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What Older Workers Don't Know About Social Security

Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 6:00 AM
This US News article is a good review of certain aspects of Social Security which may not be familiar to people approaching retirement. 

What Older Workers Don't Know About Social Security - US News and World Report 

pearlbrownpearlbrown1,479 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,432
1. Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 10:02 AM
I, personally, disaagree with this information.  Why do you think they offer us more if we "wait"?  Because they are counting on our dropping dead and not being able to get it, imo!  I once read some really great info years ago showing how to figure out how much we actually lost by taking it at 62 and how much we gained if we messed their figures up by actually "surviving"!  If you wait until 70 and drop off at 75 or even 80 you still will get less than if you took less at 62 and lived until 80 or so.    I did the math and am so grateful I did.  With these low interest rates they are forcing on seniors, who can wait until "full SS years"?   Social Security is a gambling game and if they make getting it much longer for those coming behind us, they won't be alive to withdraw anything, imo!   
ApacheApache43 posts since
Dec 5, 2011
Rep Points: 565
2. Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 1:12 PM
What Apache says is not wrong .... but is on the other extreme side of the argument.  I mean, Take it Early If:

1) you don't believe SS will be there for you in the longer term

2)you are only planning for your own old age income, and plan on dying early

3) you need the money now, and cannot afford to wait

otherwise, you may very well be off to wait, especially if your benefit is higher than your spouse's, and if your have other money you can use while you wait.  Better to spend low interest savings and take the higher annual SS benefits later.

So either position can be correct.  For me, I will wait.  And YES, I will be ****ed if I die early... but so what.  If I do not die early, then I really will need that benefit.  And isn't that what it is really all about!
Anon456Anon45630 posts since
Oct 30, 2011
Rep Points: 78
3. Friday, April 6, 2012 - 8:06 AM
We collected SS at 62. We had been debt free for over 20 years so we were able to save after paying for the kids college educations. My husband and I live on our SS easily and waited until 70 1/2 for our IRA RMD's which we give to the kids. Our pension started when we retired but we banked that also. Letting our savings grow and living frugally before and after SS worked perfectly for us.
Ally6770Ally6770941 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,739
4. Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 2:12 PM
This is a good article with valuable information, and I have read so many like this telling us always to wait to collect SS benefits until full retirement age or maybe even wait till age 70.  But, I agree with Apache above.   All of the "wait" articles assume you will have an average or typical actuarial life span....but WHO KNOWS?  Who "plans on dying early"?....none of us...but it happens to many whether it's in your DNA or not.   I have done the simple math that shows that you won't break even until age 78 if you wait till age 66 to start instead of age 62, and the 78 break even doesn't include any time value of money...getting that first 4 yrs at the beginning vs. recouping that money over 12 yrs (age 66 to 78).   So really the break even is more like age 80-82 if you wait.   And, who knows what your health will be then and whether you could even enjoy the extra money then, assuming you are alive.  The SS system may crash anyway and I don't have hopes of it getting better and more fruitfull...if anything, the benefits will be cut more and more and on whose backs that will be, again, who knows?  So, even though it's not essential for me at this point, I will go ahead and claim SS at 62.

Just another note:  It's interesting that the comment sections of so many articles I have read are full of people who disagree with all the "wait logic" because of all the uncertainty in lifespans and the SS system.
foggyfoggy10 posts since
Jun 20, 2010
Rep Points: 60