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When will you collect Social Security?

Collecting before full retirement age? These individuals decided to start collecting Social Security at the age of 62. In the following video from AARP, hear what factors went into each person's decision making process (video: 2:38). When will you collect Social Security?

 

Contributor

I was a machinist for 34 years. I had to retire at 63 because of arthritus in my wrist. It worked out ok for us, because we had our house paid off. We both receive Social Security and I get a retirement check from the company I worked for. We worked hard and saved $120,000 in the bank plus $320,000 in my 401K. We moved to Arizona 7years ago and love our life here.   

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Periodic Contributor

I am now 67, and I plan on waiting until I am 70 for two reasons. My full retirement age is 66, but, I was screwed out of state of Ohio because the dept. was contracted out, so I, along with a few others missed out on 5 yrs of Public Employees Retirement System. I retired at age 61, so that I could earn more S.S. in the private sector. I figure with this plan, I should be okay once I hit 70. I need to move to a condo, sell my house, and travel.

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Honored Social Butterfly


@rlewis1951 wrote:

I am now 67, and I plan on waiting until I am 70 for two reasons. My full retirement age is 66, but, I was screwed out of state of Ohio because the dept. was contracted out, so I, along with a few others missed out on 5 yrs of Public Employees Retirement System. I retired at age 61, so that I could earn more S.S. in the private sector. I figure with this plan, I should be okay once I hit 70. I need to move to a condo, sell my house, and travel.


Will the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision affect your benefit?

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep-chart.html

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Super Contributor

Based on the amount I would have received had I started collecting at age 66 and then dividing that amount by the increased payment amount, my break-even point is 81-1/2.  As I've mentioned previously while there are no guarantees in life, with the longevity of 9 members of my family (both sides), I still had to consider the probability that I could live into my 90s. (1 great aunt 84, 2 great aunts 88, grandmother 92, mother's cousins, 92, 99, 101, dad 90 and mother 97.)

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Periodic Contributor

In my case I have to collect early, only receive his pensions, which doesn’t even cover my rent, so every month, I rely on life insurance to live. I’m only 58 yrs old, wish I could wait to collect, but not in my cards.
Honored Social Butterfly

@d863190j

 

It sounds like you are planning to take a Survivors or Widows benefit at age 60.

That's not really what we are talking about here.  However, you will get a reduction because of your age when starting this type of benefit.

 

However, if you have worked and earned your own benefit, you can always switch to your own benefit later on if it is more than the survivors benefit.

Waiting to do this until you are 70 will give you the best benefit but you can always check the amount at your FRA or even at 62 or anywhere in between.

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Super Contributor

d863190j-I understand why you are taking it early. I think in your case it is a wise decision carefully thought through.
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Periodic Contributor

Thanks, that means a lot
Newbie

Everyone shoudl read these 2 books - 

 

Get what's yours - the secret to maxing out social security 

Get what's yours for medicare

 

I retired at 62 1/2.  I was fortunate that I had worked at my company for 25 years and they had a clause in their helath insurance policy that would cover employees who had 23 years more of employment until they reached 65.  Management had changed and I was not enjoying work anymore, so it wasn't a hard decision.  I was going to quit, so the only real decision was to spend my own money for for 2 1/2 years to hit 65.  The difference of $400/month is great, but didn't weigh heavy enough.  If I had waited until 65 to collect social security, I would have been in my late 70's to reach a point that the additional payment of $400 monthly, equaled what I spent of my own money from 62 1/2 - 65.  It's not the same for everyone and everyone needs to calculate the difference between taking social security early, at 65-66, or waiting until 70 to see the monetary differences.  Ultimately, I believe the real decision key is your own health, how long you think you'll be in good health, and the things you want to do or accomplish once you are retired.

Periodic Contributor

My husband passed away 2 years ago next month, he was only 56 years old. I will begin to collect his social security in February 2020. To tell you the truth I would rather have him in my life instead of the money. I miss him terribly. To everyone out there, losing a spouse is not easy, the heartache alone hurts, so please love your significant other with all your heart and treasure every day.
Regular Contributor

I started collecting ss when I was 63 because my husband was retiring at 67 and I knew we would need my ss then, rather than later.  I still work part time at 71 so my ss does in crease a little every year.

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Contributor

Age 64.  My crossover point is age 78+.

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Periodic Contributor

I had intended to work until 70 before I started collecting Social Security (I was a work-a-holic) who rarely took time off from work. A few months after I turned 61 I was laid off from a full-time job. For 6 months while collecting Unemployment I tried to find another full-time position, during this time I decided to go back to school to update my skills with the hope that the updated skills would help me. With no luck finding a job, even part-time, I decided to apply for Social Security Benefits to go into effect at age 62. After a few months I did find a part-time position which gives me some additional income. Athough my income decreased it is enough to live frugally. With the extra time I have been able to spend more time with my grandchildren (which is something I really cherish), attend programs and functions during the day, and participate in other things that I enjoy. 

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Gold Conversationalist

I retired at 62 because I couldn’t take corporate bs 💩 anymore, but was able to live off my pension and savings until I turned 65 and I cashed in on it then.  Long live social security!

Periodic Contributor

My wife and I started in March 2018 at age 62. Because of high credit card debt, we have paid off $10,000 so far and will be totally out on debt Nov 2019. If we had not taken SS at 62 we would of had to file bankruptcy. Since my wife never worked her benefit has put us $100 over what my FRA amount would of been.

We did lose $352 per month by not waiting until FRA but we are saving over $200 per month on credit card interest. Also, since I am not working and have a military pension we will be ok. 

Conversationalist

I took early retirement at age 55 as my dad was exhibiting signs of Dementia.  I had planned to retire at 62 as I already had 35 years in the company.  The time I spent with my Dad was worth it, but he passed away 2 l/2 years later.  As I was far from age 62 yet, I was still able to stay retired and live off of some savings I had.  When I turned 62 and was eligible for Social Security I signed up online.  It is just one of those little roadblocks life throws at you, but I weathered a few tough years, but now I have a pension, Social Security, Medicare and my 40lk to carry me through.

Contributor

I was planning to put off collecting Social Security until age 70, as everyone, including Social Security, recommends. My reward was an increase of $25/month in my Medicare premium. Others in my cohort who started collecting earlier were "held harmless" from the premium increase. This is on top of the $3900 that I spent out-of-pocket paying my Medicare premiums the previous three years.

Because of this, I went ahead and started collecting Social Security at age 68, which did save me from another premium increase, but I'll still be paying $300 per year more for Medicare than those who started collecting earlier, and I'll be doing it for the rest of my life. 

Now that's unfair!

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Super Contributor

Did you apply for Medicare Part A (the free part) when you turned 65?  I did and I wasn't eligible for Part B until I was let go from my job. I did not get an increased premium.  Applying at 65 instead of 70, you would have eliminated the additional $25 a month you say you are paying for your Medicare premium. 

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Honored Social Butterfly


@LogicsHere wrote:

Did you apply for Medicare Part A (the free part) when you turned 65?  I did and I wasn't eligible for Part B until I was let go from my job. I did not get an increased premium.  Applying at 65 instead of 70, you would have eliminated the additional $25 a month you say you are paying for your Medicare premium. 


The rule for Medicare is that most everybody signs up for Premium-free Part A at 65.  It can work with employer coverage.

 

You have to sign up for Part B at 65 To avoid a premium penalty UNLESS  at the time you currently have other credible coverage.  Once that credible coverage is no more you only have a few months to sign up for Part B to avoid the penalty.

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Super Contributor

I believe I said that. I wrote: "I wasn't eligible for Part B until I was let go from my job". What I did not say is that you have a limited time to apply for Part B.
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Super Contributor

Everyone will begin paying the same for Medicare. The catch up increase is already in effect.
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Super Contributor

I've already been paying the full Medicare premium for 2  years now.  I will be paying an additional $1.50 a month starting January.

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Periodic Contributor

Started collecting at age 62, had a heart attack at age 58 and wanted to do things before the sun set on my life. Quit work at age 44 and moved aboard a sailboat and went sailing - was able to live my dream. ^ months after heart attack the cardio dr said that if I kept improving we might be able to go sailing again in a few years. My wife looked at the dr and said, "so we are out there sailing and he has an event and we are out of radio contact and no where ear land and I now have to take care of him and the boat? "We're selling the boat!" DR REPLIED: SMART WOMAN - that was 1984
Regular Contributor

I retired at age 65, 8 months before my full retirement age due to my wife's health issues of visiting doctor's offices and the difficulty in getting time off from work to take care if this. While applying for Social Security, my pension, Medicare, Medigap insurance, etc. I realized that it was time for me to retire anyway. My body was telling me to cut back if not cut out the amount of time I was on the job. Besides, changes were occuring on the job that no longer made it fun anymore. So I felt my time there should end anyway.

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Regular Contributor

We both opted to collect at age 62.  Had we waited until age 70 we would have given up 96 payments each although smaller.  Our calculations showed we would have had to wait until age 74.5 just to make up what we lost.  

Roger Chagnon 

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Gold Conversationalist

You did the right thing, Bro!
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Trusted Contributor

i went to work on a friday at age 65 awoke saturday age 66, never went back to work(i put in my 50 years),started collecting ss the next week.  the man had a plan.(3 1/2 years retired)

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Periodic Contributor

At FRA of 66, I will  take my spousal which will be half of ex husband's. The only consistent info I get is that spousal does not increase 8 percent a year if I wait till age 70. I tried to take my own $300 month at age 62, but was told that this would decrease my spousal 30 percent for  the rest of my life.  It took 3 supervisors and an hour to get that question answered. I'm still not sure it is correct. I am divorced and that 300 a month would have helped plus two part time jobs. I had to go into retirement savings to manage these three years. Lived frugally whole married life. Thank goodness I never mingled premarital assets with joint accounts, so I did have investments to draw from. 

Periodic Contributor

I began taking Social Security at 62 - mainly because at the time I had an eight year old daughter and had decided that I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her. I had taught for 34 years and had seen numerous kids who had been bascially ignored by their parents who were trying to survive, or were traveling, or clawing their way 'to the top' and just didn't seem to have time for their latch-key kids. I was not going to be one of those.

I was also tired of teaching by then. I had more time to take my daughter to school, help with her homework and take her to extracurricular (both school and non-school) activities, as well as spend time running - great for bonding - with her, etc.

Additionally, since she was younger than 18, I was eligible for what turned out to be an additional 2/3's payment from Social Security for her until she turned 18. I did the math and realized that 10 years of collecting those funds would be the equivalent of collecting full SS until I was in my eighties.

Since I had no idea how long I was going to be around, I figured 'why not'. I get to spend time with my daughter and if I have to go back to work when she is 18 - to help pay for college - then so be it. At least I would have 10 terrific years with my daughter - where I literally did nothing for myself if it meant not being able to spend time with her.

After all, I had focused on myself from the time I first got a job to the time I got married - at the age of 48. By that time, I had had enough 'me time' - and I have no regrets.

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