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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75340  
Subject: Re: Social Security Date: 1/10/2011 8:58 AM
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ust another question. Wonder if you recommed taking SS as soon as possible, age wise? We are the 2 women, one 51 the other 55,

The first of you is not even remotely eligible for 7 years, so you have plenty of time to think this over. That said, unless things change and you are someday eligible for survivorship, you are each individuals for Social Security purposes. Therefore it will be up to you to balance your financial needs at the time against your best guess of your respective longevities - and chances of staying together.

For instance, if the first eligible of you begins taking at 62, will that provide enough income for both of you (I'm assuming the other continues working) for a while? Does one of your families have a propensity to die earlier because of heart, weight, or other issues? In that case you may want to begin taking benefits earlier, and if not, not.

I would discount sharply the talk of Social Security "going broke." Even in the worst case scenarios, "going broke" means they will pay out about 80% of the promised benefits, not that they will pay out nothing. The "going broke" is convenient shorthand for people with a particular agenda who want to scare people by comparing it to companies which "go broke", but it is completely different. When a company "goes broke" it goes out of business, kaput, done. If Social Security "goes broke" there will still be tens of millions of people paying in, but the input won't quite match the output.

Rest easy, take the seven years and figure out how your individual situations meshes with your financial needs as you get closer to your actual retirement. And remember that if one of you takes the lower figure earlier, allowing the other to take the higher figure by waiting - and then you break up - you are each stuck with whatever decision you made back at the time.
 
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