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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/on-your-ss-question-susan-start-by-finding-out-20887716.aspx

Subject:  Re: Start taking from savings or file for early Date:  6/11/2004  9:27 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  41200 of 76384

On your SS question, Susan. Start by finding out exactly what your social security payment will be now and what it would be if you wait to age 65.5 for a full check. Then sit down and figure out how long it will take you to breakeven in total payouts.

Usually you will find the break even point is around 10 years. Translation, if you take early payments, you have to live that number of years before you get the same payout waiting til later. If you live longer than that date, you start losing money, because Social Security increases your payment for cost of living based on your original payment, but they never take you to the full payment schedule. Once you begin collecting, your payment is reduced from the full payment amount for life.

With health concerns, you can then figure out what your odds are of living that long, and which of these are worthwhile.

Of course a more sophisticated analysis would look at present value of the funds, essentially the interest income effects of taking the money sooner rather than later.

Say and don't forget you can also collect on your spouse's record. And if you were married for more than 10 years on a previous spouse's record. Your payment in either case is based on your age. You get the highest of your own, or 50% of either spouses full payment (while they are living or 100% if they are deceased).
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