Social Security ? for Saul

Indeed, people who counsel waiting note that it’s like getting a 2.8% risk free

Goofy, I believe that that line says it all (to me). That’s what was implicit in the calculation that I did, and I’m sure for other savvy investors … taking SS later implies that you either aren’t an investor or else you have a very intense risk intolerance.

I’m guessing that most readers of this board aren’t so incredibly risk-averse that they’d happily accept 2.8% risk free when the alternative is having that money available for investing. No risk, no reward.

as always, i am full of carp

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There used to be a nice loophole called “file-and-suspend” that let a spouse collect the 50% spousal distribution while the higher wage earner waited.…

In researching this post, I found that the recent budget deal closed that loophole (still open until 6 months after Bill was signed in December-ish)…

Between now and six months after the bill is enacted, file-and-suspend is still in effect, she said. Plus, it will still be possible to file for a spousal benefit based on a spouse’s suspended benefit. And, individuals who will be over 62 as of Dec. 31, 2015 can still plan on filing a restricted application for spousal benefits when they turn FRA over the next four years.

Article does have some thoughts worth reading if you are near that age.



Article does have some thoughts worth reading if you are near that age.
and have a spouse!

And one more complicating calculation.

If you were a somewhat unmotivated hippie in your youth who tried to avoid taxes and social security, then working past 60 may also make more sense because of the way SS indexes to calculate your benefits. Any years you work past 60 can knock an earlier year of much lower earnings out of the calculation. Also earning years past age 60 are not indexed for inflation the way earlier years are therefore can also have a greater impact on eventual benefits. For me I love my work, don’t need SS now and every extra year of work will have a bigger future impact than just 8%. I am also concerned that SS money now will move me into higher state and federal income tax bracket.

Just another opinion. Clearly this decision must be based on individual circumstances.



DW & I both currently plan to wait (we’re both 61, with a FRA of 66) as our current income makes that possible. By 66 our combined SS and pensions will only be a few thousand short of our pre-retirement income.

Note: We use $13K of our pre-retirement income to fund RIRAs, but are planning on the eventuality of needing about that for retirement health plan coverage (Medigap, etc.).

My company actually does financial plans for clients and I have created a google spreadsheet that I share. Social Security is one of the more difficult decision to make. There are so many factors that the typical person does not consider, i.e. taxes and investment return. It is also an emotional decision for many so you can “throw out” the numbers for those clients.

For someone like Saul, taking it early makes complete sense because he can invest the money much better than the typical retiree.

The spreadsheet assumes a person has assets that they can live on until 70 if they so choose.

Here is how to use the spreadsheet.

Firstly, copy it to your own account.

Input the yellow cells in column B.

Go to column AE to AG to find out when you get even by waiting. As soon as it is negative you have “caught up.” If someone like Saul is getting 10+% per year return on investments it will never get negative.…

I welcome any feedback on the spreadsheet.

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FWIW I also started taking Social Security at 62, just last year, for reasons similar to Saul’s and Goofy’s.