfully, am doing great and my wife doing reasonably well - (she has inherited some of her parents heart issues). l. . Jan (my wife) first broke her shoulder in June of 2015 and then had a kidney transplant also in July of that year. Her kidneys were failing and as of Christmas 2014 she was near dialysis. However, she qualified for a kidney transplant in Nov of 2014 and For her to get a kidney quickly I donated one also. Net result was we now are both back and fully recovered. So we were able to be active for years and after this scare will continue to do whatever our bodies allow.
Whatever your choice I encourage all to ensure that you have the best medical coverage you can get.
God Bless
Super Contributor

Or LogicsHere, you can take your SS as early as you are eligible and invest it.  There are def 2 schools of thought on when to take your SS benefits.  Since living until 70 is an unknown but getting that monthly check back from the gubbermunt and choosing to invest it is a definite, controlable situation.........I chose that route and it's served me very well.  I get a little tired of reading how you'll be 8% wealthier if you wait until 70 (not from you, AARP friend, but from all the investment gurus and financial newsletters).  I've easily averaged 6% on my SS income and that's a conservative amount my CPA calculated over the last 5 years and it's money in my bank, not Uncle Sams!  I know that doesn't work for everyone, but neither does waiting until you're 70 and not seeing a dime if you check out before then!

amcoffiebean
Newbie

It is 8% per year, not just 8%

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Contributor

I decided to take SS just before 70. (1) I gained 8% a year during the year's I waited, with that amount being added to the next year's gross and therefore increasing the annual base on which the 8% was given. (2) I could afford to wait (barely) (3) if I died early, I wouldn't know or care that I made the wrong decision (!); (4) if I died late, I would need as much money as possible and regret not waiting. I am glad I waited.

Honored Social Butterfly


"......I decided to take SS just before 70........ I could afford to wait (barely) (3) if I died early, I wouldn't know or care that I made the wrong decision ..... if I died late, I would need as much money as possible and regret not waiting. I am glad I waited.....".

It's so difficult, to me. I can afford to wait, like you, but should I? I may just 'split the difference' and take it in the middle, at 68. Can't decide. I'm 66 next month, and eligible.

 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Super Contributor

Even though I didn't retire when I was in my 50's I made a major career change. It wasn't only a total change, I began working out of my hubs home office which was a drastic change from the go-go-go 3 piece suit type of career I gave up.  I didn't really feel depressed but I felt a lot of anxiety from the almost-immediate slower pace.  It was extremely hard for me to adjust to having more free time, less pressure and not being so responsible for my career decisions as when I was self-employed.  After a few months of this, and while chatting with some past-career friends over dinner one night, one of them hit the nail on the head to describe what was happening with me.  I'd been in that one career for 26 years.  She said "it was your identity, it was who you were most of the time" and bingo, $200/hr on the couch couldn't have put it any better.  I often worked more than 5 days a week; and some really close friends developed out of my career, just being friends with neighbors or old school chums faded to be replaced by business friends. I was very shocked because I looked so forward to living a quieter lifestyle with normal M-F 9-2PM job, I was really ready and never regretted the decisions, but there were some surprises I didn't anticipate........you may be depressed or you may just be suffering from losing your identity for little awhile.  Now I look back and wonder how I stood it as long as I did..........keeping up that pace for so long.

amcoffiebean
Periodic Contributor

Thanks that was helpful. I have been on the gerbil wheel for 40yrs.. Right now I am training my replacement and  having to constantly remind myself that he's going to have a different way of doing things. I'm having to let go of a job that has basically been my baby and handed to someone else. 

 

 I have no intention of just sitting around the house when I retire. And I know I making the right decision. But it's like you said, when you have been running at such a fast pace for so long it's hard to just suddenly Stop and let go. 

 

Thank you for the insight.

Newbie

For me, retirement was easy. I retired at 67, and I've found that I have so many things to do, my only frustration is lack of time.  Someone characterized retirement as "doing nothing".  Wow, so far from the truth.  I, and pretty much all the retirees I know, are very busy and only complain about the lack of time to do things and how fast time flies.  I have many interests, a good group of friends, and volunteer activities as well.  I think it depends a lot on interests one has outside of work.  If you don't have any, retirement is the time to get some.  It's really pretty wonderful.  Hope it works out for you, but you have to make it work yourself.  Good luck.

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Thank you.  

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Honored Social Butterfly


@Midgiesmom wrote:
Hi everyone: Don't know if this topic is of interest but I'm 63 and last year I made the decision to begin collecting my social security. I have worked full-time for over 45 years and decided it was time to dial it back and do other things. After talking with my employer about it, they asked me to stay on at least part-time and I have agreed to do that since I will likely have to work in some capacity the rest of my life. Anyway, I have been looking forward to this new chapter in my life and we recently hired my full-time replacement. Now suddenly, I find myself depressed. What should be a time of looking forward to new possibilities and adventures is turning into a time of sadness. Has this ever happened to anyone else? And what do I do about it?

Hi

 

It is not surprising that you are feeling conflicted.. this is one of the more difficult decisions you make in your lifetime.  It defines the separation of you as a retired person from you as an adult worker, or the ending of one chapter of your life into another and they are often the largest group of years in our lives.  Work can be our meaning and value, our social  outlet, our place of learning,etc.  So give yourself some time to get used to the change.  You are not making a complete cut off, you are transitioning to part time.  You will still have many of the benefits of working and less hopefully of the stress.  Best wishes!!

 

ps  I am still working full time and have all the same concerns that you do : )

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Super Contributor

I did not take my S.S. until I was 72. I worked till then also. Retired with a 40 yr. pension, 401K money and the max for S.S. I was widowed at 48, my children were grown and married and I wanted to keep and maintain my home. This was the right choice for me, because of my circumstances. I did take my husbands S.S. when I turned 65, because he had been self-employed it was not large, but it was a nice sum to invest. I did not need it to live on because my job paid well.

When you choose to take your S.S or to retire is a personal decision based on what you want and certainly what your circumstances are. Look at it realistically and realize that it going to be different than when you were working, make sure you have enough money to allow for emergencies and inflatiion and to live your way.

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Super Contributor

You did yourself an injustice by not taking your SS at age 70 as the 8% increase only applies up till age 70.  Also, the year following your 70th birthday you could have made unlimited money with no effect to your SS.  You lost a ton of money.

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Super Contributor

I had only found out a year ago January that I was entitled to receive my husband's SS Survivor Benefits.  As I was just about to apply for them, I was let go from my job.  I chose to take the Survivor Benefits and supplement with some money from my 401K and when I reach 70 apply the the benefit against my own work record because it is significantly higher.

Contributor

I am 65 and have started to dial back on my work; however, am fortunate enough to defer taking Social Security for a while. I hope to wait until I'm 70 to start drawing it, so I can get the maximum payments. Next year at 66, I can begin taking Spousal Benenfits on my wife's Social Security (she's already drawing SS). I believe this decision, has to be based on your individual circumstance; e.g. health, other sources of money.

 

As for working, I have made the decision to sell  a business I created a number of years ago, and work only part time (picking and choosing my projects). I have also reinstituted a law practice, focusing on appeals, where I can have better control over the work flow than if I were to open a litigation practice again. All this is so I can continue to bring in some money, while increasing my time off and freedom to travel with my wife.

 

I am trying to walk a line between becoming completely consumed with work again, and doing "nothing". I can certainly identify with the feeling of depression, especially as I was closing our office and packing up and throwing out stuff. Memories! I think the trick may be to take things as they comein the 2 new avenue I've opened...and if nothing comes in, then there are all the wonderful things I want to do anyway in retirement!

 

Good luck and thank you for sharing.

 

CLH

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