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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76082  
Subject: Re: What age to take SS payments? Date: 12/9/2013 10:14 PM
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"I don't think I'd want to depend on $22K for living expenses, even at age 85. But using your line of reasoning, which I think is realistic, at age 85 $40K a year would likely be more than enough."

There's something I just don't get when people say stuff like this. What are you expecting to live on for the 8 years between 62 and 70? (Presumably you are retiring at 62 --- you wouldn't start taking SS while you are still working.) It's not like you get a choice between getting $1800/mo and $3300/mo. Your choice is between taking $1800/mo forever (COLA adjusted) and taking NOTHING for 8 years and only then taking $3300 forever.

I guess my point -- and question -- is: if you have other income that will sustain you for the first 8 years, then would that income source disappear when you hit 70? And if you can live comfortably on non-SS income for 8 years, what's benefit do you get by eschewing the reduced age 62 SS income? Is it like a financial trapeze act, where you let go of one bar at 70 and fly through the air counting on catching the age 70 SS trapeze? You drain that account empty the month before you turn 70?

I know lots of people who are retired --- and lots of them are working at age 65 & 70 & 75 doing janitorial work and cleaning houses and handing out carts in the Walmart lobby. Try telling them how they should have delayed taking SS until they hit 70.

Too, SS was never meant to be the primary source of retirement income. It was intended to keep retirees from being destitute. Someone who is getting $1800 at 62 is someone who has had significantly higher than average income during their working lifetime. And they should have been putting away money for retirement. Clearly they have *something* put away, or some other independent source of income, otherwise they wouldn't be able to defer SS. And by definition that non-SS income is enough to live on, so what's the big deal about getting even more money from SS in 8 years? Just take the modicum of money that you'd get by starting SS at 62.

As the saying goes:
Investments, IRAs, and 401(k) to live on;
Pension for trips to Europe or Bahamas;
Social Security for lap dances.


The whole discussion is moot anyway. The SSA itself says that taking at any age from 62 to 70 is actuarially equal. That being the case, the age at which you start is purely a matter of personal preference as to the shape of your SS income stream. And: "De gustibus non disputandum est."
Alas, keep getting drawn into these discussions when there's nothing else going on. ;-(
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