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Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 31, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Social Security: Take as much as you can early on

DAVID MILLER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Corrected version

Writers like John F. Wasik get it all wrong because they never take into account the total amount accrued from Social Security [“Social Security at 62? Let’s run the numbers,” Business/Technology, July 26].  For practical people like me, how much I get out of the system and the certainty of getting it is more important than a temporary comparison at a future point of time.

Let’s look at Wasik’s numbers. He says that if you take Social Security at 62, you may only get $1,000 a month, while at 70, that would be $1,320, a one-third increase in value.

But if you take Social Security at 62, over the next eight years, you would have received $96,000 by the time you are 70. if you had waited until you were 70 to take Social Security, it would take you 25 more years to make up that difference.

Because of the uncertainties of longevity, it always makes more sense to take as much as you can out of the system as early as you can — to reduce the gambling on your longevity and to receive most of your benefits.

Even if you don’t need it, you can invest it and gain even more from it over time. I took out Social Security while I was working at 62 and retired at 67. I used the extra money to build up my IRAs for retirement.

William H. DuBay, Poulsbo

Information in this letter, originally published July 31, 2014, was corrected Aug. 1, 2014. A previous version of this letter said Medicare benefits are available at age 62. Medicare benefits are only available to those older than 65, but people younger than 65 with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure can qualify for Medicare.

Comments | More in Social Security | Topics: IRA, Medicare, Retirement

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