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BANGKOK 22 May 2019 09:57
cmarshall

SS benefits application timeline

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So, I applied for retirement benefits online in March, three months before my 70th birthday.  I understand that the first month for which I will receive benefits will be July and the first payment will be in August.  On ssa.gov I see my application status as "processing" and the state is "initial."  I gathered that they would contact me about 1 month before my birthday which was a week ago.  I haven't heard from them yet. 

 

1. I am not worried yet, but wonder how long I should wait before contacting them?

2.  If I do decide to contact them is just calling Baltimore the best way?

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I applied 3 months before i turned 62 they sent me the letter out lining my benefits 2 weeks later. Are you using a Thai address or US ? 

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I gave them both my US mailing address and my physical address in Thailand.  Their email reply included this line:

 

If you have a future month of entitlement, you should receive a letter in the mail approximately thirty days before your benefits should start.

 

But that is ambiguous.  Do they mean 30 days before the first month for which I receive benefits, i.e. July, or 30 days before the first payment in Aug?

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Why is 70 or your birthday relevant?  Are you requesting to start your benefits on your birthday?  They supposedly pro rate benefits to whatever date you start benefits so birthday shouldn't be a big driver

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4 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

Why is 70 or your birthday relevant?  Are you requesting to start your benefits on your birthday?  They supposedly pro rate benefits to whatever date you start benefits so birthday shouldn't be a big driver

Because I continue earning delayed retirement credits until age 70, but not after that.  That is not an SSA requirement.  We can start benefits in any month after age 62 with adjustments of the benefit up or down depending on when you start before your full retirement age or after it.  By delaying until age 70 my monthly benefit will be about 132% of the benefit I would have received at age 62, for example.  

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1 minute ago, cmarshall said:

Because I continue earning delayed retirement credits until age 70, but not after that.  That is not an SSA requirement.  We can start benefits in any month after age 62 with adjustments of the benefit up or down depending on when you start before your full retirement age or after it.  By delaying until age 70 my monthly benefit will be about 132% of the benefit I would have received at age 62, for example.  

I understand the delay and benefit increase.  I am at the 62 point and will be delaying a few years for sure.  I was just wondering  if you picked your exact 70 birthday date, and I guess you have.  Enjoy the benefits

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51 minutes ago, hereforgood said:

I applied 3 months before i turned 62 they sent me the letter out lining my benefits 2 weeks later. Are you using a Thai address or US ? 

did you use a Thai address, I am ready to start the application but heard some contradictory infor about the address issue thus appreciate your feed back, thanks

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7 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

I understand the delay and benefit increase.  I am at the 62 point and will be delaying a few years for sure.  I was just wondering  if you picked your exact 70 birthday date, and I guess you have.  Enjoy the benefits

We read that delaying is actuarially neutral, which is to say, that averaged over the pool of retirees, it averages out to the same cost to the SSA.  That is true for a single retiree, but if you are married with a younger wife, for example, it isn't neutral at all, but a big advantage.  My advice is to delay as long as you can afford to up to, but not after, age 70.  It amounts to buying more of the best annuity available to Americans.

 

But probably you know that already.  I mention it for others who may not.

 

My benefit at age 62 would have been $1,809/month, but in Aug. will be 3,185/month.  Actually I misstated the percentages in my last email.  My age 70 benefit will be 176% of my age 62 benefit or 132% of my full retirement age benefit.

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did you use a Thai address, I am ready to start the application but heard some contradictory infor about the address issue thus appreciate your feed back, thanks
No I use my Us address reason being I don't want to have to worry about the letter they send out every year or every other year with a questionnaire about if you are still alive. And I didn't have to deal with Manila at all I didn't have to get a phone call from them or deal with them at all and you do have to if you apply in Thailand with a Thai address

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk

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4 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

We read that delaying is actuarially neutral, which is to say, that averaged over the pool of retirees, it averages out to the same cost to the SSA.  That is true for a single retiree, but if you are married with a younger wife, for example, it isn't neutral at all, but a big advantage.  My advice is to delay as long as you can afford to up to, but not after, age 70.  It amounts to buying more of the best annuity available to Americans.

 

But probably you know that already.  I mention it for others who may not.

 

My benefit at age 62 would have been $1,809/month, but in Aug. will be 3,185/month.  Actually I misstated the percentages in my last email.  My age 70 benefit will be 176% of my age 62 benefit or 132% of my full retirement age benefit.

yeah, i saw the % was off.  Me personally will delay taking my SSA benefits for several years, and in those years I will be converting my Traditional IRA monies which came from all my various company 401ks, over to my ROTH IRA.  For those years my income will be vastly less than the income I earned when I was putting into my pre tax 401k ( my AGI is like 170K).  When I convert the monies over, my AGI will be about 60K (I want to stay below the 85 K for Medicare B premium reasons).  Then, when I start SSA, most of my income will be coming from my ROTH IRA whose monies are NOT figured into any taxable computations or for SSA benefit taxation.  And of course I will be living in Florida, a tax free state, so I think I worked the taxation issues about as good as possible.  I deferred over 400k of income when I was in a high tax bracket to later be withdrawn and converted to a Roth when I am in a low tax bracket, and also in a tax free state.

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4 minutes ago, hereforgood said:

No I use my Us address reason being I don't want to have to worry about the letter they send out every year or every other year with a questionnaire about if you are still alive. And I didn't have to deal with Manila at all I didn't have to get a phone call from them or deal with them at all and you do have to if you apply in Thailand with a Thai address

Sent from my LG-H990 using Tapatalk
 

thanks, really looking forward NOT having to deal with Manila but may have no other alternative, no longer a US address, my ex would be the only option but not willing to beg her for anything

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1 minute ago, gk10002000 said:

yeah, i saw the % was off.  Me personally will delay taking my SSA benefits for several years, and in those years I will be converting my Traditional IRA monies which came from all my various company 401ks, over to my ROTH IRA.  For those years my income will be vastly less than the income I earned when I was putting into my pre tax 401k ( my AGI is like 170K).  When I convert the monies over, my AGI will be about 60K (I want to stay below the 85 K for Medicare B premium reasons).  Then, when I start SSA, most of my income will be coming from my ROTH IRA whose monies are NOT figured into any taxable computations or for SSA benefit taxation.  And of course I will be living in Florida, a tax free state, so I think I worked the taxation issues about as good as possible.  I deferred over 400k of income when I was in a high tax bracket to later be withdrawn and converted to a Roth when I am in a low tax bracket, and also in a tax free state.

Bingo.  That's the optimal strategy and the one I have just completed.  I lived in a high tax state, but retired at age 61 to Thailand and proceeded to convert TIRA to Roth up to the top of my tax bracket each year while deferring SS.  So, when SS and the RMDs on the remaining TIRA money kick in this year, the tax bite going forward will be minimized.  By moving out of my high tax state to Thailand, my 401k money will never be subject to state income tax, even if I were to move back at some point, since now it's mostly Roth.

 

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10 minutes ago, batata said:

thanks, really looking forward NOT having to deal with Manila but may have no other alternative, no longer a US address, my ex would be the only option but not willing to beg her for anything

There are many advantages to have a US mailing address.  I use a mail forwarding company in tax-free Florida whose base rate is $20/month.  Having a US phone number and a US mailing address has simplified my interactions with numerous US entities over the years.

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1 minute ago, cmarshall said:

Bingo.  That's the optimal strategy and the one I have just completed.  I lived in a high tax state, but retired at age 61 to Thailand and proceeded to convert TIRA to Roth up to the top of my tax bracket each year while deferring SS.  So, when SS and the RMDs on the remaining TIRA money kick in this year, the tax bite going forward will be minimized.  By moving out of my high tax state to Thailand, my 401k money will never be subject to state income tax, even if I were to move back at some point, since now it's mostly Roth.

 

Glad to see somebody that understands the system.  I got some posters on here calling my IRAs "fancy".  Goodness.  The ROTH IRA has been around for decades, and I was able to put quite a bit into that over the years.  I made a ton as a contractor and luckily much of my pay was in tax free per diem so I was still able to do a ROTH outside of work as my income was below the ROTH contribution limit. Those 6,000 a year have added up.  And some of my companies 401ks also had some ROTH component in them so I put some more in there.  My current company Northrop Grumman whom I currently work for has an OK 401k.  But it has 3 components.  1:  the basic traditional Pre tax part, 2: A ROTH part, 3: an after tax part. After I finish the 25k contribution to the Pre Tax (dodging California taxation) I can then keep putting as much as I can afford into part 3, the after tax!  That is similar to the ROTH and when I leave the company I can roll that 3 part over into my own ROTH IRA.  So while I make too much money now to contribute to the ROTH IRA outside of work, I can still basically fund the ROTH at work.  What a deal for a senior such as me.  So next year when I punch out of work, I will have about 400k in my traditional IRA, about 300 K in my ROTH IRA.  And my regular brokerage has only tax free muni stuff about 500 K at the moment.  So I dodge most federal taxes as best as possible and in the next year will put every penny of after tax dollars I have left over each month into that "Roth-like" after tax part of the company plan.  chill for a few years converting things over, start medicare, then start social security.  Hope I didn't miss out on too much fun

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13 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

There are many advantages to have a US mailing address.  I use a mail forwarding company in tax-free Florida whose base rate is $20/month.  Having a US phone number and a US mailing address has simplified my interactions with numerous US entities over the years.

and they forward your mail to Thailand, I heard about fictional mailing addresses but don't know if they can be trusted as for the phone number I had one before but US people/entities calling me costed me a fortune in roaming charges was forced to stop

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