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Old 20-06-2010, 18:44   #1
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Cruising on Social Security Only ?

Following on the $500/$5,000 a month threads, I wondering how many out there are or plan to cruise just on their Social Security income? I did a quick check, and the average monthly payment now is about $1,200/mo., so a couple would have about $2,400/mo. Not a bad start without touching the nest egg. Thoughts?
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Old 20-06-2010, 18:55   #2
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I am curious at what age you can expect to get $1,200 a month from SS?
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Old 20-06-2010, 19:03   #3
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Here's the table ...Monthly Statistical Snapshot, April 2010

Usually 65, but it depends on your earnings history.
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Old 20-06-2010, 19:07   #4
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I would think some of it would depend in where you went cruising. Your info indicated that you spend some time in Thailand. $2400 a month would be fine there I would think. St Tropez would be another story. I don't know about the east coast, but on the Texas coast, you could live comfortably on that, IMHO.
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Old 20-06-2010, 19:08   #5
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If you had a nest egg that is earning interest, along with your SS, you could do okay, the longer you could keep from touching the nest egg interest, the more you could plow back into the equation, & create more money to live on.
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Old 20-06-2010, 19:16   #6
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Originally Posted by jackiepitts View Post
I am curious at what age you can expect to get $1,200 a month from SS?
Although I assume OP is talking USA - over here it is about that figure. Presently age 65. Not quite double for a couple.

Age & value possibly will change as belts tighten etc, but unlike the UK (and most countries) the money collected is actually saved into a pot to later pay out - there were near riots when that was first introduced back in the 50's.

Down here we ain't exactly Socialists
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Old 20-06-2010, 20:55   #7
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Take a look at BeBe's figures ...Cruising on $5,000 / Month

They aren't slumming it and its an expensive 53' boat. Their monthly came to $4,400, so with just the SS you are over half way there. Am I missing something?
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Old 20-06-2010, 21:03   #8
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Be careful. It can be taxable.
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Old 20-06-2010, 23:15   #9
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I am curious at what age you can expect to get $1,200 a month from SS?
It depends on your income over your lifetime. The greater your income, the more you paid into the SS system and the more you should receive from the SS system. Some people will never see $1,200 per month, no matter what age they reach. In fact, as the link provided by Doodles shows the average retired worker benefit of $1,168.60 per month. (You should have some idea of whether your income is above or below average for comparison.)

You should receive an annual Social Security statement. I just received mine in May. The statement shows what one can expect to receive at ages 62, 67, and 70 based on the actual lifetime amounts paid into the SS system. There are three disclaimers on the statement: 1) , your contributions to the system remain constant until you retire at ages 62, 67, or 70; 2) the laws governing the SS system are subject to change at any time; and the big, nasty one - 3) by 2037, there will only be enough money in the SS system to pay 76% of benefits.

That means, if you are young enough, you may never receive a SS benefit check. In my retirement planning, I assume that SS will not exist by the time I reach 62 years old - what the US government considers "early retirement age". If it's still there, it's extra. I'm planning for it to not be there.
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Old 21-06-2010, 01:24   #10
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kevingy makes some good points. You can easily check your annual Social Security statement to see what you will be getting based on what you've earned so far. You should be doing this away to make sure you are getting credit for your earnings each year. Mistakes have been made. Regarding the "average" payout, I'm guessing of course, but I'd bet most poster here will be at or above average.

As for the SS fund running out of money. Just my opinion, but I've always though this was a scare tactic of the government and the financial gurus. We've already borrowed heavy from the SS fund, so we'll just have to raise taxes and pay it back, plus some maybe. No matter what, if you cut SS payments too much you will have a huge population of destitute people and a revolution on your hands. Politicians don't like revolutions. IMHO
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Old 21-06-2010, 04:35   #11
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As for the SS fund running out of money. Just my opinion, but I've always though this was a scare tactic of the government and the financial gurus. We've already borrowed heavy from the SS fund, so we'll just have to raise taxes and pay it back, plus some maybe. No matter what, if you cut SS payments too much you will have a huge population of destitute people and a revolution on your hands. Politicians don't like revolutions. IMHO

The problem is that there was a surplus in the fund for the gov't to 'borrow" and it didn't effect anything because the fund got monthly payments that were more that the monthly payouts. But that's changing and the payouts are more that the payins. The gov't isn't ever going to be able to payback the loans. We need more tax payers to make it work.

Back to the orginal question. I have on my spreadsheet $1000/mo SS payments for my wife and I (our statements say more but I plan on stopping working before retirement age and stop paying in). I have them starting at 62 which means I collect the minimum payment amount for life. But, at that point the SS combined with my nest egg and other stuff makes my cruising kitty start growing and life becomes better overall.
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Old 21-06-2010, 04:41   #12
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The problem is that there was a surplus in the fund for the gov't to 'borrow" and it didn't effect anything because the fund got monthly payments that were more that the monthly payouts. But that's changing and the payouts are more that the payins. The gov't isn't ever going to be able to payback the loans. We need more tax payers to make it work.
So we need more babies or more immigrants ....or both!
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Old 21-06-2010, 05:03   #13
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Immigrants, babies take too long to grow into taxpayers!
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Old 21-06-2010, 06:53   #14
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You'll get the amount on your statement...if you keep earning up to the retirement age of 62 or 65 or whatever.

But how do you calculate what you would get if you retire early at 57 or 59 and pay little or no money in for 5 or more years?

I suspect that for those of us in our 40's and 50's, the moving target will likely mean that you have to work till 68 to collect any meaningful amount.
The life expectancy is getting longer and the number of people paying in is getting shorter. Not good statistics.
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Old 21-06-2010, 07:21   #15
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We are doing it - we keep track of our expenses and last year we averaged about $1,700 a month - we live simply and do not stay in marinas - we bought our boat new in 2003 and spend the time from there to 07 when i took off getting her ready with lots of toys - the monthly average did take into account a family emergency we had and had to be off the boat a month plus our annual christmas trek to family -
we cruised from miami to the berries and abacos then up to maine and back to miami - we did not have to spend a lot on charts so as we already had most of what we needed
we do watch where we provision using such stores as big lots, dollar tree, dollar store, and when miami el presidente - we drink box wine and when we find a sale we stock up on things -
this year will be a bit higher as are adding a fuel tank, water maker, a third solar panel and maybe an ais - but we spent over 5 months in the bahamas and spent very little so we saved up a bit
you can spend what ever you like - we know some cruisers who insist on marinas ever so often and that is fine but we simply know what we can and can not afford - if does not mean we miss out on much but we do know we can not do everything - it is all about your priorities
good luck
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on the hook deltaville va
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