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How Do I Calculate My Social Security Retirement Benefits

How Does The Social Security Administration Calculate Benefits

How to Calculate Your Social Security 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.

Do You Have Enough Money To Retire Now

Our Retirement Savings Calculator can help you answer that question, which depends on a number of different factors, including your current age, how much you have already saved for retirement and how many years of retirement income you think you’ll need in the future. If are considering an early retirement, you will want to think about how your pension and Social Security will be affected. If you have a pension with your employer, when are you eligible to start receiving it? Will it be a lump sum payment, a monthly pension amount or both? You may begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Keep in mind, however, that if you retire early, your benefits are reduced by a certain percentage for each month before your full retirement age.

Our Financial Education articles can offer you additional financial tips about Social Security, taxes, health care and more to help you determine how much money you need to retire at age 50, age 55, age 60, age 62 and age 65.

At What Age Do You Plan To Retire

The age at which you retire can have a major effect on the size of the Social Security benefits youll receive. The longer you wait up until age 70, the more benefits you may be able to collect.

Enter the age at which you would like to retire and begin collecting benefits. You can get retirement benefits as early as age 62.

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Federal Insurance For Private Pensions

If your company runs into financial problems, you’re likely to still get your pension.

Adjust Your Pia For The Age You Will Begin Benefits

How To Calculate Social Security Retirement

The final amount of Social Security retirement benefit that you receive is based on the age when you begin benefits.

The earliest you can begin retirement benefits is age 62 . You will get more by waiting until a later ageas late as age 70to begin receiving benefits.

Of course, another complex formula is used to determine how much more you will receive if you wait.

This formula uses your Primary Insurance Amount calculated in the previous step. This is the amount you will get if you start benefits at your full retirement age . Your FRA can vary, depending on the year you were born. For people born between 1943 and 1954, as in our example, the FRA is age 66.

For people born on January 1, the FRA is based on the year prior. Someone born on January 1, 1955, will have an FRA based on 1954.

A reduction is applied to your PIA if you begin benefits before your FRA. A credit, referred to as a “delayed retirement credit,” is applied if you begin to receive benefits after your FRA.

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There Are Social Security Survivor Benefits For Spouses And Children

If your spouse dies before you, you can take a Social Security survivor benefit. However, that wont be in addition to your own benefit. You must choose one or the other. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death .

A widow or widower can start taking a survivor benefit at age 60. However, the payment will be reduced because its taken before full retirement age. Theres a twist available assuming the survivor has benefits of their own available and hasnt already filed for them: Take the survivor benefits as early as possible, which is age 60, and switch to your own retirement benefits at age 70. Your survivor benefits will be reduced because you will have filed for them before your full retirement age, but your own benefits will grow, garnering delayed-retirement increases, until age 70. Online programs such as the one offered by Social Security Solutions can help you compare the cumulative benefits for each strategy to determine which one provides the highest payout.

Remarriage has implications here. If you remarry before age 60, you are not eligible for a survivor benefit. If you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible for a survivor benefit based on your former spouses earnings.

Eligible children who are under age 18 or were disabled before age 22 can also receive a Social Security survivor benefit. It would be worth up to 75% of the deceased’s benefit.

How To Calculate Social Security Benefits In Excel

If you are in your late 50s and approaching retirement, you can create a useful model of your future benefits. It works best to do this in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, as follows:

  • Using a recent Social Security statement, list in spreadsheet column A your taxable Social Security earnings year by year.
  • List in column B the most recently published NAWI adjustment factors as published by the SSA.
  • Multiply columns A and B and output the result to column C.
  • Identify in column D the 35 highest values in column C. Add these together and divide the sum by 420 . This will approximate your AIME.
  • Use the most recently published bend points to convert your AIME into a PIA.

You also can fill in hypothetical values for estimated taxable Social Security earnings in future years until you plan to stop working. To be conservative, use a NAWI adjustment factor of 1.0000 in column B for all future years.

A financial advisor who fully understands this process can help verify your calculations, advise you on when to start Social Security benefits, and estimate the future benefits you can expect to receive.

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Continuing Benefits & Deductions

Health Coverage

If youre currently a member of the CalPERS Health Program, you must meet specific requirements to continue your health insurance coverage into retirement, or maintain the right to re-enroll in the future after retirement.

To continue your CalPERS health benefit coverage after retirement, you must meet both of the criteria below:

  • Be enrolled in a CalPERS health plan upon separation from employment, either in your own name or as a dependent
  • Retire within 120 days of your separation from employment

If you dont meet both requirements before you retire, youll lose all future rights to be in the CalPERS Health Program. If your family members are included in your CalPERS health plan at the time of your death, their enrollment will continue automatically if theyre eligible for and receive a monthly allowance.

Public Agency or School Members

If your employer doesnt contract with CalPERS for health benefits, contact your employer to determine if your benefits will continue.

Dental Coverage

To continue dental coverage into retirement, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a state-sponsored dental plan on the date of your separation from employment
  • Retire within 120 days of your separation

Long-Term Care

If youre enrolled in CalPERS Long-Term Care and have premiums deducted from your paycheck, youll need to call 982-1775 before you retire to find out how to continue your premium deductions.

Other Deduction Payments

Claiming Social Security Benefits At The Right Time Means More Money In Your Pocket Heres A Guide To Everything From Knowing Your Full Retirement Age To Taking Social Security Spousal Benefits

How to Estimate your Social Security Benefits | Your Retirement Authority

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When youre years away from retirement, Social Security seems straightforward: Youll leave your job, file for benefits and receive a monthly check for the rest of your life boom! But in reality, getting the most out of Social Security is anything but simple. As you near retirement, the decisions you make could have a significant impact on the amount of money you receive, and some of these choices are irrevocable. Youll need to move carefully to maximize this income stream.

Here are 12 essential details you need to know.

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How Much Social Security Will You Get When You Retire

The amount of your Social Security benefit is a function of your full retirement age. If you were born in 1960 or after, your normal retirement age when you are eligible to receive full or unreduced Social Security benefits is 67. When you choose to retire is central to your retirement planning strategy because it activates your various streams of retirement income: drawing upon Social Security and your pension, if you have one, as well as beginning withdrawals from your other retirement accounts, such as your 401 or IRA, and other possible income sources like annuities. With the right planning, you may be able to retire early and depend on alternative sources of retirement income until you reach your normal retirement age, at which point you can start collecting your full Social Security benefits. You also can increase your Social Security benefit amount by waiting beyond your full retirement age to retire. However, the benefit increase stops when you reach age 70. Access my Social Security Retirement Calculator to learn more.

Our Retirement Savings Calculator gives you the option of including your Social Security benefits in its calculations to determine if you have enough funds to retire. Discover how early retirement can affect your Social Security benefits and the truth behind some common Social Security myths.

What If I Delay Taking My Benefits

If you retire sometime between your full retirement age and age 70, you typically earn a delayed retirement credit for your own benefits . For example, say you were born in 1960, and your full retirement age is 67. If you start your benefits at age 69, you would receive a credit of 8% per year multiplied by two . This means your benefit would be 16% higher than the amount you would have received at age 67.

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What Is The Future Of Social Security

As of June 2022, the Social Security Trust Fund is projected to have enough resources to cover all promised benefits until 2035 when, absent a change from Congress, benefits would need to be cut for all current and future beneficiaries to about 80% of scheduled benefits.2 Over the longer term, changes to the full retirement age or means testingâwhich could reduce or eliminate benefits based on your other income sourcesâmay also be considered.

If you’re skeptical about the future of Social Security or wary of potential changes, you may be tempted to start benefits early, assuming that it’s better to have something than nothing. Regardless of your situation, if you are concerned about the future prospects for Social Security, then that’s a good reason to save moreâand earlierâfor your retirement.

What If I Take Benefits Early

How to Access Your Social Security Benefits Statement

If you choose to take your own Social Security benefit before your full retirement age, be aware that the benefit is permanently reduced by five-ninths of 1% for each month. If you start more than 36 months before your full retirement age, the worker benefit is further reduced by five-twelfths of 1% per month for the rest of retirement.

For example, let’s assume you stop working at age 62. If your full retirement age is 67 and you elect to start benefits at age 62, the reduced benefit calculation is based on 60 months. So, the reduction for the first 36 months is 20% and then another 10% for the remaining 24 months. Overall, your benefits would be permanently reduced by 30%.

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What If I Continue Working In My 60s

Many people whose health allows them to continue working in their 60s and beyond find that staying in the workforce keeps them young and gives them a sense of purpose. If this sounds like something youâd like to do, know that working after claiming early benefits may affect the amount you receive from Social Security. Why? Because the Social Security Administration wants to spread out your earnings so you donât outlive them. If you claim Social Security benefits early and then continue working, youâll be subject to whatâs called the Retirement Earnings Test.

If youâre between age 62 and your full retirement age, and youâre claiming benefits, you need to know about the Earnings Test Exempt Amount, a threshold that changes yearly. For 2022, the Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amount is $19,560/year . If youâre in this age group and claiming benefits, then every $2 you make above the Exempt Amount will reduce by $1 the Social Security benefits you’ll receive.

Contrary to popular belief, this money doesnât disappear. It gets credited back to you – with interest – in the form of higher future benefits. You may hear people grumbling about the Social Security âEarnings Taxâ, but itâs not really a tax. Itâs a deferment of your benefits designed to keep you from spending too much too soon. And after you hit your full retirement age, you can work to your heartâs content without any reduction in your benefits.

Can Your Pia Change After You Reach Age 62

There are two things that affect your PIA after you reach age 62:

  • Higher earnings: Earnings in years between age 62 and 70 that are higher than one of the 35 highest earnings years previously used in the formula will change your AIME, which is used in the PIA formula.
  • Inflation: Your PIA will be adjusted by the same cost-of-living adjustments applied to people who are already receiving Social Security benefits. You can see historical cost-of-living adjustment rates on the Social Security Administration’s website.
  • You may get the wrong answer when running your own calculations on when to begin Social Security if you simply take the numbers off your statement and do not properly apply inflation adjustments.

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    Can I Use The Calculator To Figure Out Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income

    No. SSDI is aimed at people who cant work because they have a medical condition expected to last a year or more or result in death. Your SSDI benefits last only as long as you suffer from a significant medical impairment while not earning significant other income.

    SSI is a separate program for people with little or no income or assets who are 65 or older, as well as for those of any age, including children, who are blind or who have disabilities. The maximum monthly SSI payment for 2022 is $841 for a single person and $1,261 for a couple. But some states add to that payment, and you may receive less than the maximum if you or your family has other income. Get more information about SSDI and SSI from the Social Security Administration.

    Also of Interest

    How Are Social Security Payments Calculated

    How Social Security Retirement Benefits Are Calculated [3 Easy Steps]

    The SSA bases the Social Security entitlement on data gathered throughout your working life which is formed into an earnings record. This information is than used, with a three-part process, to calculate the size of payments:

    Average Indexed Monthly Earnings The SSA uses your 35 best-paid years to calculate your AIME, which is essentially a snapshot of your historical earnings. The more you earn the higher your monthly entitlement can be, up to a maximum threshold of $142,800 .

    Primary Insurance Amount Assuming that you wait until full retirement age before claiming Social Security, your PIA is the amount youll receive each month from the SSA.

    Your PIA is comprised of

    • 90% of the first $996 of your AIME
    • 32% of any amount over $996 up to $6,002
    • and 15% of any amount over $6,002

    Age of claim If you decide to claim Social Security before you reach full retirement age the size of your monthly entitlement will decrease. This is done on a sliding scale, with more than a quarter of the payment size being lost if you claim at the age of 62. Alternatively, if you delay the payment until you are 70 you can add up to 30% to your payment amount.

    Those who are considering early retirement should be aware that their Medicare benefits will not kick in until sixty-five, meaning that they will have to purchase insurance during the in-between period.

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    When Will I See The Increase In My Social Security Check

    The COLA goes into effect with December benefits, which appear in checks received in January 2023.

    Social Security payments are made on Wednesdays, following a rollout schedule based on the beneficiary’s birth date. So if you were born from the 1st through the 10th of the month, your benefits are paid on the second Wednesday of the month.

    If your birthday falls between the 11th and 20th of the month, your checks are paid on the third Wednesday, and you’ll see your first COLA increase on your Jan. 18 check.

    Those born between the 21st and the end of the month receive benefits on the fourth Wednesday, which, in 2023, is Jan. 25.

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