Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 19, 2014

Seniors benefit by delaying retirement

Suggestions may help county’s 11.8 percent 55-64 segment

TAHLEQUAH — When most people think of retirement, they envision a life of leisure and comfort, and the money to ensure it.

But Cherokee County residents considering retirement may be interested to learn they could earn more by delaying collecting Social Security benefits.

According to the National Academy for Social Insurance, 11.8 percent of the county’s population is aged 55-64 – the time when many start thinking about retirement. Workers can start drawing Social Security at age 62, but for those who can wait, the benefits go up.

John Yeutter, associate professor of accounting at Northeastern State University and Certified Financial Planner, said drawing Social Security early results in a reduction in benefits.

“The person [who draws Social Security at age 62] would receive 75 percent of [his or her] normal benefit,” said Yeutter. “Also, a person cannot draw Social Security between 62 and 65 and continue to work. The benefit is reduced if the person receives more than about $15,000 per year.”

Yeutter indicated full retirement age for people born between 1943 and 1954 is 66.

“Delaying benefits after age 66 will increase them 8 percent for each year of delay, up to age 70, when the person would receive 132 percent of his normal benefit.”

Data from the Social Security Administration indicates that about only one in four Oklahoma residents who are currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits waited until full retirement age to start receiving payments.

In Cherokee County, 6,035 residents received retirement benefits from the federal system, according to 2012 figures.

The average recipient of Social Security benefits in Cherokee County received $1,097 a month in December 2012, which, on an annual basis, translates to $79,452,000 in income to the area, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But residents in rural areas like Cherokee County may have a harder time delaying their retirement.

“In rural areas, there is often a challenge as folks move toward retirement,” said Deanna Sharpe, personal finance professor at the University of Missouri. “They are more likely to face unemployment. Jobs are not as available. And when they are, they tend to pay less.”

Economic downturns can also affect when people decide to start receiving Social Security, Sharpe said.

“One of the coping mechanisms during the recent recession was to pick up Social Security at age 62, even if they might not have planned to do that before the recession.”

Yeutter said that providing the prospective retiree does not need the money to live on, delaying benefits could be a boon.

“For a single person, it is easy to compare the flow of payments beginning at age 65, and that from delaying, and find how long he must live to make it worthwhile,” said Yeutter. “For married couples, it is different. You can receive either your own benefit, or 50 percent of your spouse’s. You can only do this if your spouse has filed for [his or her] own benefit.”

Yeutter said this has led to “claiming strategies.”

“This is where the higher earner will ‘file and suspend,’ so the lower-earning spouse can begin receiving half his benefit,” said Yeutter. “Then, the higher earner waits until age 70 to begin receiving a higher benefit.”

According to AARP, the “file and suspend” rule was added to Social Security in 2000 as part of the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act to help couples plan their retirements.

“The most recent budget proposal seeks to limit this strategy because it is particularly beneficial to high income earners,” said Yeutter.

Yeutter also pointed out that Social Security is subject to taxation.

“Taxation of Social Security is somewhat complex,” said Yeutter. “For those with high income in retirement, 85 percent of their benefit is taxed. For those with low income, their benefit is excluded from tax.”

CHECK IT OUT

The Social Security Administration offers a calculator on its website, ssa.gov, that allows workers to estimate their retirement earnings based on their own work records and estimated retirement age.

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks