Take the Money & Run…?

Basic Training #2 – 5.11.18

Decision time! I turn 62 in August and will become eligible for an ‘early’ social security benefit. Early brings with it an ~30% haircut in my ‘full’ benefit.

I’ve read many articles with convincing arguments to defer receipt until full retirement (66) given early receipt of benefits brings a lifetime of lower payments. Though never mentioned is that I eliminate the need to tap into my retirement account to cover living expenses!

I reference a certain client who claimed early, kept their IRA intact, and grew their account ~$100k more as a result. These ‘surplus’ funds can now supplement the reduced benefit as needed, while bringing more control over timing and taxation of retirement income through their late 80’s.

Everyone’s breakeven is different as are risk tolerance, personal circumstances, and life expectancy. Low yield, long lived investors would certainly be better off waiting. The possibility of future ‘means testing,’ benefit reduction for high income/net worth individuals is a concern as well.

Take 10 minutes and obtain your benefit estimate online (see link below) and we will be happy to plug your numbers and assumptions into our spreadsheet to personalize your choice.

FYI: ~50% of social security recipients opt for early payment. ‘The time is now’ it seems…for many.

Use this link to get your own social security page:



Quote of the Week:

Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.

Jonathan Clements

#Sonoma Strong

Update December 2017

Every year Eric writes a Holiday Poem and we distribute champagne to sing out the old year and celebrate the incoming new year. This year, with the Sonoma/Napa County fires so uppermost in our minds, we felt it more appropriate to help those who have been affected most.

This years poem reflects the memories of the emotional roller coaster of two weeks this past October. Everyone knows someone as the devastation was horrific. Part of this years thoughts are with Missy and Austin Levy who lost everything except that which matters most. Their story follows the poem. We will be helping them recover their livelihood. Please read and help as you are able.

Eric and I thank you for your support and love this year and many years past. We wish you love, peace, and joy as we look toward 2018 with passion in our hearts.

In love and light,

Patti and Eric


Debt Ceiling Follies: Part XII

An Ongoing Dialogue from
The Delta Group
August, 2011

Brother that was close! Debt ceiling raised and the Federal government gets to live another
day. But nobody is happy. The cuts were too small and the revenue gains were to…er,
there weren’t any tax increases.

And for the tax the rich-repeal the Bush tax cuts for fiscal sanity-crowd, here’s the deal.
Let’s not just move the top rate from 35% to 39%. Let’s go all the way. Move it up to
100%. Take it all..!!

Amount collected: $365B projected. Would run the government for five weeks. 35 days.
The monies are not at the top. The money is in the middle. The debate was/is really about
saving the middle class from a national sales tax, much like Europe’s value added tax. As
the national debts rings up trillion after trillion, the choice is between a bad one and a worse

Twenty five years ago, we made a bold claim. Social Security, designed as part of the New
Deal in the 30’s, would go kaput, as do all ponzi schemes. Our annual contributions were
just accounting gimickry, as is the $2.5T trust fund that holds treasury securities the Feds
owes to itself. Because of earlier retirements and higher unemployment, more money is
flowing out than in.

Social Security offers no guarantees, only promises by the government to pay a benefit,
which can change at the whim of Congress. Greece rioted for days on the prospect of their
retirement age getting pushed back to 64 years, from 60. Ours too will eventually drift
towards 70 as these debt ceiling debates take on entitlements.

Eric Dahl

View the e blast as a PDF below

Revenge of the 1% Loan: Part XII

2013 Newsletter

I bet an ole’ college buddy a case of wine that
the “fiscal cliff” nonsense would not be resolved
by year end, thus seeing the return of the preBush
higher tax rates to take effect January,
2013. Since each party has entirely different view
of priorities and necessities of both government
and drivers of the economy,…

Click below to open the PDF version

2013 Newsletter

2012 Newsletter

My best anecdote for the coming Greek bankruptcy was a story about a large hospital in Athens that was running deficits. Not surprisingly, a government inquiry found …

Click below to open the PDF version

2012 Newsletter

Money Wise Thinking

Moneywise Thinking

A blog by Eric Dahl


Expect 20%-30% of your portfolio to go in the wrong direction on a weekly or monthly basis. This is the both the necessity and virtue of diversification that not everything go the same way.

Over the past six months, our expanding economy has driven investors from the safety of high quality fixed income investments into the potentially higher returning stock market. Although we have shortened maturities on our bond positions to preserve capital, the benefit of maintaining the bond allocation is evident with the natural disaster in Japan and the selloff in worldwide markets.

Chronic federal budget deficits here and abroad have begotten central bankers to become money printers as they buy their own burgeoning, uncontrollable treasury debt. Gohttp://deltaadvisors.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=324&type=image&TB_iframe=1ld, silver, and other commodities have become de facto currency alternatives, buoying their price to all time highs. A 5%-15% allocation to hard assets offers insurance against irresponsible governments and budget shortfalls.



2011 Newsletter

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain
Last year, in an effort to reduce its budget deficit,…

Click below to open the PDF version

2011 newsletter