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June 26, 2007


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Why not take it at 62? First let's be clear about what we're talking about. If the reader thinks they could use their Social Security benefits at the age of 62 and continue working, they'll be rather disappointed. If you earn more than $12,960 and you're less than your normal retirement age (65 and 10 months, or older if born after 1942) then you give back $1 of SS benefits for every $2 of earnings over that limit. The limit is adjusted upward every year for inflation.

Also, if you continue working while drawing SS, you may have to pay taxes on your benefit that you might not have to if you wait to start SS until after you quit working. Since your benefit is based on your highest 35 years of indexed earnings, if work after drawing starting to draw SS increases your earnings record you will lose out on the improved earnings records for those years before you establish them.

If the wife was a stay-at-home mom for all or a significant portion of her career, then her earnings record likely will be less than her husband. If the husband dies before the wife, then the wife will continue to receive the higher benefit, which is her husband's. If the husband waits to draw SS, then his larger benefit will continue to be paid to his widow. Since statistically women live longer than men, the payout as a result of the husband waiting to start SS benefits can be significantly higher.

My advice (in general):
(1) Don't retire before you can afford to.
(2) Don't use SS to fund a partial retirement. Don't draw SS benefits until you can fully retire, particularly if you are under your normal retirement age.

Social Security is rather involved, everyone's situation is a little bit different. It's best to understand for yourself what the impacts are. I recommend going to the official website at and studying the effects when you decide to start benefits.

Take it early and invest it in some municipal bonds. The sum that you accumulate should give you a return that meets or exceeds the difference in benefits when you reach "full retirement" age. Plus, you have a sum of cash sitting around that can be willed to someone of your choosing... something that is not capable with your benefits once you are gone (excluding a widow/widower). Even in the widow/widower situation, perhaps his/her personal benefits would exceed your reduced benefits, but not your full benefits. In this situation, your widow/widower could opt for his/her own benefits, and then have the sum of cash, as well.

As I-We hae always -Know--the goverment has stolen--the-our s.s.--and most of us[i'm age 58]-well never get it--we well be died--by then[But Thank you for the info;

I downloaded a calculator from the SS administration website and calculated my benefits at every year from 62-70. Assuming 8% return, the break even point whare all had the same value was age 85. With 10%, there was no break even point. I have 35 years to make that decision. If the market still returns 10.5% through then, I'll probably take it early.

Also, if you are in your 30s, you may end up hitting 62 just a couple years before SS is supposed to run out. If so, take the early option.

All Financial Matters has a link to an article which supplies a pretty good summary of the issues.

Dus10, I think you should reread my earlier posting, and the article which I've linked to next to "Posted by" below. If you've really retired at 62, where are you going to get the money to invest in municipal bonds? Not by working, because you'll have to give back your SS benefit. I still stand by what I said, including the part about learning the system and evaluating your own personal situation before making a decision.

I'm in my mid 30s. I don't expect to receive social security benefits, and plan my savings accordingly.

I'm not surprised that it turn out to be a wash if you live to your expected age - I bet it was designed that way, so that there was no particular advantage on average to taking it a 62 or taking it later. The government wouldn't want people all taking the option that disadvantages them the most.

There are two decisions to make. When to stop work and when to take SS. If you need to work, or even better, want to work, then work and don't worry about SS. If you aren't working, don't need to, and don't want to, then take it. You might come out ahead delaying it if you are especially long lived, but not if you can enjoy it more, sooner. I would advise calculating if you can afford to retire and whether you will really be happy not working before that day arrives. Those are more critical questions than when to take SS.

Often wondered if eligible persons who refuse to participate in Social Security retirement are considered within any of the equations? I'm in my sixties now and have no intention of dealing with Socialist Security. To be honest, I didn't expect to live this long and am quite happy for each new day.

Happen to know two other people besides me who can't be bothered with the bureaucratic hassle for a few inflated bucks a month. The other two guys are now over 80 years old and keep busy working and living life. Heard too that SS benefits are now taxed as income? To me, getting tangled in some intrusive government bureaucracy is just not worth the bother.

Figured too, that my parents who both lived well into their 70s survived long enough to take out most or all of the money that was confiscated from my paycheck over the decades. So perhaps in an oblique way things evened out. There must be a large percentage of people, such as myself who have "contributed" into the Social Security system that by their own decision will never pull out a dime.

As a taxpayer, I'd like to thank you for not taking your Social Security. And please pass my thanks on to the two friends you mentioned.

And to the large percentage of you who will voluntarily give up your benefits, thank you also.

Yep! Another year older since my lasting posting on this site. The guy across the street hit age 62 and at once scampered down to the government Socialist Security office. He described the waiting room there as being Soviet-like. Said that he had to talk while standing up with the Retirement benfit lady via a speaker device through thick bullet proof glass with the chicken wire inside. That's too good! We figured that there must be some pretty nasty n' rough geezers running around these parts. Who the hell are these government hacks so afraid of anyway?

Recently came across a number of WEB sites with people yapping and whining about not being able to qualify for Socialist Security Retirement. The bulk of these sad people admit to working at dog crap under-the-table, pay-no-taxes jobs for years. These fools are out there now trying to hussle up on-the-books work quarters or some flim flam from a long ago ex-wife or husband's Social Security account. These con artist gripe about falling short on their "quarters". Have any of these miscreants thought about going to back to work and get some more of those quarter things? Maybe some of them can get work wiping car windshields at traffic lights with greasy rags.

Meanwhile, the duck drops and the buzzer sounds . . . YOU LOSE !!! Should probably go on to a couple of WEB sites and post a response. Think it would piss em off to know that a citizen well qualified to collect S.S. Retirement checks can't even be bothered to sign up. In fact, just learned that about 7 years of paid-in Railroad Retirement money can be rolled into social security to increase my tentative bennies. As it stands, there are forgotten Railroad high dollar quarters that show up as blank on my SS statements. Still say, take Socialist Security retirement and shove it. Never bothered to inform Social Security about the RR stuff. Too many strings attached to Social Security retirement and it's now taxed too. Isn't that double taxation? What a total rip off! All I want from government is to be left alone.

Capt. Quahog has single handedly proved that Mark Twain was right when he said. "All of those who oppose me in matters of opinion are either evil, stupid or insane."
The opinions put forth in the Captain's letter qualify as all three.

One thing to consider is a spouse. Even if you die at 71 years of age, if your spouse lives another 15 to 20 years, they can claim your death benefit. This is proven to enhance the retirement incomes of many widowers.

Keep in mind that Soc Sec can be used as a hedge against living a long life. If you delay your benefits, your income will be greater later in life. This is especially helpful in cases where the retiree didn't save enough of their personal retirement funds to live into their 90's.

Corey Redington
Retirement Planning Analyst

John: You're probably just pissed off because you're too stupid to figure out a workable scam to start sucking on the big government teat. You and that family of miscreant parasites will need to continue toiling at swill bucket jobs. Maybe you'll stumble over a new con game for free stuff.

Unlike yourself, I am not a slave but self reliant using my own skills and talents for support. As mentioned before, I for one want nothing from government except to be left alone for the time that remains. We'll leave groveling for scraps at the feet of government bureaucrats to bottom feeders such as this John character. In the meantime, my best wishes to qualified retired persons who have had lots of hard earned money confiscated from them over decades. Sign up, file papers or whatever your suppose to do and get that dough. For myself, I want no part of it. They can take socialist security retirement and burn in hell with karl marx and leon trotsky.

I would like to take out my social security benefits completely as one lump sum, because I'd like to invest it in something secure rather than waiting until I reach retirement age when Social Security might not even exist anymore... How can I do that? I just received my statement and also looked at but there's nothing about that on there...

Alan --

hahahaha. Good one!

psssst, Alan...there IS no "lump sum". It's been spent. You will be paid by the contributions of our children and grandchildren. And THEY will not be paid at all.

It's a Ponzi scheme. The same thing Bernie Madoff went to prison for. And the SS "perps" in Congress continue to spend money like drunken sailors. Get it while you can...

But I'd also like to thank the good "Captain" for his voluntary surrendering his stake in SS for the good of the cause. I don't "need" SS to have a comfortable retirement, but I'm sure as hell gonna take my share (and Capt Qualude's too!)

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