Author Topic: Social Security Strategies  (Read 3290 times)

sisto

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Social Security Strategies
« on: June 18, 2015, 04:09:34 PM »
I know there are many people here retiring very early and not even counting on SS at all, but I've found there are a large number of us here that found MMM a bit later in life. In my case I'm only counting on SS to be mostly gravy, but I've worked a W-2 paying job since 16 and will have enough SS at retirement to at least live on what the MMM family does and want to maximize it like everything else in my life.

There are many different scenarios flying around about when to claim and file/suspend options etc. I'd like to hear some thoughts from MMM people on what they plan to do. I also have a very specific scenario that I don't seem to ever see an answer to that I'm hoping someone here can help with.

In my situation I'm the only working spouse, my wife qualifies for benefits, but it's peanuts. The issue we have is that she 5 years older so the typical file/suspend by me for her to claim spousal benefits doesn't really work. We can't be the only ones in this situation, but I have not seen anything in my online searches that addresses it. Everything I've found assumes that the higher earning spouse is older. Also can someone explain to me how to calculate if it would be worth it for us to have me claim at 62 instead of waiting until FRA which for me would be 67? There has to be a way to figure that out. Originally we were thinking that she would file early since the amount is very small, but now I'm wondering if it would be better for me to instead and then she can get the higher spousal amount.

Appreciate any help and THANKS!

Cassie

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 05:33:20 PM »
I think I saw a calculator on the SS website to help yo figure this out. YOu can also make an appointment to meet with someone at the SS office. I would research this very carefully so you max your benefits.  You have certainly earned it!

sisto

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 05:37:38 PM »
Thanks for the reply Cassie. Yes, there are calculators available, but I have not been able to effectively use them to apply it to my situation to see what makes the most cents (pun intended). I'm considering trying different values and dates of taking SS into some of the retirement planning tools I use and see how it changes things. Sometimes all of the variables just seem overwhelming.

Cassie

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 05:56:27 PM »
A friend of mine had the same experience so went in with an appointment to talk to a counselor whom helped them figure out when to take it. She said it was great.

Another Reader

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 06:16:27 PM »
There are a lot of  threads on Social Security claiming strategies over at early-retirement.org.  It's an older crowd, so the issue is discussed a lot.  Here's the most recent:

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/laurence-kotlikoff-maximize-my-ss-com-77660.html

There are a couple of fee based Social Security planning programs that are discussed over there.  Because your situation is unusual, shelling out for Kotlikoff's program or one of the others might help you.

MDM

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 06:16:44 PM »
You might look through http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/social-security-optimization-advice-please/.  If you find something that does work for you, let us know.  Good luck!

Workinghard

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 06:18:55 PM »
I like the following calculator.  You can get your PIA from the SS website and then put in the info. You can also print it out showing the amount you and your spouse will get at different ages.

http://www.bedrockcapital.com/ssanalyze/


sisto

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 06:20:13 PM »
Thanks, I'm looking at the suggested links now.

mateoSF

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 12:04:53 PM »
There are a lot of  threads on Social Security claiming strategies over at early-retirement.org.  It's an older crowd, so the issue is discussed a lot.  Here's the most recent:

http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/laurence-kotlikoff-maximize-my-ss-com-77660.html

There are a couple of fee based Social Security planning programs that are discussed over there.  Because your situation is unusual, shelling out for Kotlikoff's program or one of the others might help you.

+1 for shelling out for Kotlikoff's program. I would strongly advise you to spend the $12 (Costco) and buy Kotlikoff's book on SS "Get What's Yours". I've just bought it (even at my ripe young SS age), and can't believe all the various nuances about SS.  He covers in detail various claiming strategies with sections on disability, divorce/remarry, death,  and even gays.  One chapter is titled "Be Cafeful Taking Social Security's Advice".

One thing he emphasizes is that getting advice from SS themselves may not result in the optimal strategy.

sisto

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Re: Social Security Strategies
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2015, 01:53:39 PM »
Thanks I'll have to check out that book next time I'm at Costco definitely sounds worth it.

I used the bedrock calculator it's definitely pretty cool. It's telling me the optimal result would be for my wife to file at FRA (67) and for me to files and suspend when I hit FRA (67) then she applies for Spousal benefit and I wait until 70 to file. If we both file early it would mean a net present value of $84K less. I still wonder though if it's worth it to wait when by doing so I'd likely be depleting the stache at a much faster rate.

Time to check out what others are saying on the other site now.