Got my first Social Security check, what to do with it

Recognizing you’re not financial advisers etc…

Still working, but wasn’t going to wait until I was 70. I am having taxes withheld from the SS check. I do make an OK living.

My first inclination was to increase my 401 contributions, as there is a match where I work. But there’s that 20% mandatory withholding on disbursement, right? I’m not in love with having a huge refund, I’d rather be smarter now. But where can I put this extra money to make money on it? Or, I do have a mortgage and a line of credit on a rental property–should I work those down hard with this extra?

I’m not a financial adviser, but could you share why you chose to start collecting now? It seems that you don’t need the money and waiting until you stop working will get you more.
I can theoretically get SS now, but doing so never even crossed my mind.

ETA: I do use the interest on the rental mortgage as a write off against my wages.

Oh, why? Just an expectation that I won’t live much after 70, or if I do, my health won’t be such that I will enjoy it. Bad habits, you know, bad genes (2 parents w/ALZ.) I mean, at 66, they don’t care what you make, as the SS office told me “you could make a million dollars-we don’t care at 66.” Yeah, 70 will get me more, but bad habits etc…

What is it I usually suggest in situations like this? Oh – that’s right. Hookers and blow. You may not make money on your money that way but you’ll make some damn interesting memories.

If you can remember them.

If I thought I might not live longer than a few years, I’d seriously consider the hookers and blow route. Or at least the trip around the world and expensive sports car route.

Other than that, paying off that mortgage and line of credit sounds pretty good.

Most financial advisors recommend contributing up to the match limit for a 401k anyways, certainly before any other ways of saving for retirement should be considered. I guess it depends on the details of your match, but I have a hard time seeing that not being the best option.

Your first SS check?

Blow it on something fun! Something you don’t need. Books, toys, movies, a hot date, the amusement park, the zoo, the beach, whatever.

You can be responsible with all the subsequent checks, but this once, just shoot it to hell and gone, and enjoy it for pure pleasure.

The first cookie out of the oven has no calories.

Honesty, if you’re that pessimistic about your life expectancy, why not retire now and enjoy yourself? Travel, play golf, whatever.

Well, if the mandatory withholding is your big hang up, there is no requirement to take distributions while you are still working at the employer who sponsors the plan.

After that roll your 401k over to an IRA (no withholding if done as a direct rollover) and take distributions from your IRA. There is no mandatory federal withholding from IRA distributions.