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Archive for March, 2024

PSA Social Security Mistake

March 27th, 2024 at 06:04 am

Public service announcement.  It turns out you can make mistakes for social security.  My mom found out the hard way.  For the past 10 years my mom has said "oh it doesn't matter that I collected social security at age 62.  I have enough and I'll get your dad's when he passes."  So my dad passed this month (see prior note) and my mom immediately told SS so she could get his social security.

Turns out she can't.  Or rather turns out it's not worth it.  She got really bad advice 10 years ago in 2014.  They told her taking her own social security 10 years ago was more than talking 50% of my dad's social security.  He waited until full retirement age to take it in 1995.  The problem?  While he got the maximum amount in 1995, it still was substantialy less than in 2024.  Why?  Inflation.  The person starting at full retirement age in 2024 would be able to collect at FRA $3822, if you wait until age 70 it is $4873.  

So my mom took her's at 62 with a penalty at 82.5% of hers.  That was still more than 50% of my dad's in 2014.  But the winning formula would have been to taken my dad's social security and let hers ride to age 70.  Then it would have built up a lot.  She also would have started in 2021 and it would have been really high.

So reading online, people say that the people at social security are not financial planners.  They just look at the benefits at that moment. They were correct that iwas more for her to take hers.  But she was part of the donut hole of people who could collect off their spouse and suspend theirs. 

So don't listen to the people in Social Security.  Do the cost benefit analysis yourself.

dad's passing

March 7th, 2024 at 05:51 am

Again warning please don't read if you don't want to hear about death.

So my dad passed away this morning between the hours of 4 am - 6 am.  My mom finally went to bed at around 4 am.  She was exhausted after sitting with him pretty much all times.  She really wanted to be there holding his hand for his last breathe.  But she just couldn't stay up 24/7. 

But also my dad had transitioned to the hospice definition of "imminent" on Friday morning.  My mom called me on Thursday that my dad had stopped eating and drinking anything and she was worried. So after just getting back I jumped on the plane Friday morning.  He was asleep when I arrived, but she said he smiled when she told him Friday morning.  I believe he reacted when I touched him Friday afternoon and said I was back.  

He survived the weekend until early this Wednesday morning.  I'm not sure how or why but I think my mom wasn't ready to let him go and he was waiting for her to leave his side. I don't think my mom slept much since Thursday.  And I think my dad was waiting for her to not be with him before he passed.  

My dad's end of life was very long and draining process. It was hard watching him deteriorate this past year and not really able to judge how he was doing.  I would say that by Christmas he was very unable to comprehend seeing us except for brief moments.  But since February he was declining quickly it appeared by becoming most immobile and non-verbal.  I knew saying good by at Christmas that was the last time I would really talk to my dad and say I love you.  

But I came back because my mom couldn't be alone.  So I came back and I'm glad to be here with her.  It'll be hard but we'll see what happens.  They managed to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary and while she's taking it hard, I know she'll be okay eventually.  Gotta enjoy life before it runs out. 

"No amount of money bought another second of time."  No matter what we all wish.  Sometimes we get so focused on money and getting to the endgame we forget to enjoy the journey along the way.  And the journey is the best part.