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A new study nevertheless finds that early claiming leads to a significant increase in the number of retirees living in poverty.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-people-who-claim-socia...

As usual, correlation doesn't mean causation. I would suspect many that retire early do so because they want to, instead of determining rationally whether they should.
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No. of Recommendations: 16
A new study nevertheless finds that early claiming leads to a significant increase in the number of retirees living in poverty.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-people-who-claim-socia......

As usual, correlation doesn't mean causation. I would suspect many that retire early do so because they want to, instead of determining rationally whether they should.


I would speculate that the causation is the other way. Poverty may impel the early claiming SS.

CNC
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No. of Recommendations: 13
"As usual, correlation doesn't mean causation. I would suspect many that retire early do so because they want to, instead of determining rationally whether they should." - rharmelink


I suspect that many claim early SS because they are emotionally and physically exhausted. Not everyone has a cushy desk job where they can sit on their butt all day and drink coffee and take a break anytime they want to. Meat cutters and forklift drivers and restaurant employees and all other kinds of folks that have to do hard physical work may not have a physical disability that is bad enough to claim SS disability but they got aches and pains and arthritis and their shoulder or knees hurt and they got hemorrhoids and all other kinds of aches and pains and life has been hard for them so they just get out as soon as they can.

Like the song says "a wise man doesn't know how it is to be thick as a brick." Neither do they know what it is to be worn slap out by life. Life is neither kind nor fair and it can do a real number on you. When you wake up hurting everyday it can make you depressed and not care about anything.

Art
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"I suspect that many claim early SS because they are emotionally and physically exhausted"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The more you spend on pain meds, back braces, shoe inserts, therapy and doctors, the
more likely you might need money from any and all sources.

Kinda like food, shelter and all of that stuff.

Howie52
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I'm not aware of any objective study on the question of why almost half of SS beneficiaries begin at age 62. I read of reasons relating to the need for income, health reasons, wanting to get out of the work force...the earlier the better and perhaps as a way of allowing other dependent family members to begin a benefit based on the worker's PIA. But none of these has been predominant in my experience working in this industry. Based only on my experience, the majority begin because they can begin...not because they need to. The most common given reason for this...at least to me...is the fear that SS is going to 'run dry' and so they want to start taking while they can take. This of course is silly and in really, I think, a personal rationale for just taking money because its available with little thought given to the future and consideration of alternatives to beginning at the earliest date possible. These tend to be those whose reality is today and the future is something that will be worried about when they get there.

BruceM
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<< Based only on my experience, the majority begin because they can begin...not because they need to. The most common given reason for this...at least to me...is the fear that SS is going to 'run dry' and so they want to start taking while they can take. This of course is silly and in really, I think, a personal rationale for just taking money because its available with little thought given to the future and consideration of alternatives to beginning at the earliest date possible. These tend to be those whose reality is today and the future is something that will be worried about when they get there.

BruceM>>



I retired at age 57 in 2007, and began taking SS benefits at age 62.

After ten years of living with zero earned income, I calculated that my net worth had INCREASED by 50%.


I suppose in part that was because SS benefits added to the amounts of free cash flow I had to invest in stocks, and which I still continue to invest in stocks.

I have yet to actually spend a nickel that came from reducing my existing savings and investments, although of course those investment throw off income and occasional capital gains that finance my spending.

I am now age 68, about the age experts would "recommend" that people start taking SS benefits. Personally, I'm still happy with the decision I made.



Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"As usual, correlation doesn't mean causation. I would suspect many that retire early do so because they want to, instead of determining rationally whether they should." - rharmelink

"I would speculate that the causation is the other way. Poverty may impel the early claiming SS" - CNC

"I suspect that many claim early SS because they are emotionally and physically exhausted. Not everyone has a cushy desk job where they can sit on their butt all day and drink coffee and take a break anytime they want to. Meat cutters and forklift drivers and restaurant employees and all other kinds of folks that have to do hard physical work may not have a physical disability that is bad enough to claim SS disability but they got aches and pains and arthritis and their shoulder or knees hurt and they got hemorrhoids and all other kinds of aches and pains and life has been hard for them so they just get out as soon as they can". - Art

"The more you spend on pain meds, back braces, shoe inserts, therapy and doctors, the
more likely you might need money from any and all sources." - Howie52</>

Yep, or

You are not in poverty or completely disabled, and were rationally planning to keep working and saving longer and put off claiming SS, but:

- Your employer downsized/relocated/went out of business. Not many realistic job opportunities for a 62 year-old. You have saved enough to wait for full retirement age but you now have health insurance expense on top of existing bills. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS to help pay the costs is more rational than being without health insurance.
or
- It becomes necessary to be a caretaker for your parent/spouse/other loved one. The time required is such that you cannot put in the hours demanded by your job - especially if it includes commuting and/or unpaid overtime. There is no option for a flexible schedule or telecommuting arrangement. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS is more rational than trying to keep at that job while trying to find and afford outside health aides.
or
- You are working, your job is pretty secure, you want to keep working and have no emotional or physical reasons you can't, *but* you have not received a meaningful pay increase in years, while you are experiencing very meaningful increases in the cost of groceries, medicine, property and other non-income taxes, gasoline, etc. You do not have opportunity or stamina for a second or third job. You determine that in your situation, early claiming SS to supplement your pay is more rational than waiting and actually falling into poverty.
- While you may not fear that SS is going to 'run dry', as per BruceM, you are aware of the political climate and you do worry that SS may be taken from you in the name of 'entitlement reform' before you reach full age. While we all hope that is 'silly', you determine that in your situation, early claiming SS is more rational than the risk of waiting and losing SS entirely.

There are many more examples.
One size does not fit all.
LB
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BruceCM writes,

The most common given reason for this...at least to me...is the fear that SS is going to 'run dry' and so they want to start taking while they can take.

</snip>


That's been my observation, too. Even for people with a technical/scientific background who should be able to understand the arithmetic favoring waiting to take your SS benefit.

I wonder if Fox News viewers are more likely to think 'SS is going to run dry'?

Dozens of local Fox affiliates run misleading segments pushing Social Security benefit cuts
https://www.salon.com/2018/06/06/dozens-of-local-fox-affilia...

</snip>



intercst
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Just because you claim SS early is no indication that you don't know how to handle money. I began receiving SS payments at age 62 based on a couple of reasons:

1. Because I was eligible.

2. Because who knows how long this benefit will continue to be available or that all sorts of eligibility requirements might be placed on SS in the future.

3. Probably the biggest reason I chose to take it early was my thinking that 'why should I tap my tax protected investments'. Why not let them grow longer. To me SS represents a $300-$400k pot that I'm drawing down on.

If a person plans, saves and doesn't live beyond their means they shouldn't have issues with retirement. I've been retired 15 years now and have way, way, way more spending money than I ever did while I worked.

Retirement is a good deal in my opinion. Oh, and by the way, I think I can handle money OK.

Regards,

ImAGolfer (retired '03)
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<<3. Probably the biggest reason I chose to take it early was my thinking that 'why should I tap my tax protected investments'. Why not let them grow longer. To me SS represents a $300-$400k pot that I'm drawing down on.>>


The government offers substantial incentives, but are they really enough to justify leaving free money sit on the table?


In my case, I decided "no."


Besides allowing me to increase investments in the stock market the past six years, taking larger SS benefits now would increase the income taxes I pay on SS benefits an minimum withdrawals from my 401 K that I will have to take beginning next year.

I have no regrets that I began taking SS at age 62 instead of my current age of 68.


I'm sure people make such decisions for many reasons. Declaring people to be fools for doing so at age 62 is just another example of people slavishly following expert opinion that may or may not be applicable.


Seattle Pioneer
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"I'm not aware of any objective study on the question of why almost half of SS beneficiaries begin at age 62."

*************************************************************************

A long time back there was a study done by hunters.
They concluded a bird in the hand was favored over a bird in the bush
by a majority of hungry people.

Howie52
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My main reason for claiming SS at 62 was because males in my family don't live long ... on either Mother's or Father's side of the family, or for Father or for my brother.

A lesser but serious concern was the ability of SS to have full future payouts, a concern that was reinforced in the annual statements from the SSA.

And I think I can handle money OK, too. :)
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I took SS at 62 for several reasons

1) At the time, no one in my family had lived past 87. Most had died at 80, some way before. My dad died at 75. The age where you achieve parity for taking SS early or late is 87. The odds are not on my side for reaching 87. (subsequent to that, my Uncle, the 'runt' of the family and a mostly vegetarian, lived to 94).

2) I had health issues at the time......some serious - most cleared up now.....

3) I suspect in the future that some means testing will be done to 'save' SS. Already, they soak you for more Medicare Premiums and Drug Plan premiums if you earn over the thresholds. I do.

4) I could leave my IRA untouched. Left it untouched from the time I retired to age 70......it did very well.

It's all a personal decision. With health issues by age 62, I took SS. I'm not likely to live past 87 to reap the benefits of taking it later. 98% of my relatives didn't.

If I do manage to make it to 90, I will have 'lost out' on a bit....but I'm not sweating that. And that assumes no mean testing, no taxing 100%of SS, etc.

t.
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"The more you spend on pain meds, back braces, shoe inserts, therapy and doctors, the
more likely you might need money from any and all sources. Kinda like food, shelter and all of that stuff." - Howie52



Yeah, well if you got a hard physical job and have to do physical labor and your boss is a jerk and you are 55 years old and you wake up every day in pain, your back hurts, your knees hurt, your neck hurts, and your shoulder hurts you don't feel like unloading trucks and picking up boxes and cleaning dog and cat manure and your boss has told you that you aren't allowed to say "no" to the 47 Veterinary researchers that your work for - then you get on the internet and find intercst's retireearlyhomepage and start doing the numbers and see if you can make it work because there is no escape.

It reminds me of the scene in the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" where Richard Gere is doing pushups in the mud and he tells his drill instructor "I got nowhere else to go! I got nowhere else to go!"

I Got Nowhere Else to Go - An Officer and a Gentleman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ-zr4PKqbs


You got to figure out how to make things work even if it's not as plush as what you might have hoped.

Art
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"The most common given reason for this...at least to me...is the fear that SS is going to 'run dry' and so they want to start taking while they can take." - Bruce


There is a thing called "the break even point." I think it's around age 84 years of age? What age you got to live to to make it worthwhile to wait? If genetics plays a part in longevity I don't have a lot of confidence that I'll make it to that break even point. I figure at least 80% of my life is behind me. My mom died at age 51 of stomach cancer. She never got to collect a penny of social security. My dad died at age 65 of cardiomyopathy. My oldest sister Valerie died in her sleep at age 73 from a weak heart.

My 2nd oldest sister Rose died at age 46 of kidney failure. All my aunts and uncles died in their early to mid 70s from cancer, heart disease, and some kind of weird autoimmune disease. My maternal grandmother died at age ~ 56 from breast cancer. My maternal grandfather lived to be 89 years of age but he was a little guy and a vegetarian and a 7th Day Adventist.

So far so good.

Art
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"Even for people with a technical/scientific background who should be able to understand the arithmetic favoring waiting to take your SS benefit." - intercst


Have you been to Walmart and seen how many fat people there are nowadays? I am obese and even I notice it. There are a LOT of fat people. I think I remember reading that at least 50% of adults are obese? What are the chances that these obese people are going to make it to 84 years of age? The break even point? Diabetes and heart disease are common because of the number of obese people.

If you are obese and have high blood sugar and love buffets and take blood pressure meds and maybe also Metformin (for diabetes) your chances of living to be real old are pretty slim. You get more social security if you start early because there is a good chance you are going to kick the bucket before you reach that magic break even point.

That was one of my motivations for starting SS early, plus it was extra cash coming in so I didn't have to ask my wife for money for gas and food. I got enough money with my little pension and social security, and for a while I did the 72(t)SEPP distribution thing, just so I'd have my own money.

So far my plan is working. Thanks intercst! <grin>

Art
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Art: Have you been to Walmart and seen how many fat people there are nowadays? I am obese and even I notice it. There are a LOT of fat people. I think I remember reading that at least 50% of adults are obese? What are the chances that these obese people are going to make it to 84 years of age? The break even point? Diabetes and heart disease are common because of the number of obese people.

I never go to Walmart, but the photos of Walmartians are well circulated.

We have British friends who marvel at how "large" Americans seem to be.

CNC
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One thing that I have not seen mentioned is that for many married couples the best strategy is for the lower income spouse to start Social Security at 62 and have the higher income spouse wait until 70. That could account for part of the spike in the number of people that start at 62.
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"I never go to Walmart, but the photos of Walmartians are well circulated."

I always shop Walmart for food. Usually Sunday mornings - and stop by Sprouts on Wednesday for veggies/fruit.

Walmart has best prices on food, other than Costco...but I don't need food in quantities for 6 or 8 people or five pound boxes or 8 chicken breasts at a time.

Art - the breakeven point is 87


t.
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Tele shares, "Art - the breakeven point is 87."


Which makes me starting social security at 62 years of age an even smarter decision because the chances of me living to be 87 are slim to none. Which makes me glad I started taking social security at 62 years of age. If I live past 87 years age it will be because "then a miracle occurred."

I am not a vegetarian or a little guy. I rarely see big old fat men who are really old. Most of the really old males I know are little guys, thin, and not obsessed with food and eating. And when I see really old males they are usually still in pretty good shape, they can get around, and don't have arthritis (which limits mobility)and they aren't in a lot of pain. Pain produces cortisol in the body and cortisol suppresses the immune system.

Art
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Art53: There is a thing called "the break even point." I think it's around age 84 years of age?

The break even point is a bogus metric as it is based on your PIA instead of your monthly benefit. It does not take into consideration how COLA is applied to the PIA. As Social Security deems that you earn COLA from the age of 62, it has a tremendous impact on your monthly benefit when you delay your claim.

A couple of years ago, I found a Social Security statement from 2007 when I turned 62. I retired in 2013 at age 68 and claimed my retirement benefit starting the month after I retired. My monthly benefit was much higher than I expected and nearly identical to what Social Security statements projected that I would receive at age 70. I hadn't realized that all COLA earned from age 62 was applied to the PIA calculated when you claimed your benefit.

Out of curiosity, I decided to calculate my break even point. I used my 2007 PIA amount and applied COLA for each year from Social Security's COLA table to calculate the amount of Social Security income that I would have received each year. For future years I used 0%, 1%, and 2% for COLA and applied that to my 2007 benefit and my current benefit. The break even point varied between 76 and 78 years depending on my assumptions of future COLA.

One reason that my break even point fell was that I continued to work and have earned income. This resulted in my being categorized as a maximum wage earner for the 35 years used to calculate my PIA. I certainly wouldn't have been in that category had I not been earning income from age 62 to 68.
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"The break even point is a bogus metric as it is based on your PIA instead of your monthly benefit." - McCrokett


What is "PIA?" Pain in the ass? <grin> No seriously, I don't know what PIA is? By the way you take all the fun out of retiring early and taking early social security. But since I don't plan on living to be real old, and unless "then a miracle" occurs... I don't expect to. I am obese and come from a long line of ancestors who all had the good sense to die early so I expect I will follow in my families footsteps.

And I'm pretty sure after I kick the bucket I won't care how much or when I retired or when I took social security I think I'll still be okay with the early retirement and taking Social Security early?

I made a plan and it seems to be working so far I think I better stick to it?

Art
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What is "PIA?" Pain in the ass? <grin> - Art

Primary Insurance Amount, but the arcane rules are still a pain.
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"I rarely see big old fat men who are really old."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You have to check behind the rather larger trees and behind the wider
fences.
Also behind the wheel of larger automobiles found parked outside Krispy Kreme.
Less frequently in the truck.

Howie52
Known to have the ability to find things which are not easily found.
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"Primary Insurance Amount, but the arcane rules are still a pain." - Bighairymike


I'm sorry but I'm still confused? What does Insurance and PIA have to do with collecting social security? Is our social security supposed to be a kind of insurance? Like an annuity or something? A guaranteed amount of money at 66 years of age or something?

Art
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When I turned 62 years of age I was like "Show me the money!" I was really looking forward to having that money directly deposited in my checking account each month. I felt like I was still being paid for all the manure I had put up with during my years of working. I also have a little pension from the state of Tennessee that I feel the same way about. I'm still getting paid for all the feces I had to put up with.

Art
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Like an annuity or something? A guaranteed amount of money at 66 years of age or something?

Art


---------

Now the questions are getting harder. Yes, but the amount is unique to you and reflects your specific earnings history over your working years. It is based on your quarterly earnings for the 40 highest quarters in your work history. And it is the amount you are eligible for at your FRA <grin... FRA is full retirement age> which varies based on your birth year. Also the amount you receive is adjusted up or down if you take it earlier or later than your FRA.

And getting back to guarantees, all of this is subject to change by the congress weasels who endeavor to run our lives.

Simple huh.
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bighairymike analyzes,

And getting back to guarantees, all of this is subject to change by the congress weasels who endeavor to run our lives.

</snip>


Not entirely. Congresscritters have learned that cutting Social Security or Medicare for current beneficiaries (or those those close to it) results in their removal in the next election.

intercst
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Now the questions are getting harder. Yes, but the amount is unique to you and reflects your specific earnings history over your working years. It is based on your quarterly earnings for the 40 highest quarters in your work history. - me

------------------

Art - sorry but I mixed up two separate elements in the above.

You need 40 quarters of earnings to be eligible for SS payments at all.

The amount of your PIA is based on your highest 35 years of earnings.
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Art53: What is "PIA?" Pain in the ass? <grin> No seriously, I don't know what PIA is?

PIA is an acronym for Primary Insurance Amount.

The year that you turn 60, the National Average Wage Index is used to normalize your earnings in all years before age 60. Starting at age 60, your earnings are not indexed. The sum of the 35 years with the highest earnings are divided by 420 to produce your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). Should you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, $0.00 is used for the missing years.

The AIME is used in the PIA formula to calculate your PIA. The PIA formula skews the results so that individuals with low income receive more than those with high income. The PIA is then adjusted for early or late claiming of benefits.

The PIA is then multiplied by the COLA for each year the individual delays claiming benefits. If you retire at 62 but don't claim Social Security benefits until Full Retirement Age (FRA), your monthly benefit at FRA will be greater than if you claimed benefits at 62. Your PIA won't be reduced by early retirement factors and all earned COLA will be applied to the larger PIA.

However, the largest benefit comes from continuing to work as it eliminates your lowest earning years from the AIME and PIA calculations. Also, it gives you more years to add to your 401(k) or IRA and to pad your "emergency" fund. Mine currently stands at 3-4 years of normal living expenses.

As an aside, I had a challenging, mentally stimulating, and fun job. I wasn't in a rush to retire and claim Social Security benefits. I did retire earlier than I had planned after receiving a "heads up" with a woman I had worked with in HR about planned changes to our retirement plan. In addition, she clued me into the fact that the Pension Protection Act required my pension benefits had to be recalculated as I was over our plan's retirement age of 65. I got a 21% increase in pension benefits for retiring at 68.
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Art
In addition to the comments provided....

Once calculated, the PIA is the amount you'll receive if you begin benefits for the month you attain your Full Retirement Age, or FRA. The FRA is determined by what year you were born, which for those born between January 2, 1943 and January 1, 1955, inclusive, the FRA is 66 years 0 months. For a table showing the FRA for the year of birth, take a look at

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/agereduction.html

For each month you begin prior to your FRA month, the PIA is reduced by 5/9%/mo for the first 36 months prior to FRA. Months prior to this reduce the PIA by 5/12%/month. So for those whose FRA is 66 years and 0 months, the total reduction in the PIA for those beginning benefits at the earliest possible date of 62 years 0 months is 20% + 5% = 25% reduction in the PIA. Conversely, if you wait past your FRA to begin benefits, the PIA will grow by 2/3% per month up until the month age 70 is attained and then it stops growing, other than by annual COLA adjustments.

If you elect to continue to work, for an employer or self employed, between age 62 and FRA, be aware that if your EARNED INCOME (salary and/or net self-employment income) is greater than $1,420/month for 2018, you will lose $1 of benefit for every $2 your earned income is over this limit, at least until you get to the year your reach your FRA, then the earned income limit jumps up to $3,780/mo and the penalty is reduced to a reduction in benefit of $1 for each $3 over this limit. At FRA and older, there is no benefit reduction for any amount of earned income.

Technically, the SS benefit is a form of social annuity with a potential survivor benefit, with the actual benefit to the worker and possibly the spouse of the worker, determined by the amount paid into it over one's working years. It is not a savings account and has no 'cash' or 'residual value' as a life annuity might, although some financial planners like to treat it as such in their calculations. But like an annuity, it will pay benefits indefinitely as long as you live, but if you die prematurely and have no qualifying spouse or dependents, any 'unused' portion of what you paid in over your working years is lost as is the case with a life annuity.

Its important not to confuse SSI with Social Security. SSI = Supplemental Security Income which is a form of welfare payments to those 65 and older of low income and low net worth. SS administers it but it is not part of the SS trust fund.

BruceM
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<<And I'm pretty sure after I kick the bucket I won't care how much or when I retired or when I took social security I think I'll still be okay with the early retirement and taking Social Security early?
>>


One of the advantages of a government pension scheme, compared to a 401K, is that the rules surrounding it are so clear and easy for the average person to understand.


By comparison, your accumulated assets in a 401K are obscure and hard to understand.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<bighairymike analyzes,

And getting back to guarantees, all of this is subject to change by the congress weasels who endeavor to run our lives.

</snip>

Not entirely. Congresscritters have learned that cutting Social Security or Medicare for current beneficiaries (or those those close to it) results in their removal in the next election.

intercst>>


Yes, so the art is stealing from those people who aren't yet anticipating receiving those benefits.


The classic example was Ronald Reagan's methods of insuring that the WWII generation collect their benefits.

The methods used were to gouge the baby boomer generation by increased SS taxes, reduced benefits and higher taxes, all the while continuing to spend the SS taxes coming in on other stuff.


The result was, instead of the baby boomers pre funding their SS benefits, yet another huge deficit is on the horizon, and soon Democrats will be looking for someone else to screw using the tried and proven methods described above.


GUESS who will be targeted for that?


Seattle Pioneer
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I don't think these studies are worth the paper they are printed on.

You are still gambling on how long you will live and which choices yield the best returns.

Guess right and you win. Otherwise you lose. No study changes that.
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On “British friends “

Sitting next to a Brit at a trade show and he says “ what is it with American women? Either they’re skinny as twigs or they bloody well blot out the sun!”

Guess he liked em medium....

SG (thought British were known for their tact but maybe I’m thinking Canadian)
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"Guess right and you win. Otherwise you lose. No study changes that." paul


You can't lose. What's the worst that can happen? You die? You were going to die anyway. 100% guaranteed. And the beautiful thing about that is when you die the slate is wiped clean. You won't care. We're all equal at that point. Won't matter how much social security you got. In fact I'm pretty sure that a hundred years from now no one will even remember we were here. No one will care. They'll be too busy living their own lives trying to survive.

You got food to eat? You got a bed to sleep in? A roof over your head? Water? A toilet and shower? You're all ready better off than like 90% of the rest of the world. If you got food, water, indoor plumbing, a roof over your head, and a bed to sleep on, you're doing okay.

You're going to be okay. Trust me on this one. You live in a country where like one of our biggest worries is getting fat... eating too much food. The rest of the world only wishes that it had that problem.


Art
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After we're dead it's like we were playing Monopoly here. It won't matter who had the most monopoly money. If you can't take it with you it doesn't matter. Death is the great equalizer. So it won't matter who was the smartest and got the most social security. We'll all be dead and no one will care.

Art
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You can't lose. What's the worst that can happen? You die?

But then of course your choice is easy. Because it does not matter. And you don't need 37 postings to discuss the finer points. It's a waste of time.
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"We'll all be dead and no one will care.

Art"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Not everyone will die at the same time - or we can hope not.
And people will care - probably not about money or Social Security
or much of the stuff that fills the newspapers and library shelves
and big (or little) screens - but people care.

Howie52
A friend just passed of cancer a week back - and we have been thinking
about him - trips taken - projects done together. Pleasant days and trials
both.

People are missed.
People are thought about.

And there is love in the world - well beyond money matters.
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"But then of course your choice is easy. Because it does not matter. And you don't need 37 postings to discuss the finer points. It's a waste of time."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Communication is rarely a waste of time - helps the folks writing to
focus their thoughts - helps the folks reading by creating options of
thoughts - helps the advertisers by keeping the electrons flowing.

Howie52
The brain does like to see stuff - and dispute stuff - and agree with
stuff.

That is why Thanksgiving is such a popular holiday!

all that stuffing!
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"Not everyone will die at the same time - or we can hope not." - Howie


But eventually we'll all be dead. Everyone that participates on this board will cross over one day. We'll shed these fragile human bodies after they wear out and we'll pop out of our bodies and float up and look down and see our dead bodies, realize we're dead, and our deceased loved ones will greet us and help us cross over into that Light.

Do the dead greet the dying?
By David Kessler

"Throughout my years of working with the dying and the bereaved, I have noticed commonly shared experiences that remain beyond our ability to explain and fully understand. The first are visions. As the dying see less of this world, some people appear to begin looking into the world to come. It's not unusual for the dying to have visions, often of someone who has already passed on. Your loved one may tell you that his deceased father visited him last night, or your loved one might speak to his mom as if she were there in the room at that time."

full article can be read @:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/10/18/o.end.of.life/

Art
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"But eventually we'll all be dead. Everyone that participates on this board will cross over one day. We'll shed these fragile human bodies after they wear out and we'll pop out of our bodies and float up and look down and see our dead bodies, realize we're dead, and our deceased loved ones will greet us and help us cross over into that Light"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

But all will be missed by someone. Even the most annoying of folks will be
missed by the next most annoying of folks.

Howie52
Who keeps his annoying levels at peak performance just to keep up with the
new kids coming up.
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"But all will be missed by someone. Even the most annoying of folks will be
missed by the next most annoying of folks." - Howie



Which is all part of that duality and separation I keep talking about. Life is one great big long lesson in separation, from the day we are born and separate from our mothers and the umbilical cord is cut in two till the day we die and our death becomes a lesson in separation to our loved ones we leave behind. And the more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates. Our memories are the only thing we get to take with us to the other side. It has everything to do with "why we are here."

Emotions Make the Memory Last
More Detail, Easier Recollection With Emotional Memories

https://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20050131/emotions-make-me...

Art
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Love your comments. We live in the best country in the world.
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"Love your comments. We live in the best country in the world." - fillmorea


Health care is still a problem. It's too expensive and complicated but acquiring food doesn't seem to be a real big problem. You can always eat cheap and stay full. I buy big 10 lb bags of chicken leg quarters and eat on them for almost an entire week. I used to eat a lot of noodles and rice but I got too fat and became diabetic and my doctor told me my and so I came back to Earth and gave up carbs - but I did love me some noodles and rice. I was able to give up potatoes and bread pretty easily but the hardest thing to give up for me was noodles and pasta. Pork is still pretty cheap too.

I saw a nature program on TV about this young male lion that was kicked out of it's pride because it was starting to grow a mane. So it struck out on it's own and learned or figured out how to go in warthog holes and catch and eat warthogs. The interesting thing about this was that this young lion lived on pork for an entire year. Warthogs are very closely related to our domestic pig. So I figure if a lion can eat pork for an entire year and not get tired of it or malnourished than I so can I? I buy whole Boston Butts for 99 cents/lb and today I saw whole pork loins on sale for $1.69/lb. So I buy low carb veggies, boston butts, pork loins, and chicken legs and that is mostly what I live on.

So far so good.

Art
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Have any of you done the actual math? We made a spreadsheet with me taking SS at the starting age of 62. We added the numbers up annually, and increased them each year for the cost of living increases that social security gives annually. Then, we invested the money every year and made a 10% return by investing in reasonably safe stocks. Then, we compounded the 10%. (This is based on us making an average of more than 10% on our stock investments for the last 10 or 15 years.)

We listed all the money -- age 62, 63, 64, and on and on.....

Then we did the same thing if we waited, and I would take social security as late as possible. **That means you would list ZERO for age 62, 63, 64, etc.

The age at which I would break even was above 85 years old. Because I will have stashed all that money since I turned 62... So, we chose for me to take it as early as possible. (You must also figure in life expectancy, and since I fought cancer over 10 years ago, I think I will probably not make it to 95...)

True, not everyone can totally invest all of their SS payments -- many people need that money to live on. But we did not. So, we figured it with us investing all of the payments. Of course, life expectancy is an unknown, but we decided that it was worth taking the money early.

I know there are many factors in everyone's lives that will effect this outcome, but doing the math is a simple thing to do. Good luck.

Footsox
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footsox writes,

Have any of you done the actual math? We made a spreadsheet with me taking SS at the starting age of 62. We added the numbers up annually, and increased them each year for the cost of living increases that social security gives annually. Then, we invested the money every year and made a 10% return by investing in reasonably safe stocks. Then, we compounded the 10%. (This is based on us making an average of more than 10% on our stock investments for the last 10 or 15 years.)

</snip>


Stocks don't always make 10% per year. The shorter your holding period, the greater the variability.

http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/cagrfun.html

Hard to believe I know, but there are times that stocks decline by 10% or more over multiple years.

intercst
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This may come as surprise to many but we aren't going to live forever. The life expectancy for a 62 year old man is 81.4 years of age and the life expectancy for a 62 year old woman is 84.3 years of age. Now when I take off all my clothes and stand in front of a mirror and what looks back at me is an obese prediabetic old man with high blood pressure that caused me to imagine I can subtract a few years off that?

That was a factor I included in my decision to take social security at 62 years of age. Add in there that my mom died at 51 years of age from stomach cancer and my dad at 65 from cardiomyopathy and my oldest sister at age 73 from a weak heart and my 2nd oldest sister at 46 from kidney failure. That also had an effect on my psyche when thinking about how old I might be when I cross over.

We are all individuals. Your mileage may vary from mine.

Life Expectancy Tables - Actuarial Life Tables

https://www.lifeexpectancycalculators.com/actuarial-life-tab...

Art
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This is a fun table too and it is from the Social Security administration.

Social Security - Actuarial Life Table

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html

For me this was the #1 factor affecting my decision to take social security early. I also added in my own health stats and my own experiences with my family. All of my aunts and uncles died in their early to mid 70s. I had one grandparent that lived to be 89 years of age but he was a little 7 Day Adventist vegetarian and I am neither little, 7 Day Adventist, or vegetarian.

So far so good.

Art
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<<I know there are many factors in everyone's lives that will effect this outcome, but doing the math is a simple thing to do.>>


The math you describe is shot full of assumptions.

For example, you suppose you will live to age 85. You suppose you will be able to earn 10% compounded on stocks. You haven't figured in the impact of taxes on Social security benefits or capital gains on sales of stocks.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<This may come as surprise to many but we aren't going to live forever. The life expectancy for a 62 year old man is 81.4 years of age and the life expectancy for a 62 year old woman is 84.3 years of age. Now when I take off all my clothes and stand in front of a mirror and what looks back at me is an obese prediabetic old man with high blood pressure that caused me to imagine I can subtract a few years off that?

That was a factor I included in my decision to take social security at 62 years of age. Add in there that my mom died at 51 years of age from stomach cancer and my dad at 65 from cardiomyopathy and my oldest sister at age 73 from a weak heart and my 2nd oldest sister at 46 from kidney failure. That also had an effect on my psyche when thinking about how old I might be when I cross over.

We are all individuals. Your mileage may vary from mine. >>


I like your approach to calculating the age to take Social Security benefits, Art.


And the real short answer for me is that my experience is that I don't spend much money in retirement, and don't care to do so. After retiring in 2007 at age 57 and living ten years without earned income, I calculated that my net worth had INCREASED by 50%.



Seattle Pioneer
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I too did the math and took it early. We banked it. The main reason I took it early was the tables that showed the fund was becoming insolvent. I feel that at some time Congress will adress the problem and it won't be in a nice way. There are just too many of us old fa#ts around.
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"I too did the math and took it early. We banked it. The main reason I took it early was the tables that showed the fund was becoming insolvent. I feel that at some time Congress will adress the problem and it won't be in a nice way. There are just too many of us old fa#ts around. "

*****************************************************

personally, I find the really major problems involve the fresh young
new farts.

Howie52
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"For example, you suppose you will live to age 85." - seattlepioneer


If I live to be 85 years of age it will be a miracle and somebody ought to write a book about me. <grin>


Art
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"And the real short answer for me is that my experience is that I don't spend much money in retirement, and don't care to do so. After retiring in 2007 at age 57 and living ten years without earned income, I calculated that my net worth had INCREASED by 50%." - Seattle Pioneer
---------------------------------------


Your heirs are going to have a lot of fun spending all your money in retirement and believe me they're going to. <grin>

First thing they'll probably do is buy themselves a fancy new car and then take a kick-ass vacation.

Art
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"And the real short answer for me is that my experience is that I don't spend much money in retirement, and don't care to do so. After retiring in 2007 at age 57 and living ten years without earned income, I calculated that my net worth had INCREASED by 50%."

---------------------------------------


Your heirs are going to have a lot of fun spending all your money in retirement and believe me they're going to. <grin>

First thing they'll probably do is buy themselves a fancy new car and then take a kick-ass vacation.



And then brag about it.......
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<<"And the real short answer for me is that my experience is that I don't spend much money in retirement, and don't care to do so. After retiring in 2007 at age 57 and living ten years without earned income, I calculated that my net worth had INCREASED by 50%." - Seattle Pioneer
---------------------------------------


Your heirs are going to have a lot of fun spending all your money in retirement and believe me they're going to. <grin>

First thing they'll probably do is buy themselves a fancy new car and then take a kick-ass vacation.

Art>>


I'm planning to be a major contributor to the Trump campaign in 2020.


Seattle Pioneer
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"I'm planning to be a major contributor to the Trump campaign in 2020." - Seattle Pioneer


I'm sure he'll be grateful. Let's face it, if he wins he wins and if he loses he wins. It's good to be rich. If he loses he can go down to Mar A Lago in the winter and golf and play with his grandchildren and in the summer he can head up north and hang out with his rich friends in the Hamptons and go to barbecues.

Donald Trump can't really lose. He's not like regular blokes where if they lose they end up living under a bridge or in a dumpster. He's going to eat good and live in air conditioning and watch big screen TVs and the rest of his life is going to be in comfort. He'll never have to worry about getting a hospital bill he can't pay.

Art
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Art:"I'm sure he'll be grateful. Let's face it, if he wins he wins and if he loses he wins. It's good to be rich. If he loses he can go down to Mar A Lago in the winter and golf and play with his grandchildren and in the summer he can head up north and hang out with his rich friends in the Hamptons and go to barbecues."

You want to tell me about all the Kennedy family? From JFK to the latest? Billionaires. Democrats

You want to tell me about the democrat slimeballs in NYC - the tax dodge ones owning the government millions - yet reaping fat government salary in the Congress, and of course, retiring with fat pensions - oh, and owning millions in real estate yet not paying a million in back taxes?

How about Bloomberg? I hear he is thinking of running fro Pres.

Hillary? Never poor in her life. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Made millions as a corrupt lawyer - and now likely she and Bill collecting fat government pensions from AR, her time in Congress, his fat pension and benefits from being Pres (worth at least half a million a year), their real estate (multiple homes), the corrupt Clinton Foundation that paid for scads of of international travel/vacations from them and family.....

Get real, Art. No one making $20,000 a year is going to make it to be President

- -----

"Donald Trump can't really lose. He's not like regular blokes where if they lose they end up living under a bridge or in a dumpster. He's going to eat good and live in air conditioning and watch big screen TVs and the rest of his life is going to be in comfort. He'll never have to worry about getting a hospital bill he can't pay. "

Neither will any other ex-President......regardless of party. Or member of Congress. Or sanitation worker in NYC or DC.......

t.
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"You want to tell me about all the Kennedy family? From JFK to the latest? Billionaires. Democrats." - tele


Tele I wasn't being judgemental? I think you may be reading something into it that isn't there? If you read my post you won't see any passing judgement one way or another? I don't judge people. I really don't. There are people I love who are liberal Democrats and people I love who are conservative Republicans.

The only thing you might see in my post is "wealth envy" which I have freely admitted to many times. In fact that is why I buy lottery tickets. I'd like to try being rich. I think I'd be very good at it.

Art
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<<I buy lottery tickets. I'd like to try being rich. I think I'd be very good at it. >>



What part of being wealthy would you like to try, Art? There are several different elements to that:

1) Acquiring wealth
I've heard it said that acq
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<<I buy lottery tickets. I'd like to try being rich. I think I'd be very good at it. >>



What part of being wealthy would you like to try, Art? There are several different elements to that:

1) Acquiring wealth
I've heard it said that acquiring wealth isn't that difficult ----all it requires is a lifetime of
devotion.

2. Keeping and expanding wealth once you have it.

3. Spending nmoney



Seattle Pioneer
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"What part of being wealthy would you like to try, Art? There are several different elements to that: 1) Acquiring wealth, seattle Pioneer
I've heard it said that acq



I am normally a very frugal person. I think I learned it from my mom. She was a German immigrant who was raised during the depression. That is how I was able to retire early even though I never really made a lot of money. I am really good at living cheap.

When I go to Sam's Club they have these beautiful Florida Lobster tails frozen 2 to package. They are $21.99 lb. I have never bought any because they are really way out of my price range. If I won millions of dollars I think I'd buy those lobster tails quite frequently.

Beef is really high right now. I saw whole beef fillets (what they make Fillet Mignon from) on sale for $9.99/lb. I didn't one because a whole fillet was around $70 or $80.

I like the Nissan Altima. I'd like to own one, a a white one.

I'd like to buy a really nice van, like a Toyota Sienna, and just drive wherever I wanted to, stay in nice hotels and eat at good restaurants. I am over traveling on the cheap. I did quite a bit of it when I was young. At this point in my life if I have to travel cheaply I'd just as soon stay home.

That is why I made those comments about Donald Trump. Even if he loses the Presidency in 2020 he's not really going to suffer. It won't affect the quality of his life one bit. He's going to have a great life regardless of whether he is reelected or not? He can eat lobster and fillet Mignon any time he wants to. He can travel to wherever he wants to go and stay in nice hotels and golf or fish or do anything he wants to. He will always have a roof over his head, great food to eat, big screen TVs, air conditioning, everything and it doesn't depend on whether he has a job or not. Donald Trump is not going to have stay in crappy hotels and eat cheap crappy food. He's not going to have to stop at a grocery store and buy balogna and white bread and sit and make himself a baloney sandwich as he travels to wherever he's going. If he loses the election in 2020 he's still going to have a great life!

Lucky him! That is why I say "I'd like to try being rich. I think I'd be very good at it."

Art
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"I'd like to buy a really nice van, like a Toyota Sienna, and just drive wherever I wanted to, stay in nice hotels and eat at good restaurants. I am over traveling on the cheap. I did quite a bit of it when I was young. At this point in my life if I have to travel cheaply I'd just as soon stay home. "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

None of those things requires you to be "wealthy" or win a lottery.

They do require judicious decisions made at various times in your life -
and going back in time is unfortunately not a valid option. But really
living well just does not require tremendous multi-million dollar net
worth or several hundred dollar a year income.

Howie52
I have not seen any indication that past Presidents had to watch their spending
after they were no longer President.
I have seen some past-governors put in jail - but Presidents?
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Art: "That is why I made those comments about Donald Trump. Even if he loses the Presidency in 2020 he's not really going to suffer. It won't affect the quality of his life one bit. He's going to have a great life regardless of whether he is reelected or not? He can eat lobster and fillet Mignon any time he wants to. He can travel to wherever he wants to go and stay in nice hotels and golf or fish or do anything he wants to. He will always have a roof over his head, great food to eat, big screen TVs, air conditioning, everything and it doesn't depend on whether he has a job or not. Donald Trump is not going to have stay in crappy hotels and eat cheap crappy food. He's not going to have to stop at a grocery store and buy balogna and white bread and sit and make himself a baloney sandwich as he travels to wherever he's going. If he loses the election in 2020 he's still going to have a great life!"

Come on Art. YOu'll have a roof over your house and won't be eating baloney sandwiches unless you want to ......

and until your wife retires, you're likely not going to travel for weeks.

You've probably never played golf in your life, and you can fish all around your home for not a whole lot. Maybe buy a small fishing boat and trailer to haul it, or leave it at a marina for the summer months.

You've got a driveway full of cars. How many TVs do you have? And they aren't teeny ones either from what you've said.


Since he's an ex-President, just like Obama or Bush, they'll collect a nice pension from the taxpayers......plus all sorts of benefits and 24/7 security. Probably armored cars too..... he's not going to be able to drive convertibles in Key West FL by himself.....or anywhere else.

Right now, he's got folks hassling him all day long from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed. This meeting, that meeting, this discussion, flying here and there for a few hours.....stress.....

I'm sure you could afford 'lobster' every now and then. I haven't had lobster in a long long time.... had a lobster roll maybe a year ago..... but we have a Red Lobster around here but I don't go.....and you could afford good meat cuts.......

You've got a bad case of Trump wealth envy.

He's 50 lb overweight so I'm sure his doctor has got him on a diet, too.....

t.
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"I'm sure you could afford 'lobster' every now and then. I haven't had lobster in a long long time.... had a lobster roll maybe a year ago..... but we have a Red Lobster around here but I don't go.....and you could afford good meat cuts......."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Funny, but when I think about eating lobster, I do not think about the
"Red Lobster" chain. I sometimes think about the Outback" chain - but
more frequently I think about driving up to New England. Especially now
that I am retired officially. Outside of doctor's appointments, work around
the house and errands - there is no pressing reason DW and I cannot
hop in the car and go for a few days.

I am less inclined to drive to eastern Pa if I get in the mood for a
Philly steak.

The only reason I do not drive up to Maryland more often - for Maryland
crab-cakes - is because of the family being up there - and telling them
that DW and I were there but did not stop in would create an upset
situation. The world does not need more reasons for upset situations.

Howie52
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I vote for Art getting a whole fillet and a pair of lobster tails the next time they are on sale!


Seattle Pioneer
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I retired in my 40’s and I’m a few decades older now and still not claiming Social Security. My thinking when I turned 60 was I don’t need it, it really is a meager payment so why not let it build up until I turn 70? So, that reason is still valid, and the investments I’ve made over the years are doing fine, I still don’t need it......but one day in the future, it might help with nursing home payments or a few days in a hospice......who the heck knows? But I’ll wait until I’m 70 or until my health gets really dicey.

I have a friend who mishandled her money badly, she gets $1700 a month. Ugh! Talk about a belt tightening, that’s it!

Lucky Dog who is grateful for all that HP has provided for me
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"None of those things requires you to be "wealthy" or win a lottery.
They do require judicious decisions made at various times in your life -
and going back in time is unfortunately not a valid option. But really
living well just does not require tremendous multi-million dollar net
worth or several hundred dollar a year income."



??? I traveled on the cheap when I was in college and after we were first married.
I'm over it. If I have to travel on the cheap I'd just as soon stay home and sleep
in my own bed.

And I'm not talking about "living well". I all ready "live well". I married well
and have a good life. I'm talking about being filthy rich and buying whatever
the hell I want to and going wherever the hell I want to, whenever I want to,
renting really nice accomodations, and eating at really nice restaurants
- which ain't cheap.

"I have not seen any indication that past Presidents had to watch their spending
after they were no longer President. I have seen some past-governors put in jail - but Presidents?" - Howie


What's that got to do with anything? Donald Trump was uber rich before he ever became
President. His wealth and lifestyle has nothing to do with him being President. His
life does not depend whether he is President or not. He's going to have a great life
regardless of whether he is reelected.

And I wasn't talking about "other presidents?" Why even bring them up? I was talking about Donald Trump?

Art
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"Come on Art. YOu'll have a roof over your house and won't be eating baloney sandwiches unless you want to." Tele

I didn't say I did? Again you are reading things into my post that aren't there? But I can't just spend hundreds of dollars on lobster and scallops whenever I want to.

"Maybe buy a small fishing boat and trailer to haul it, or leave it at a marina for the summer months." - tele,

Been there, done that. I want to go out in the ocean with a guide in a nice ocean boat and catch large fish. Spend hundreds of dollars. I don't have that kind of money. Just for the record I don't spend my wife's money.

You've got a bad case of Trump wealth envy." - tele

I've been buying lottery tickets since 1992, before I even knew who Donald Trump was. But yes your right, I do have wealth envy, but it's not specifically Donald Trump. I just would like to be filthy rich and see what it's like to be filthy rich. I think I'd be very good at it.

If I were a rich man - fiddler on the roof

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc

Art
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"I vote for Art getting a whole fillet and a pair of lobster tails the next time they are on sale!" - Seattle Pioneer
---------------------


The ones I'm lusting after are at Sam's Club. I saw two large beautiful (not frozen) Cod fillets at Sam's Club. I think the package was like ~ $35.00? And the two large lobster tails at Sam's are about $37.00? So if you want to send me about $80.00 I promise I will go Sam's club and buy some. <grin>

But.... I still want to try being rich. I think I'd be very good at it.

Fiddler on the roof - If I were a rich man, Tevya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc

Art
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"Fiddler on the roof - If I were a rich man, Tevya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc

Art "

*****************************************

Tevye had a cow.
Nahum had only the good will of the neighbors.

And both got by.

Howie52
Rich is a relative term.

If you have a relative who is rich, does that make you poor?

If someone else in the universe has one kopek more than you, are you
poor?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwqwAy85CgY
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I started taking my SS at age 60 because I was diagnosed by an idiot surgeon with state 3 BC. I thought I better get as much out of SS as I could before I died, even though financially I did not need it. I still had a small business and my late husband's pension to keep me going.

The doctor was wrong, BC was stage 1 and I am still above the green at age 83. Yay!


Birgit
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"The doctor was wrong, BC was stage 1 and I am still above the green at age 83. Yay!


Birgit"
*********************************
May it continue.

A gent from Vermont was saying something similar just the other day.

Howie52
A young whipper-snapper.
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