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US Social Security @ 62 or?


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I'm now 73 and started collecting at 62 and my full payout would have started at 66 so I don't think your full payout will start at 65. I figured if I had money coming to me I want it now as I don't k

It is funny & this may be true for you but...You have probably heard this from many retired folks myself included "Now that I'm retired...I don't know how I ever had time to work" 😉  

I did at 62, birthday in Oct, started first of the year. I am healthy, was making good money but away from home here in Thailand 80% of the year.  This my second year of retirement and have no regrets

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On 4/6/2021 at 7:20 PM, Rdrokit said:

I'm now 73 and started collecting at 62 and my full payout would have started at 66 so I don't think your full payout will start at 65. I figured if I had money coming to me I want it now as I don't know what will happen to me tomorrow. I started collecting my company pension at 58. Got me early retirement in Thailand and I haven't worked a day since I was 58. Good luck on whatever you decide.

I'm the same age. I checked the SSA site and the difference between 62 and 65 was $700 per month. OP says that he doesn't "need" the money other than for minor things, so probably should just hang on.

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On 4/6/2021 at 8:35 PM, kynikoi said:

Thanks. That would be five years for me. I'm really expecting inflation to kick in perhaps in two years. I believe it's already running above 4% in usd.

Inflation only applies to a person as it relates to the things they use/buy. The inflation index is made up from a basket of goods. New additions this year are baby wipes, hiking boots, pineapple, bundled communication services and stout beer amongst other things. Several things dropped from the index as well. Other things include..... rental prices, car prices, gas prices, clothing, airline prices, etc. If this "basket" of goods goes up at a 5% rate but you don't buy/use any of them then the 5% is meaningless to you and the inflation rate on what you do use/buy might be less than 1%

 

If all of those things I just listed are things you don't buy/use go up in prices it means nothing to the inflation in "your" life. Officially inflation is expected to come in at 2.2% in the US but I don't doubt your 4% belief is more accurate.  The best way to avoid worry about inflation is to live a frugal life well below your means. Make sure you have plenty in savings and/or investments and not rely solely on Social Security. That's the best way to live a stress free life (as far as finances goes). 

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On 4/6/2021 at 5:35 PM, kynikoi said:

Thanks. That would be five years for me. I'm really expecting inflation to kick in perhaps in two years. I believe it's already running above 4% in usd.

 

Here is your problem as I see it!  like the other guy said what is your health like, do you need the money or do you have other options as you already know the longer you wait the better.  Other than that all the other stuff you list is just over thinking it.  You can't control the market, inflation, the future if you need it collect if you don't wait.  Regardless of what you do if you are an investor stay in the market retiring doesn't mean you get completely out.🤔

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On 4/6/2021 at 8:35 PM, kynikoi said:

Thanks. That would be five years for me. I'm really expecting inflation to kick in perhaps in two years. I believe it's already running above 4% in usd.

Just remember that Social Security is inflation adjusted so if inflation runs at 4% you get a bump in your payment (or projected payment if you aren't fully retired) of 4% that year.  Personally I'd love to see inflation go up 3%+ a year as I consume little so inflation doesn't really affect me but I can get the additional 3% boost to my SS and pension payments.

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     I took my SS at 62 and have no regrets whatsoever.  I was able to retire in my early 50s with a state pension and then I worked part time for another 5 years before coming to Thailand.   The SS is lower than if I has waited but I liked being able to retire early from a full-time job and for the past 10 years I've enjoyed not being tied down to a regular job.  My pension and the SS are enough to live decently in Thailand. 

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5 hours ago, kynikoi said:

 

My largest worry is the ridiculous cost of healthcare

this is a legitimate concern... there is a funny trade off of  financial risk factors in expatriating here.... for me, surely it is a much more interesting life here, but I have always been fascinated by other cultures.. You can save a lot of money here as rent/food is cheap... but things like healthcare can be more... and getting noticeably more expensive as time goes on... 

 

stay healthy and enjoy....  I think there is no question that I have had a better life here... 

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1 hour ago, sirineou said:

The cost of living (COLA) for 2020    1.3 and it is projected to be the same for 2021 but who knows , Mine went up $20.60  LOL,   big woopty do!!

It's not actually inflation adjusted. It's certainly not inflation adjusted in real terms.

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1 hour ago, HuskerDo said:

Inflation only applies to a person as it relates to the things they use/buy. The inflation index is made up from a basket of goods. New additions this year are baby wipes, hiking boots, pineapple, bundled communication services and stout beer amongst other things. Several things dropped from the index as well. Other things include..... rental prices, car prices, gas prices, clothing, airline prices, etc. If this "basket" of goods goes up at a 5% rate but you don't buy/use any of them then the 5% is meaningless to you and the inflation rate on what you do use/buy might be less than 1%

 

If all of those things I just listed are things you don't buy/use go up in prices it means nothing to the inflation in "your" life. Officially inflation is expected to come in at 2.2% in the US but I don't doubt your 4% belief is more accurate.  The best way to avoid worry about inflation is to live a frugal life well below your means. Make sure you have plenty in savings and/or investments and not rely solely on Social Security. That's the best way to live a stress free life (as far as finances goes). 

I don't buy this at all.

 

There are many items and services that you may not actually purchase yet have a heavy indirect impact of what you state.

 

Further, in US homes and the stock market are priced at absolutely absurd levels.

 

One major concern is stated in my OP was the debasement of the currency. This has been going on since 2009 but not felt because the (money) economy has no velocity.

 

65 will be the latest I'll draw.

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On the general question of looking at your own personal situation (need for the money, health condition, estimated life expectancy, etc.) vs. external factors such as the economy, politics, the stock market, inflation, fear the government will stop paying, etc. I really think it makes much more sense to focus entirely on the personal situation factors in making the claim date decision. 

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17 hours ago, taxout said:

". . . the SSA amount paid to you over your lifetime is actuarially calculated to be the same amount, whether you start drawing  at 62, 65, 67, 70 or any other age."

 

SSA uses an all-American actuarial table that doesn't distinguish by sex, race or other factors.

 

Yet these factors make a big difference. I checked once and I recall there was about a 10-year difference between the remaining life expectancy of a white female and a black male at age 65, for example.

 

So you need to make the calculation based on your own particular life expectancy.

 

 

 

That is a great point.

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14 minutes ago, ChrisP24 said:

 

That is a great point.

Yeah, it really is!

There's another factor expats might consider.

We look at U.S. life expectancy tables.

But if you've been living abroad a long time are you really a U.S. person any more? Legally yes. But biologically?

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5 hours ago, The Theory said:

There is no problem to log in SS website from overseas. There are thousands of people need to get that site from outside of the US. I'm one of them.
There could be sign in problems if you are using home Wi-Fi. Just use your phone data. 
No need VPN either. 

I agree with Theory.  I also suggest that changing your DNS provider may help.  Google will give you detailed directions for making that change.  For example search for "change public DNS provider windows 10".

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On 4/7/2021 at 4:20 PM, Berkshire said:

I have heard that, regarding the extra money for a young child/children.  If the OP has a kid(s), then it would be a no-brainer to take the money at 62.  But I agree that even without kids, taking the money at 62 has its merits, i.e., enjoy the money while you still can!

 a child will receive an amount equal to 50% of your monthly SS payment until 18...when you die the payment will bump up to 75%...i know because i am now doing this...not the dead part hahaha!!!

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I will be taking SS at 62 if it's still around when I get to that age, regardless if it is the most financially savvy thing to do or not.  I don't expect my quality of life will be very great beyond that age.  Limited mobility and the added potential for health problems are likely.  I don't like the idea of waiting for money owed to me, just to get terminally ill before being able to claim it at all.  I'd rather use the money to enjoy my remaining active years on the planet before becoming too old to travel or move freely from place to place.

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I ran the numbers, taking into consideration other funds I have, and 64 was the number that worked for me (66 would have been ‘full’ retirement for me). Although I’m glad I waited till 64, if I could have pulled it off at 62 I definitely would have.

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The U.S. SS system will have to make some changes to remain solvent. We don’t know what those changes will be.

My fear is that they decide to do something like some other countries do, like cap the amount you receive if you live outside the U.S. Or, even worse, they make it like Medicare. You pay into it all your working life, but cannot ‘collect’ if you are living outside the U.S.

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On 4/7/2021 at 2:37 AM, Gecko123 said:

... I would also doubt how many Americans truly have the financial security required to adopt that approach. I base this assessment on the constant dire reports on the American public's dismal lack of financial preparedness for retirement. ...

Yes.  I can't believe the figures on how little people in the U.S. have saved.  I regard a million $ or so in relatively liquid assets as barely adequate unless one has a fat retirement fund.  We don't live a fancy lifestyle or have a retirement fund, just investments and Social Security.  20 year old vehicle, 2 houses owned outright, etc.  And that's in 40 years since we came back from Thailand with jack squat.    But we will live comfortably unless we both end up in an assisted living facility to the tune of $8,000 or so each month. 

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2 hours ago, NZAMBOY said:

 a child will receive an amount equal to 50% of your monthly SS payment until 18...when you die the payment will bump up to 75%...i know because i am now doing this...not the dead part hahaha!!!

Am I allowed a second wife that can still have kids?  Sounds like a good deal to me.  My wife loves kids and I think I can explain the economic benefits to her.  Though the hospital bills may cut into that a bit.  🙄

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47 minutes ago, Damrongsak said:

Am I allowed a second wife that can still have kids?  Sounds like a good deal to me.  My wife loves kids and I think I can explain the economic benefits to her.  Though the hospital bills may cut into that a bit.  🙄

Is that from the injuries you receive when the wife hits you on the head with a frying pan  after you explain to her the reason you want to have children with her? 

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7 hours ago, kynikoi said:

I don't buy this at all.

 

There are many items and services that you may not actually purchase yet have a heavy indirect impact of what you state.

 

Further, in US homes and the stock market are priced at absolutely absurd levels.

 

One major concern is stated in my OP was the debasement of the currency. This has been going on since 2009 but not felt because the (money) economy has no velocity.

 

65 will be the latest I'll draw.

"I don't buy this at all.".... that's fine. I wasn't selling anything.

 

"There are many items and services that you may not actually purchase yet have a heavy indirect impact of what you state.".... true. I was just making a general statement that not all inflation affects everyone the same way.

 

"One major concern is stated in my OP was the debasement of the currency"..... it can go the other way just as easily and there would be no debasement(no, that's not where I live) to worry about. 

 

"Further, in US homes and the stock market are priced at absolutely absurd levels".... yes, housing is out of control but there are some real gems in the stock market that people seem to be ignoring. Most are overprices I agree.

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13 minutes ago, sirineou said:

Is that from the injuries you receive when the wife hits you on the head with a frying pan  after you explain to her the reason you want to have children with her? 

Yes, Sir, sorry for the lack of detail.  It would be like the bloody raw chopped beef salad (Laab?) or pounded like Som Tom salad. 

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9 hours ago, sirineou said:

The cost of living (COLA) for 2020    1.3 and it is projected to be the same for 2021 but who knows , Mine went up $20.60  LOL,   big woopty do!!

I think it'll be a bit higher than 1.3% this year with inflation creeping in. I'm guessing 2.1%. Just a guess. Maybe a tad higher.

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5 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Yeah, it really is!

There's another factor expats might consider.

We look at U.S. life expectancy tables.

But if you've been living abroad a long time are you really a U.S. person any more? Legally yes. But biologically?

I initially read this too quickly and read it as "But if you've been living as a broad a long time are you really a U.S. person any more? Legally yes. But biologically?

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4 hours ago, Alk said:

The question is...how happy are you with your life now?   I was unemployed and the job market was still fairly bad for older guys in the USA in 2013/2014.  I was divorced, and living in a small apartment in Southern California.  I could barely afford rent in the part of town i lived in.  I was living a lonely life of quiet desperation. I had a modest amount of 401K money to supplement my Social Security.  I decided to give my possessions away, pack up a couple of suitcases, and move to SE Asia when I turned 62. After traveling back and forth between Thailand and the Philippines, I ended up in the Philippines.   From living a life in California where I could barely afford to go out and have a fast food lunch (my rent alone was almost $1500/mo and $600 for very basic insurance), I ended up living in a 4-star hotel (got a great monthly rate), going on vacations around the country on almost a monthly basis, and having multiple attractive young women to date. I was living a dream life...all for under $3000 a month...at least I was until one girl snagged me..lol.   

 

The bottom line is that none of us know how long we are going to be alive.  For me, I decided the future had to be now, and never regretted for a day my decision to collect SS at 62.  Best decision of my life by far.  If you are in a similar situation...I'd by all means recommend relocating to SE Asia as well...ASAP.

 

Well said Alk but $3000 seems like an awful lot to be spending over there. With a wife, maybe, but single? You must have REALLY been enjoying life. Good for you!!

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For myself I started at 62 & have no regrets

 

my thinking roughly was  a projection I imagined (not my real number but for ease)

 

1- Avg age of death I'm guesstimating 83 if things go well

Start at 62 @ $1000. per month = 252k

Start at 66 @ $1300. per month = 265k ( not much difference)

Start at 70 @ $1600 per month = 249k is this a joke? No 13 years @ 1600 per = $249,600

 

These are not actually my numbers but the $300 more per age section is what SS was showing me at the time

I decided to take SS when I was 62 ( I stopped working at 56 & had no plans to return so amounts were static already)

 

2- One last small thing that may matter for some is if you make under 25k a year no income tax on SS

If over then Income tax will kick in some info below

Quote

If your total income is more than $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for a married couple filing jointly, you must pay income taxes on your Social Security benefits. Below those thresholds, your benefits are not taxed. That applies to spousal, survivor and disability benefits as well as retirement benefits.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/questions-answers/how-is-ss-taxed.html

 

Edited by meechai
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