Early retirement would make sense

if the idiot Congress would repeal the double-taxation they imposed on Social Security benefits back in 1984.  There’s a bill in the House with bipartisan support to do exactly that, but I doubt it has much traction in the Pelosi House.  Might do better after the Pubs win the House back in November.

Looking at this article, it appears the total payout converges at around 80, regardless of when you decide to take benefits after reaching 62. If you take them early, and live past 80, obviously the total drops off, but I haven’t any illusions that I’ll live to 100. I’ll probably be lucky to live to 80.  (Although my mother is nearly 92, so apparently she got a much better set of longevity genes than her parents or her sister, and maybe that will pass through to me.  Don’t know if I want to live that long or not.  On the other hand, never really thought about living past 40, which happened at the turn of the century; that I’ve now entered my seventh decade is somewhat of a shock whenever I think about it.)

If the double-taxation went away, it would probably pay to take benefits early, since one could still work without fear of having one’s benefits taxed away at some arbitrary income level. Social Security admits that it only replaces about 40% of your pre-retirement income, so given the choice between making it up out of your 401(k) or other pension instrument, or continuing to work (and probably still pay FICA) at a level that makes up the difference, I honestly think I’d prefer the latter.  I don’t think I’d have any trouble finding a job that paid 60% of what I make now, and if such a job had reasonable insurance benefits, it might make sense to pull the plug at 62 even though I don’t qualify for Medicare until 65.

Of course, I also have the thought that the sooner I take it, the more likely I will be to collect anything at all from our great national Ponzi scheme.