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So if you are waiting until 70 for social security, what happens when you have to take RMDs and then when one of you becomes single ?

Thanks to converting most of our IRAs to Roths between retirement age and age 70, we won't have appreciable RMDs. By making the bulk of the conversions prior to age 65, we won't have to pay IRMAA on our "to high" income. Also, thanks to mostly living off Roth money and social security after 70, we won't be paying taxes on SS (under current laws). (Paying 22%-24% taxes on the Roth conversions is better than paying ??% on the IRAs after 70, PLUS having 85% of our SS taxed as well...or maybe by then it will be 100%.) We will draw from the regular IRAs to the amount that puts our taxable income at a level that keeps the SS untaxed.

When one of us becomes single, that one will have a lower SS income than the two together, and less income need as well. But, that SS will still be much higher than if we'd started at 62 or FRA. The survivor will inherit the other's Roth+regular IRAs, and live off that. The (very modest) pension money is 100% joint/survivor, so that portion won't decrease due to the death. The survivor will continue to pay no taxes on the Roth withdrawals and the social security thanks to the pension being the only appreciable taxable income. The survivor will draw from the regular IRAs to the amount that puts the taxable income at a level that keeps the SS untaxed.

It may be that eventually both or one of us has so much money that RMDs on the small remaining taxable IRAs is large enough to blow the previous plans out of the water. Then we (or the survivor) will gladly (mostly) pay the taxes because our direction has been to always choose "not running out of money in old age" rather than "maximize the amount of social security if we die early." If the single survivor lives to a very old age and has to deal with taxes at the single rates rather than MFJ rates, said survivor will be glad to be living off a larger portfolio than if we'd followed another route and had 85% of our SS taxed and regular IRA withdrawals taxed at a (probably) higher rate.

Or, the rules could change drastically, which is really hard to plan for. That's one reason we aren't converting 100% of our regular IRAs to Roths.
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