Background: Mom turned 65 this year and is eligible to begin collecting Social Security. She works full time at a job she loves, but the hours and commute arer very stressful. She has minor health problems, my dad’s health is frail. I live with them, both to recover from a severe bout of depression, pay off bills, and help out where I can.
Mom worries about money. Constantly. It doesn’t help that I moved out here right when the economy crashed and only in the last couple of months have I found consistent work that pays more than poverty level. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer health insurance, which is my biggest challenge, and the job is temporary.
If Dad dies, she will still receive 50% of his pension, but it will be a very large hit, as the most money Dad spends is a couple of nights at Olive Garden a week. To top it off, my older brother’s job may go poof, and he would end up moving back with us as well, putting four adults in a three bedroom home - one retired, one working with benefits, one working without benefits, and one unemployed. Ai-yi-yi.
This is the sort of thing that keeps my mom up at night.
I’ve talked to her about filing for Social Security benefits as soon as she’s able, but she’s convinced that the $200 a month difference between retiring at 65 and retiring at 67 is worth the wait. A recent column on the NY Times said it would take 12 years to catch up on the $200 a month difference and see a net loss. While I totally expect my mom to live that long, I’m more concerned about her stress these days.
She has an IRA she can start drawing from when she’s 69. There are a couple of investments, but they took a hit with the economy. The house needs a plethora of mostly cosmetic repairs, everyone needs dental work, and Dad could sure use some hearing aids. Mostly, I want my mom to lose that panicky twitch any time a new bill shows up.
I believe she should start drawing Social Security, but I’m not a financial advisor, accountant, or economist. I know some Dopers are, and I know some Dopers are in similar circumstances.
What do you say?