Social Security

Social Security Ex-Spousal Benefit

My wife's ex-spouse died and she's now going to receive a 50% increase in her SS benefits because 100% of his benefit when he died is greater than the benefit she is receiving based on her earnings. The question I have is how to enter her new benefit so that ESP can calculate her future SS benefits. She does not have her ex-spouses earnings record and no way to obtain them. Should I enter the new benefit amount in the Social Security tab and delete all her past covered earnings?

Social Security Ex-Spousal Benefits 66-70

Both my domestic partner of 16 years and I plan to take our respective Social Security Divorcee Ex-Spousal Benefits starting this year from age 66-70 while letting our own retirement benefits grow 8% a year until age 70. I entered this into the annuity section as an a guaranteed annuity for 4 years. However, it seems to put each annuity in for the entire year rather than by age as the Social Security section does (which creates partial year amounts depending on birthday month).

Start, Stop, Start SS Benefits

Maximize My Social Security recommends this strategy. I read your suggestion about modeling it using special receipts and expenses, but that is very clumsy. Whenever I want to try something different, I have to delete all specials, run reports in both programs, examine the results and decide how to offset the changes, enter the specials again, and re-run the reports. It is also sometimes hard to find a combination of SS dates that the ESP SS page will accept. Is there any chance that ESPlanner will be updated to accommodate the strategy recommended by MMSS?

2016 Social Security Benefits Incorrect

Happy New Year!
Thanks for your great support for this indispensable program.
I just ran my 2016 update and discovered that our social security benefits are not correct. They were correct in 2015 but for 2016 mine is over $1000/year too high. Did the program assume a COLA amount greater than the actual 0%?
James Mavrogeni

Delaying Social Security Benefit

ESPlanner's suggested consumption isn't affected very much by delaying social security from age 66 to 70. I can see the monthly benefit increase by 21% by delaying SS for 4 years but the suggested consumption only goes up by 0.5%. In another case where I have modeled a Roth conversion, delaying SS actually causes the suggested consumption to go down by 6%. I've looked at all the other parameters in the reports like taxes, IRA withdrawals, etc. but can find no explanation for why higher SS benefits don's seem to translate into higher consumption.

Social Security Benefits Report showing benefits one year too late

I was born mid-1966 and my FRA is therefore 67 (year 2033). Under the Social Security “Benefit Receipt” tab I note the retirement benefit date and spousal benefit date as mid-2033. However, the “Household Social Security Benefits” report indicates a partial year of benefits in 2034 with 2035 being the first full year of benefits. This report seems to indicate that benefits will be starting one year later than they should based upon the parameters. Am I not reading this report correctly? Thanks.

Social Security Benefits for Disabled Adult Child


Where do I enter data so the program calculates the Social Security benefit for my adult disabled child. My understanding is that he will be eligible for 50% of my normal Social Security benefit when I start collecting Social Security. I don't see where to enter this in ESPlanner. (Yes, I was going to use the file and suspend strategy so he could collect while my benefit continued to grow. Unfortunately congress and the president think I'm wealthy.)

Soc Sec Family Maximums

With the end of spousal benefits, I am trying to figure out some options before ESPlanner is ready with an update. In the course of this, I'm realizing how little my work history will matter. I thought, for instance, that our family maxes would be added together or would at least include a portion of mine. After researching all weekend, I think I may be wrong about that.

File and suspend?

We were going to use this strategy since we have an adult daughter with a severe disability. So...since this strategy won't be available to us(neither my husband nor I is 62 this year), I'm wondering why wait until 70 to retire? Is it true that waiting until you're 70 to retire means you need to live to early or mid-80s to break even? If so, foregoing our daughter's 50% amount for a few years, well, that would push the break-even point farther out. I know the software is not updated yet, but I'm wondering if I'm missing anything. I think it might be obvious.

Social Security Bridging Strategy

I am 64 and plan on retiring next year around my 65th birthday. My FRA for Social security is 66. My wife is 5 years younger than me. She has a much smaller SSA benefit amount based on her own record, so we will use her spousal benefit. I am planning to wait until age 70 to claim my SSA benefit and we will likely claim my wife's spousal benefit at about the same time (which should be slightly below her maximum possible).

During the period between age 65 and 70 I will need to use my 401k and some after tax money to make up for the missing social security payments.


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