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Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Mar 20, 2017 - 12:08pm PT
Last week I reduced my exposure to the stock market from 60% to 30% of our portfolio.

I've been retired for three years, and it's awesome. Sometimes I miss the work and it's intellectual chalanges. But I remind myself that my brain is not as good as it used to be and I would be disappointed not being able to solve some hard problems. Also, as my physical abilities go down, I want to climb, ski, dive, travel when I still can.

The wife loves her job too much to retire now. Good for her, but we spend a lot of time apart.

I don't have to take money out of SS or IRA yet (so, technically, I guess, I am not retired).

My worry is Trump. A war or/and economy collapsing, lack of insurance, civil unrest, etc.

Trying not to worry too much, though. Those factors are of my control anyway.


Big Wall climber
Mar 20, 2017 - 02:54pm PT
The question of when to start taking social security payments is a difficult one, mainly because most cannot accurately predict the most important variable: the date of oneís own death.
I'll see when I get there. A couple things to keep in mind from my own digging:
1) If you are pretty sure you and your spouse will die before eighty-few, take it early.

2) If you are not sure when you are likely to die, waiting as long as possible serves as insurance against living a long time in poverty. Better to burn through your IRA to the end before triggering SSA than taking it early to preserve your remaining IRA balance. Being 80-few without death in sight with crap income leaves you no options. More SSA means a better "home" to be stuck in as you run out the clock, or maybe even getting to spend longer in your own home before you can no longer afford to buy the extra support to live on your own.

3) Old people vote. SSA reductions are an easy target until the AARP trains their sights and their horde of old bitties with nothing better to do in November except go vote on a politician. SSA will not likely be reduced for anyone already paying into it any time soon, too much backlash. At some point the younger set will get screwed out of it (just as my full retirement age is 67.5 instead of 65 for folks who retired a while back), but probably not for anyone already in their 30's or older.

4) If you are a spend-thrift sort, waiting is also better even if you die before 80. Call it forced savings. If you hit 70 with no nest egg and only your age 62 SSA benefit you might end up on the street being unable to afford rent and cat food at the same time. Getting more net money out of the system is useless if spend it early as well.

Mar 20, 2017 - 03:13pm PT

73 days and counting...


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Mar 20, 2017 - 03:32pm PT
Taking SS before 70 is a no-brainer; if you take it you've no brain. Just
kidding! Some people don't have a choice. If one does and you're feeling
yer mortality then take it and enjoy it! The 'amortization' point varies
with how long before 70 you start but that doesn't factor the enjoyment
factor. Sure, you'll have less to live on when yer in yer upper 70's and
on but by then yer gonna be happy with a bowl of apple sauce and I Love Lucy
reruns so who cares? If you don't really need to take it then it is a hell
of an investment and you can really woop it up when you turn 70 and buy
that killer set of shuffle board sticks! Me, the wife nixed a Z06 so I'm
gonna wait til 70 and get a ZR1 and spite her!
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Mar 20, 2017 - 03:34pm PT
Good post, Moof.

@Locker: Boooyah!

Me: 53 days and counting. Gulp.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 20, 2017 - 04:01pm PT
Retiring from work was an easy decision....did it at 62 and never looked back. Climbing is different.....they will have to wipe the chalk from my cold dead fingers.

Mar 20, 2017 - 04:12pm PT


Good to read...

I too will be doing the deed at 62...

"Me: 53 days and counting. Gulp."...

It is a bit unnerving for me as well...

But not due to any worries about finances, health coverage or any of that crap...

My worry is will I be able to learn to fuking RELAX???...

It's not something I do well being of the super amped up, always going full fuking bore, ADHD monster that I am...

Used to be able to channel it on the rocks...

Will be able to do some climbing, but nowhere near as much as will be NEEDED...


Social climber
Wise Acres
Mar 20, 2017 - 09:29pm PT
I've been retired a year at (61 now) the end of this month, and they say that it takes 10.5 years to use up your portion in the system. I was a third level supervisor at the power company, and just last week I took a city test, written and climbing a tree to become a Tree Surgeon to start all over again! I don't need to do it and I like being retired and sleeping in! I won't get the results for a month but I did good and will most likely get an interview down the road! I don't know if I should go back to work and double dip or just stay retired, crazy!

Boulder climber
The high prairie of southern Colorado
Mar 20, 2017 - 09:36pm PT
^^^^ Fortunate dilemma, i-b.

Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Mar 21, 2017 - 06:45am PT
Hey, Lockster. Are you into other fitness stuff, too? I'm always hiking/biking/etc., and having an open schedule is going to make that so much easier. I'm looking forward to reading stuff other than crappy student essays, too. LOL.

Our finances should be okay, but we are taking a pretty big pay-cut to make this happen, so adjustments will be in order, which is fine. I don't need no new BMW every year, not that I could ever afford that anyway.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Mar 21, 2017 - 06:51am PT
Bad Climber.....aside from my morbid preoccupation with climbing I enjoy long hikes in the mountains AND I have discovered how much fun a packraft is....check it out!

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 21, 2017 - 07:34am PT
Taking SS before 70 is a no-brainer; if you take it you've no brain. brother loves to remind me that all of the males on both sides of the family are dead by 65.

Social climber
Mar 21, 2017 - 08:07am PT
Interesting discussion. I never give it much thought to be honest.. I just make the maximum allowable 401k contribution and pay my SS tax. We own a rental property that would already support me if I just want to chillax at a point break in South America until I die. It's 20 more years before retirement is a reality and I like working so hopefully it all works out.

I plugged in my numbers on the SS website and the difference in my monthly payment if I wait until I'm 70 to collect is $1600 per month! (in today's dollars). That's a big difference!

The calculator:


Mar 21, 2017 - 08:12am PT


"Are you into other fitness stuff, too?"...

Now that I am on the fuked up side and unable to climb much on a regular basis (My back only feels a little better, nothing has been repaired, the problems remain), I definitely plan to seek out other activities and riding/biking is on the schedule...

Also plan to start doing some easy trail hiking...

"but we are taking a pretty big pay-cut to make this happen, so adjustments will be in order, which is fine. I don't need no new BMW every year, not that I could ever afford that anyway."...

I will have to positively watch my spending and stay on the frugal side of life...

That said, there's nothing I really want or need anyway...

Already have TOO MUCH stuff...

72 days and counting...


Social climber
Southern Arizona
Mar 21, 2017 - 08:17am PT
"The retirement game is over in USA. unless you got min 2 mil in the bank, paid-off property and good SS coming, the medical bills will kill you. "

Splatter: Does not apply if you retire from the state, county, or city in Kaliforny, in which case the government will not only give you a ludicrously generous pension, but will also pay most of your health care bills in retirement.

If you get really ill (like terminally), all bets will be off unless you can simply die without a fight. The grand majority of health care costs of the average person shows up in the last 6-12 months of life. Before that, it seems, everything is manageable financially with whatever health care plan that one has. When you get terminally sick, whatever nest egg that youíve built over the years will melt away very rapidly. It doesnít make much difference how much money you have.

In many places in the U.S., the state will assume your medical expenses (within some limits) once your net worth falls to a very minimal level. In Wisconsin where my mother lives, itís $2000.

Fighting mortality in the last period of oneís life is a very expensive delaying action.

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Mar 21, 2017 - 08:20am PT
There is another paradigm that says to take SS at 62 and invest it, if you can afford to do so.

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Mar 21, 2017 - 09:43am PT
There is another paradigm that says to take SS at 62 and invest it, if you can afford to do so.

Gunkie, that's exactly what you are doing when you postpone the withdrawals. Instead of a risky investment on your own, you get a guaranteed gain of 76% over 8 years.

Theoretically, you should be able to double your investment in 5-7 years, but if the market is not performing, you lose.

I am waiting till 70.


Gym climber
Bend Or
Mar 21, 2017 - 10:56am PT
Well the trump bump looks like it's on the decline right now...

Mar 21, 2017 - 10:58am PT

As for SS...

I say you best get it and spend it/invest it when and while you can...

because you can count on the FACT that if you don't...

someone else will be spending it for you...


Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Mar 21, 2017 - 06:03pm PT
I'm early 40s. Plan to retire in early 60s and forego receiving SS benefits as well as dipping into 401(k)/IRA until I'm 70 1/2.

With that goal I'm setting aside money -- bridge money -- to cover living expenses between 62 (say) and 70 1/2.

Should that pan out, I have to believe I will have no income tax liability, as I'm literally not taking in money but rather living on savings. Anyone do this? Curious if my understanding of taxes is incorrect.
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