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Old 02-28-2019, 07:14 PM   #1
Huntman3
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Social security - confusing

When and how to take SS benefits is difficult at best. Over the years how and when you take it can either make or cost you thousands of dollars. The SS office is clueless so do not count on them for advice.


First of all the basics:


When to take it? Depends on your situation. If you take it early then you will get less but you get it for more years. Depending on your life expectancy (are you and your spouse healthy? What is your family history/) and your income needs some will want and need to take it early.


If your life expectancy is good and you do not have to have the money to live on then delaying it can pay off. The benefit increases 8% year which is a great, safe return on your money. If you need the money to live on before retirement age or maximum age of 70, then go ahead and take it.


Heads up on this - my wife qualifies for SS but did not work much over the years. She and I both turn 66 later this year (full retirement age) - on her birthday she will file for her SS - I will file to take my spousal SS (half of hers) - I will suspend taking mine. When I am age 70 (maximum retirement age) I will start taking mine. I will get my amount and she will get half of my amount as a spouse. Assuming one or both of us live to life expectancy or beyond then we will have maxed out the amount of SS retirement money available to us.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:25 AM   #2
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Don't forget that when you start taking SS money...if you have any outside income they will lump part of your SS into your 'income' and you will pay income taxes on YOUR money AGAIN...

That's the part that chaps my arse….
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:09 PM   #3
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You work hard put lots of money into retirement funds and then the MSD hits you in the *** and your SS is taxable. I pay more taxes retired than I did as a small business owner because no more deducts.
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortuga View Post
Don't forget that when you start taking SS money...if you have any outside income they will lump part of your SS into your 'income' and you will pay income taxes on YOUR money AGAIN...

That's the part that chaps my arse….

That is part of the reason I am waiting until age 70 to start mine - I still work and earn income (age 65 now) - plan to retire before age 70 so my income will drop off
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:37 PM   #5
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You can take half of your spouses SS?....
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretE View Post
You can take half of your spouses SS?....



Yep - depends on ages, amount of SS each will qualify for, etc.


We are both now age 65 so our "full retirement age" as far as SS is concerned is age 66.



Since in my case my SS is way more than wifes I am going to delay taking mine until my age 70. My benefit will increase by 8% each year between my age 66 and age 70.



So this November when she turns age 66 she will file for her benefit and I will file for her spousal benefit. When I hit age 70, I will begin taking my full SS.


I will send you my calculations in the morning which may explain it better.


Here is an article


https://www.thebalance.com/clearing-...fusion-2388948

Last edited by Huntman3; 03-03-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntman3 View Post
Yep - depends on ages, amount of SS each will qualify for, etc.


We are both now age 65 so our "full retirement age" as far as SS is concerned is age 66.



Since in my case my SS is way more than wifes I am going to delay taking mine until my age 70. My benefit will increase by 8% each year between my age 66 and age 70.



So this November when she turns age 66 she will file for her benefit and I will file for her spousal benefit. When I hit age 70, I will begin taking my full SS.


I will send you my calculations in the morning which may explain it better.
Thx, I guess I need to get a financial planner at some point. I just have major trust issues when it comes to dealing with my life savings, seen some bad things down here in my neck of the woods.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretE View Post
Thx, I guess I need to get a financial planner at some point. I just have major trust issues when it comes to dealing with my life savings, seen some bad things down here in my neck of the woods.
LOL..you and ME, Bret...Remember my ol' Daddy telling me
a half century ago....

"Bud..nobody can handle YOUR money better than YOU can."

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Old 03-03-2019, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortuga View Post
LOL..you and ME, Bret...Remember my ol' Daddy telling me
a half century ago....

"Bud..nobody can handle YOUR money better than YOU can."

There was a guy down here years back that swindled a couple of my good friends out of a pile of money along with a bunch of other people. One of them lost his entire life savings, over a million. He told me the story himself. He was getting what looked like legit monthly statements and making a good return, or so it seemed. Long story short, he lost everything just as he was about to retire. He told me his only saving grace was he’d paid cash for his new house he’d built and he had a nice chunk of land. The swindler is still in prison as far as I know.....

Here he is.....

https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/ho.../ho042309a.htm

Last edited by BretE; 03-03-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretE View Post
Thx, I guess I need to get a financial planner at some point. I just have major trust issues when it comes to dealing with my life savings, seen some bad things down here in my neck of the woods.
\


I understand - I don't think you need a FP for the SS decisions. Just need to be aware of the options.


Believe me I have seen people get taken for their money. In most every case it is someone who is not SEC registered but rather someone selling some deal too good to be true. Oil, bitcoin, and real estate are where I have seen people get taken or like the broker in your article who told folks he was "pooling" their money. Also a dead give away is when someone "guarantees" a return on your money that does not make sense (again like the guy in the article did). He did the classic Ponzi scheme (Madoff style)


True FP's are easy to check on - they have super strict guidelines and requirements that the SEC and FINRA make them follow. There is also a website where a person can go see if a planner or broker has ever had complaints or legal action filed against them. Planners from firms like Merrill or Edward Jones are tightly regulated.


My advice to anyone considering a FP is to ask family and friends who they use and get a referral.
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