Social Security Day

I turn 62 today. As most of you know, that is the earliest at which one can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits.

Although I have no plans to begin receiving those payments anytime soon, I believe about 30% of eligible Americans do start collecting them at age 62. Most financial “experts” believe that is a mistake unless a person is in ill health and/or has absolutely no other source of income.

If I wait until age 65 to begin taking Social Security, my benefit amount will be 25% higher than if I had begun taking it now. That is an average annual compound growth rate of 7.73%. Yes, it’s true that inflation has recently exceeded that number. Yes, it’s also true that the entire Social Security system will reach an “upside-down” state–where benefits paid exceed taxes received–in about 10-12 years. That event will result in a reduction of benefits across the board unless changes are made to the system.

What Social Security calls full retirement age is 67 for me; if I wait until then to collect my benefit would be 42% higher than at age 62. Given my father died at age 70/71 and the impending potential flip in Social Security, I don’t think I will wait until then and I certainly will not wait until the benefits max out at age 70. Right now, and this is not etched in stone, I think I will begin collecting at age 65. That dovetails with eligibility for Medicare and I can just have my main Medicare premium withheld from my Social Security payment.

For those of you who are not yet receiving Social Security, have you had any thoughts about when you might start taking it? For most Americans, this is a very important decision and one that too many do not evaluate enough.

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At least fate did not give me a positive test for the damn virus as a birthday “present.” I have not felt well for a few days. When I sent a message yesterday through the “patient portal” to the office of my primary care physician requesting an appointment immédiatement, the reply was that given my symptoms I should test myself for the damn virus.

The test result was negative. I am aware that result could be a false negative. I am also aware that I stopped wearing a mask indoors about three weeks ago unless the establishment policy is to wear one. My wonderful wife and I were around a lot of people during the four days we attended the Mecum auction and virtually no one was wearing a mask.

As for my current illness, all I can think is welcome to life over 60. Frankly, my symptoms could be related to allergies as tree and grass pollen counts are high and the very dry weather at present (dewpoints of 25° or lower) increases the amount of dust in the air. Don’t ask me why I don’t use a nasal steroid spray. Let’s just say that use of such a product probably figures in my current condition.

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In 1960, Chevrolet led all US car companies in production at about 1.65 million units, a market share of about 27 percent. Its most popular car, one of the most successful American models ever, was the Impala with sales of almost a half million. As best as I can figure that was the most popular model in the industry that year. About 16% of 1960 Impalas were convertibles like this:

 

See the source image

 

Speaking of Chevrolet, 1960 was the first year that Corvette sales reached the 10,000 level. Given that only 700 had been produced just five years earlier, that was an impressive figure.

Rambler reached the number four spot among US makes at about 459,000 cars, the highest total ever for an American independent. Only Chevrolet, Ford and Plymouth outsold Rambler in 1960. As I have written before, the styling of the 2-door Rambler American from 1958 to 1960 is a very idiosyncratic favorite of mine.

 

See the source image

 

Although they were 1960 model year cars, production of the Edsel ceased in November of 1959, just five weeks after the 1960 models were introduced. Although they were 1961 model year cars, Chrysler Corporation ended DeSoto production in November of 1960, also just five weeks after the 1961 models had been introduced. Here is a picture (I hope) of a 1961 model year DeSoto, built in 1960.

 

See the source image

 

Many photos like this label the car as a DeSoto Adventurer or Fireflite. In actuality, 1961 DeSotos had no model designation; they were just called DeSoto and they were all built during calendar year 1960.

DeSoto was introduced by Chrysler Corporation as a 1929 model year car in August of 1928. During its tenure more than two million DeSotos were produced.

 

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments and ask that you pass along the blog URL to friends. Many thanks.

 

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#ChevroletImpala

#DeSoto

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8 thoughts on “Social Security Day

  1. Happy Birthday and feel better!!!
    Yep this crap sucks! We just spent several thousand dollars on a new mattress in hopes that my aches in pains will be relieved. Just testing the mattress at the store was encouraging, and hopefully this will mean greater sleep time with less am pain. Of course this means the funds for my used Corvette/Boxster have been dented, it should be worth it.

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  2. Happy birthday, and I believe you are not sick from Covid. Greetings from Brazil, where the minimum retirement age (for men) is 62 and a half years old, and this age is increasing by half a year every year.

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  3. Happy birthday. Hope you have many more.

    “For those of you who are not yet receiving Social Security, have you had any thoughts about when you might start taking it?”

    I’m not yet sure when I’ll take SS benefits. Being as the income I get from our business FAR exceeds the amount SS allows before there are tax issues, it leaves me with a conundrum. I hate to NOT withdraw money. I, and my past employers, have been contributing foe nigh on 50 years. OTOH my weekly income is higher than the monthly income would be from SS. My plan is to retire this year, but only from the daily grind (which I have cut back on a lot in the last year). I do plan to continue as more or less an “advisor” until we decide how to get out of the business; either sell it or close it in 2-3 years.

    Maybe that’s the time to sign up and draw out some SS money.

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    1. Many thanks for the kind birthday wishes, DDM. The decision on when to take Social Security is not easy and, of course, varies from person to person. Sounds like you have a good plan.

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  4. Happy belated birthday!
    I always found the 61 DeSoto disappointing. The oval upper ‘grille’ looks strange, like an afterthought.
    Funny how the 1961 Chryslers and Desotos have those canted headlights much like the 1958-60 Lincolns (remove that upper grille on the Desoto and it is almost the spitting image of the 59 Lincoln). Interesting also the Elwood Engel designed the post-1960 Lincolns and then designed the post-Exner Chryslers.

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