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Estimated Social Security Benefits When I Retire

You Work All Year And Reach Your Full Retirement Age In June From January 1 To May 31 You Earn $51920 At This Point You Have Earned $1400 Over The Annual Limit Which Reduces Your Social Security Benefits For The Year By $466

How much your Social Security benefits will be if you make $30,000, $35,000 or $40,000

Starting the month you hit your full retirement age, your benefits are no longer reduced no matter how much you earn.

Remember, as long as youre working, you will need to pay the Social Security Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax. Because Social Security benefits are based on your highest 35 years of income, the additional earnings may boost your Social Security benefits by replacing or filling in years where you had little or no earnings.

You can estimate how much your annual benefits will be reduced by using the SSAs Retirement Earnings Test Calculator. For more information, see the SSA publication How Work Affects Your Benefits.

When Should I Start Collecting Social Security

Ultimately, the decision of when to begin collecting Social Security is one you have to make. It depends on your age, your health status, how much you spend and how much you have saved. Its generally best to start collecting as late as you can, because you get a larger monthly payment, which is adjusted for inflation each year.

Consider a retiree who was born in 1950 and averaged $50,000 a year in salary. If she has $3,000 a month in expenses, her Social Security check would cover 48 percent of her expenses if she started Social Security at age 62. If she waited till age 70, her check would cover 85 percent of her expenses. Every year she delays retirement, her Social Security payout which is adjusted annually for inflation rises by about $1,649.

Traditionally, the retirement system in the U.S. has been a three-legged stool: Social Security, savings and pensions. Social Security was never intended to be the sole source of income for retirement. Increasingly, however, employers have been moving away from their employer-sponsored pension plans in favor of tax-deferred retirement savings accounts, such as 401 plans.

Impact Of Inflation On Retirement Savings

Inflation is the general increase in prices and a fall in the purchasing power of money over time. The average inflation rate in the United States for the past 30 years has been around 2.6% per year, which means that the purchasing power of one dollar now is not only less than one dollar 30 years ago but less than 50 cents! Inflation is one of the reasons why people tend to underestimate how much they need to save for retirement.

Although inflation does have an impact on retirement savings, it is unpredictable and mostly out of a person’s control. As a result, people generally do not center their retirement planning or investments around inflation and instead focus mainly on achieving as large and steady a total return on investment as possible. For people interested in mitigating inflation, there are investments in the U.S. that are specifically designed to counter inflation called Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities and similar investments in other countries that go by different names. Also, gold and other commodities are traditionally favored as protection against inflation, as are dividend-paying stocks as opposed to short-term bonds.

Our Retirement Calculator can help by considering inflation in several calculations. Please visit the Inflation Calculator for more information about inflation or to do calculations involving inflation.

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Myth #: You’ll Never Get Back All The Money You Put Into The Program

Everyone’s situation is different, but if you live a long time, you may collect more than you contributed to the system.

Due to the complexity of claiming strategies and number of variables involved, the SSA no longer offers a break-even calculator on its website. Social Security is designed to provide a safety net of income for the retired, the disabled, and survivors of deceased insured workers. The contributions you and your employers make during your working years provide:

  • Current retirees and other Social Security recipients with payments
  • A guaranteed lifetime income benefit when you reach retirement
  • While the government does not have a specific account set aside just for you with your FICA contributions , one of the most powerful features of Social Security is that it provides an inflation-protected guaranteed income stream in retirement, ensuring against the risk you’ll outlive your savings. Even if you live to 100 or more, you’ll continue to receive income every month. And, if you predecease your spouse, your spouse also receives survivor benefits until their death.

    You Can Only Increase Your Payment Until Age 70

    How To Calculate Social Security Retirement

    Once youve filed for Social Security, you can no longer increase your payments by earning more money or delaying your filing date. However, if youre past retirement age but have not yet filed, your payment will increase every year you wait until age 70. The gains can be quite substantial, as your monthly income will rise 8% per year between age 67 and 70. But once you reach age 70, your payments stop increasing.

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    Pensions 401s Individual Retirement Accounts And Other Savings Plans

    401, 403, 457 Plan

    In the U.S., two of the most popular ways to save for retirement include Employer Matching Programs such as the 401 and their offshoot, the 403 . 401s vary from company to company, but many employers offer a matching contribution up to a certain percentage of the gross income of the employee. For example, an employer may match up to 3% of an employee’s contribution to their 401 if this employee earned $60,000, the employer would contribute a maximum of $1,800 to the employee’s 401 that year. Only 6% of companies that offer 401s don’t make some sort of employer contribution. It is generally recommended to at least contribute the maximum amount that an employer will match.

    Employer matching program contributions are made using pre-tax dollars. Funds are essentially allowed to grow tax-free until distributed. Only distributions are taxed as ordinary income in retirement, during which retirees most likely fall within a lower tax bracket. Please visit our 401K Calculator for more information about 401s.

    IRA and Roth IRA

    Pension Plans

    In the U.S., pension plans were a popular form of saving for retirement in the past, but they have since fallen out of favor, largely due to increasing longevity there are fewer workers for each retired person. However, they can still be found in the public sector or traditional corporations.

    For more information about or to do calculations involving pensions, please visit the Pension Calculator.

    Investments and CDs

    Beware The Social Security Earnings Test

    Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test for annual income, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2022 is $19,560. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test no longer applies, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.

    Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed and increased as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.

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    Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

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    Periodically checking your estimated Social Security benefits serves several purposes: It helps you plan for retirement and allows you to check for and correct errors.

    The Social Security Administration keeps a database of your earnings record and work credits, tracking both through your Social Security number. You can see this information on your Social Security Statement, which is available to everyone age 25 and over. The Social Security Statement also gives you an estimate of the benefits you’ll receive at retirement age, which can play an important role in your financial planning.

    How Can I Increase My Monthly Retirement Benefits

    Here’s what could happen to your benefits if Social Security runs out of money

    If you can wait until after your full retirement age to collect benefits, your benefit amount will increase each month until you turn 70. These monthly raises, called “delayed retirement credits,” can boost your benefits by as much as 124% of your PIA if you have an FRA of 67 and you wait until age 70 to collect. Maximizing your Social Security benefits can help close a gap between the money youve saved and the income you want in retirement.

    Percent of PIA collectable by Age3

    Collect at Age 67

    100%

    Collect at Age 70 or Later

    124%

    *Assumes FRA of 67

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    Social Security For Spouses And Survivors

    Spousal benefits are available to current or widowed spouses aged 62 or older. Applications for spousal benefits are not valid until the other spouse files for their own benefits. It is possible for a non-working spouse to be eligible for a spousal benefit based on their working spouse’s benefit. Based on the working spouse’s age of retirement, the spousal benefit can be up to half of the working spouse’s benefit.

    A widow or widower can collect a survivor benefit as early as age 60, given that the marriage lasted more than nine months. This requirement is waived if the widow or widower has a child under the age of 16. In the case where both individuals in a married couple are receiving SS benefits, and one dies, the widow or widower can continue receiving their own benefit or their spouse’s, but not both. It is also possible for a widow or widower to switch benefits in retirement. For instance, if the deceased spouse was scheduled to receive larger benefit amounts at age 70, the widow or widower can first file for their own benefits, then claim their former spouse’s benefits later in order to maximize payments.

    A person who is divorced, who was married for more than 10 years and has not remarried, can receive benefits based on their ex-spouse’s work history as long as the divorced person meets all of the following conditions:

    The ex-spouse’s benefits can also be claimed even if the ex-spouse has not filed for their own benefits, as long as both parties are above age 62.

    Social Security Benefit Calculator

    Social Security benefits can be an important factor to consider in your future retirement income. Use this calculator to estimate what your retirement benefit amount could be.

    An Ameriprise advisor can look at your overall financial picture and provide personalized advice to help you meet your retirement income goals.

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    How Does The Social Security Administration Calculate Benefits

    Benefits also depend on how much money youâve earned in life. The Social Security Administration takes your highest-earning 35 years of covered wages and averages them, indexing for inflation. They give you a big fat âzeroâ for each year you donât have earnings, so people who worked for fewer than 35 years may see lower benefits.

    The Social Security Administration also makes annual Cost of Living Adjustments, even as you collect benefits. That means the retirement income you collect from Social Security has built-in protection against inflation. For many people, Social Security is the only form of retirement income they have that is directly linked to inflation. Itâs a big perk that doesnât get a lot of attention.

    Myth #: Your Benefits Are Based Only On Wages You’ve Earned Before Age 65

    How To Determine Social Security Benefits At Retirement

    How your Social Security benefit is calculated can seem mysterious. However, it’s important to know a few essential facts to aid your claiming strategy. You can use the tools on SSA.gov to do the calculations.

    • Your benefit is calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings they don’t have to be consecutive years or before age 65.
    • If you work past age 65, those earning years will be included, so long as they are high enough to be part of your highest 35 years.
    • Even working part-time after turning 65 may be part of your highest 35 years of earnings.
    • To be eligible for Social Security, you must have a minimum of 10 years of covered employment , which equates to 40 credits in the Social Security system.
    • If you don’t have 35 years with earnings, zeros will be included in the calculation.

    Read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: Social Security tips for working retirees

    Also Check: Taxes On Social Security Benefits 2021

    Working In Retirement: How Does It Affect Social Security And Medicare

    Are you retired but considering going back to work?

    Whether youre in it for the extra income, or merely getting paid for something you enjoy doing anyway, its important to understand how bringing home a paycheck in retirement could affect your Social Security benefits and medical insurance coverage.

    Here are a few things to consider before punching that timecard.

    Average The Highest 35 Years

    The Social Security benefits calculation uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your average monthly earnings. If you do not have 35 years of earnings, a zero will be used in the calculation, which will lower the average. In the table below, the highest 35 years are listed in Column G.

    Total the highest 35 years of indexed earnings, and divide that amount by 420, which is the number of months in a 35-year work history, to find the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings.

    For our example worker, who was born in 1953 and turned 60 in 2013, the highest 35 years of wages total $1,919,040. Divide by 420 to get an AIME of $4,569.

    How to Calculate Your AIME for Social Security Benefits
    A

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    Your Monthly Social Security Benefits Increase The Longer You Wait To Claim

    While you can collect Social Security benefits as soon as you turn 62, taking benefits before your full retirement age will spell a permanent reduction in your payments of as much as 25% to 30%, depending on what your full retirement age is.

    If you wait until you hit full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits, youll receive 100% of your earned benefits. But you can do even better by waiting to claim your Social Security benefits at age 70 your monthly Social Security benefit will grow by 8% a year until then. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you dont forgo those by waiting. Think of that time as bonus earning years and remember that youd be hard pressed to find those sorts of gains for zero risk during that period anywhere else.

    Waiting to claim your Social Security benefits can help your heirs as well. By waiting to take her benefit, a high-earning wife, for example, can ensure that her low-earning husband will receive a much higher survivor benefit in the event she dies before him. That extra income of up to 32% could make a big difference.

    Can I Collect My Retirementbenefits Early

    You should regularly check the estimated Social Security benefit youâll eventually get

    You can start collecting Social Security as early as age 62 but theres a catch. If you collect before you reach your full retirement age , youll receive a lower monthly payment permanently. For example, if your FRA is 67, but you begin to claim benefits at 62, youre signing up to get 30% less. However, this reduction will decrease for each month you wait after age 62, up until your FRA. Think of your FRA as your break-even point.

    Age to receive full Social Security benefits2

    Year born

    65 + 2 months for every year after 1937

    1943-1954

    66 + 2 months for every year after 1954

    1960 +

    Read Also: Social Security Spousal Benefits After Death

    Check The Social Security Administration’s Math

    Your statement includes a record of the earnings on which you’ve paid taxes and an estimate of the benefits you will receive at various retirement ages: 62, 67, and 70. It is always wise for you to check the SSA’s numbers. Don’t be surprised if you uncover an error. Some government-watchers estimate that the SSA makes mistakes on at least 3% of the total official earnings records it keeps.

    When you check your record, make sure that the Social Security number noted on your earnings statement is your own, and make sure the earned income amounts listed on the agency’s records mesh with your own records of earnings as listed on your income tax forms or pay stubs.

    Before You Make Your Decision

    There are advantages and disadvantages to taking your benefit before your full retirement age. The advantage is that you collect benefits for a longer period of time. The disadvantage is your benefit will be reduced. Each person’s situation is different. It is important to remember:

    • If you delay your benefits until after full retirement age, you will be eligible for delayed retirement credits that would increase your monthly benefit.
    • That there are other things to consider when making the decision about when to begin receiving your retirement benefits.

    apply

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    Your Benefits May Become Taxable

    Social Security benefits are generally nontaxable. But if you earn enough outside income, they may become taxable. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, about 40% of Social Security recipients pay tax on their benefits.

    As a single filer, your benefits will remain nontaxable as long as you earn less than $25,000. For joint filers, the threshold is $32,000. Between $25,000 and $34,000 of income, single filers will have to pay taxes on up to 50% of benefits. This jumps to 85% of benefits for incomes above $34,000. For joint filers, the 50% range is from $32,000 to $44,000, with earnings above $44,000 triggering a tax on 85% of Social Security benefits.

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