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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?

 

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.

Contributor

I began at 62 also.  I had 2 adopted children that were 9 & 10 when I turned 62.  My job I had worked for 32 years at was cutting back personal so I vollenteered to retire.  because of their retirement package I was able to continue my insurance  for $60/month till 65 when I would switch to Medicare.  I was able to draw social security for my two children and wife that about matched what I was drawing from Socical Security.  This income was about what I was taking home from my job.  So far I have drawn very little from my IRA savings.

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Regular Contributor

I plan on retiring next year when I turn 65 and hopefully I can wait until 66 to collect. That's my full benefit year. I will check SSA to compare my age 65 vs. 66 benefit. If it's pretty close I may take it at 65.

Has anyone checked their 65 vs. 66 payout? I know part of the calculation involves earnings but just looking for comparisons.

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Periodic Contributor

ED, your amount for age 65 will be 93.33 % of your FRA amount.
Super Contributor

Taking your SS a year before you FRA, you will lose permanently 6% a year from what I remember.

Regular Contributor

thanks
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Super Contributor

My full retirement age was 66.  I was working and had planned on working to age 70 and then would take it at that point.  However, I got laid off from my job shortly after turning 68.  I still was able to collect SS, but not my own.  I collected Suvivor Benefits which I had just learned I had been eligible for when I turned 66 but didn't know about.  Using that and money from my 401K, I waited until age 70 and then applied for my own.  I have no regrets. Although there are no guarantees in life, 9 people in my family reached age 84 to 101 (3 in their 80s, the rest in their 90s and higher).  I felt it important enough to wait until I got the larger payout, which after 10-1/2 years at breakeven point will yield me a much higher COLA the rest of my life (hopefully).

Honored Social Butterfly

I was going to wait until 70, but decided to take it earlier at 671/2.  Went back-and-forth about that. Don't need the money, but (not to be a downer), don't know my lifespan.

   Waiting gave me a 12% boost from retirement age, which was good enough for me. I'm donating most of the money to family anyway.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Silver Conversationalist

I plan to wait until I am 70; I just retired at my FRA of 66.

 

By SS rules, my benefit will increase by 8% per year (not compounded) so for 4 years that's 32%, or roughly one-third (1/3) greater than today. I do have enough other funds available to cover living expenses until age 70.

 

Another benefit of delay is that there are 4 years with greatly minimized income. This provides the opportunity to perform some very large IRA conversions to Roth IRA. With the conversions taxes are due on the withdrawn IRA funds "now" but as the funds are put into the Roth then future growth (cap gains/dividends) will not be taxed when withdrawn.

 

My spouse is 11 years younger than I am and may outlive me by a considerable period. Having the larger (by 1/3) SS benefit provides a "longevity insurance" for her in that if she lives long and long outlives me she will still have a good SS benefit as survivor (she has no SS benefit on her own history).

 

I have run these scenarios through a number of analyses...my own Excel spreadsheets, various commercial software, and my fave analyzer... "iORP" (free, at www.i-orp.com).

 

One thing that most of this software ignores (even my favorite, i-ORP) is the risk of my early death. I found that our greatest risk was not me living long and spending all our assets, leaving peanuts for my widow, but the greatest risk was me dying young (after retirement) while my wife/widow was not yet eligible for SS. This was a nasty scenario and I extended my term life policy for another 10 years at a lower face value (but, rats, much greater premium). This should work out well per my spreadsheet analyses.

 

My analyses, ORP, and most software I have seen consider the possibility that SS benefits will be cut by some percentage at some time in the future. So this is not really a consideration in my decision to delay until 70.

 

 

Edit: Let me expand on the risk of "early death". Most people, and most programs that look at saving for retirement, plan for some assumed longevity...age of death, and figure how much of a nest egg you need to attain the desired income level during retirement (or call it "spending level"). This is reasonable enough.

 

But when you have saved your nestegg, it is what it is and that's all it is (except for future growth), and you are now planning for the draw down, considering all income sources including SS. For a couple the effect of the loss of SS benefit at the death of a spouse may cause the surviving spouse's income level to fall too low. Let's say that before the death the couple gets 100% of one party's SS benefit) and the spouse gets the 50% benefit. So, 150%. Now the primary insured passes and the survivor gets 100%, their income has dropped by 50%...and perhaps expenses have been reduced by some portion. But if the survivor is too young to collect SS then ... oops! This is the scenario for which I extended my term life insurance.

Periodic Contributor

Very detailed contribution. I am looking for advice. I have pension income to meet my needs. I am trying to answer this question: what would be best for someone taking their SS at 62, full retirement or 70 if they invested their SS at a reasonable rate (5%?) instead of spending it? Which option would yield the most income if one lived to their actuary age? Cannot seem to find anything comparing SS 8% growth to investment growth if that makes any sense.

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Honored Social Butterfly

The thing to remember for people who want to begin benefits early is that as the Full Retirement Age (FRA) is increasing; but the early retirement age has not changed and the reduction in benefits because of early retirement is increasing because the reduction is based on the (early) time period to FRA.

 

This was done by design, I'm sure,  but people can accommodate this reduction by adding a year to their (still) early retirement age.  So if Your FRA is 66 - stretch the early retirement date to your 63rd birthday and so on as the FRA marches on.

Periodic Contributor

Gail.1 Delaying one year will cost me $15,456 and it would take 12.5 years until the increase of $103 gets back the $15,456. IMO it is not worth waiting one year for just $103
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Honored Social Butterfly

@JLSurratt

 

I am sure that most people do what they have to or want to do - I am just making them aware of it so they have all the info needed to make the decision.

 

All I am saying is since the Full Retirement Age has increased and is continuing to march towards 67 BUT the early retirement age of 62 has not changed the early reduction will get larger for those making the decision to file for early old age benefits.

 

When the FRA was 65 and early retirement was 62 that was a 36 month period or a 3-year early retirement deduction.

 

Now the FRA is 66 (or greater with additional months added) that is a 48 month + period or 4-years of early retirement deduction.

 

When the FRA reaches 67 and the early retirement age is still 62, that a 60 month or 5-year early retirement calculation (reduction).

 

Here is the explanation chart from SSA on early retirement - notice how the % of reduction keeps getting larger and larger.

 

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/agereduction.html

 

If you retired at 62, your full benefit would have to have been pretty small for the ( per month) reduction to only be $103.

 

 

 

 

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