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Old 10-31-2015, 07:16 PM   #29
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Side question for the SS savvy. Under the current rules, do both spouses have to be at least 62 to use one of these strategies? Only one of us is, so we haven't paid much attention to SS rules.

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Old 10-31-2015, 07:48 PM   #30
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The congress decided to not change the rule for those already taking advantage of it, and there is a small grace period for those already qualified. Other than that, what this whole deal demonstrates is that they can change the rules anytime they want to... And you better believe there is more of that coming. Probably better to take what you can while you can. As Woody Guthrie said, Take it Easy, but TAKE IT!
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:27 PM   #31
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Side question for the SS savvy. Under the current rules, do both spouses have to be at least 62 to use one of these strategies? Only one of us is, so we haven't paid much attention to SS rules.

Jim
Jim, I think I know the answer to this but I am really reluctant to post it. I would definitely recommend you talk to a qualified financial adviser, or do your own research on the web. I would feel awful if I gave the wrong advice.

Also, a lot depends on both you and your spouse's ages and earning records.
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:12 PM   #32
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Jim, I think I know the answer to this but I am really reluctant to post it. I would definitely recommend you talk to a qualified financial adviser, or do your own research on the web. I would feel awful if I gave the wrong advice.

Also, a lot depends on both you and your spouse's ages and earning records.
Yup, I would do that either way. Just thought maybe somebody could give a quick answer. We're old and tired. Looking for an easy out.

Especially after all these taxes all these years. Wanna get my fair share back.

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Old 10-31-2015, 11:02 PM   #33
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Sorry, I'm kind of ignorant. Can some one please explain File and Suspend and a restricted claim?
Here is a newsletter that I wrote on the Social Security retirement planning options in 2012 for an elder law organization named ElderCounsel, LLC in which I am active. It explains File and Suspend. This issue is one of many ElderCounselor e-newsletters on my firm's website. http://mainecenterforelderlaw.com/gl...(May_2012).pdf
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:34 AM   #34
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The recent comments are spot on, and Marty's PDF illuminates the landscape well. Thanks all.

Each personal situation varies greatly, so the advice to seek professional counsel, it seems to me, is the best advice . . .

My own accountant was very helpful about 10 years ago, in helping to order my thoughts and priorities, and his advice has played out well so far.

As Airstreamers, many of us like to fix things ourselves. In the case of retirement choices, however, the reluctance to call in a planning expert could prove both expensive AND permanent.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:00 AM   #35
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I just turned 64 and still working. Wife is about 4 1/2 years behind and stays home with my Mom who is 94 and has dementia/Alzheimers. We can't consider retirement until the "Mom situation" plays out.

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:49 AM   #36
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I took my SS at 62. I figured I would rather have a little less $$ while I was still able to go and do and play instead of a little more when I would be less able bodied and maybe home bound.

It is all personal and I don't believe there is a universal "correct" answer.

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Old 11-01-2015, 10:06 AM   #37
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As a CPA/CFP, the analysis has so many moving parts that there is usually no one correct answer for any individual.

Make an informed decision, and hope circumstances work out in your favor.
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:27 AM   #38
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All in the details. Would love to see a link to the source of the info on "file and suspend" changes.
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:38 AM   #39
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All in the details. Would love to see a link to the source of the info on "file and suspend" changes.
I don't know why the links I keep adding don't work. Do a search on Budget Bill Social Security and you will find pages by CNN, WSJ, Bloomberg and several others.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:57 PM   #40
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Glen, my heart goes out to you on the loss of your wife.

If the politicians will stop 'raiding' the Social Security coffers, it will be more solvent. IMO! Those I.O.U.s are worthless! I retired at 62, not by choice, but, due to an auto accident, (drunk driver, uninsured, head on collision, in my lane)! My plans went out the window for retirement. My intent was to work till 68-70, then retire. Point being...all the plans we make can be set aside by the actions of others...out of our control.

I will be 77 this month, and the "Golden Years" are a bit tarnished with passing of time. That being said, I still hope to have many travels in my future in my little Bambi 16' Sport.
46 years spent as an R.N., I'm not getting rich off of social security...I'll never regain what I paid in, I'm sure. Fortunately, my husband took care of me, God rest his soul.

My biggest concern is for my daughter, and if social security will be there for her....and if so, in what form. We can only hope! Bottom line...SS is only a tiny bit of what will be required in retirement. Just my 2 cents. Evelyn.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:39 PM   #41
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We also worry about how our children are going to be able to retire.
Will social security be solvent in twenty years? Or will the government push the age back for retirement to 75 for collection of full benefits ?
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:56 AM   #42
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There is a long series on NPR.com written by Lawrence Kotlikoff that is well worth reading through if you are approaching this decision. It's a complicated process, to say the least. The wrong filing decision can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars in benefits. Google "Lawrence Kotlikoff NPR" to find the articles.

Kotlikoff strongly encourages waiting as long as possible to take your SS, and calls it "longevity insurance" - planning for the problem of living too long and running out of money late in life. Especially important point to consider is how much a surviving spouse will be able to collect.

That said, the theory is that the benefits are reduced/increased in an actuarily sound way, so that if you live out the "average" lifespan, you will collect approximately the same amount whether taking a smaller amount for more years or a larger amount for fewer years. Obviously YMMV.

I got a lot of value out of a $40 purchase of his software "Maximize My Social Security". His recommendation is always to wait wait wait and get the maximum, but there are so many moving parts it's really difficult to figure out what's best for you. The software imports your (and your spouse's) earnings records from SS and runs multiple scenarios, showing you exactly what you would collect year by year for each filing choice.

There's a note on the software web page stating that it will be updated by November 16 to handle the new rules surrounding file and suspend - one of his most recommended strategies.

No relation with him or his software - just a happy user.
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