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Online Social Security Calculator Question
Old 06-12-2019, 03:25 PM   #1
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Online Social Security Calculator Question

Want to make sure Iím entering the correct information to ďtrickĒ the SSA calculator into giving me an estimate of benefits if I retire early (age 54) and do not earn anything between 54 and full retirement age of 67.

I keyed in:

My DOB
Age at retirement: 67
Annual earnings from my actual record
Estimated earnings for 2019: $xxx,xxx
Earnings in 2020 and later: $0

I assume this is the correct way to enter the retirement date and NOT ďage at retirement = 54Ē. If I put 54 then the program defaults to age 62, which is not when I plan to take benefits.

Iím pleasantly surprised that the payment amount is so favorable, even with 13 years of zeroes. In fact, the calculator shows benefits (todayís dollars) are 83% of the estimated benefits if I kept working till age 67 earning the same pay. Seems too good to be true.

Does anyone know how accurate this calculator is when compared with actual experience? Is it safe to use this figure for retirement planning purposes (even though Iím not counting on SS in my retirement plans)?

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin704 View Post
Want to make sure Iím entering the correct information to ďtrickĒ the SSA calculator into giving me an estimate of benefits if I retire early (age 54) and do not earn anything between 54 and full retirement age of 67.

I keyed in:

My DOB
Age at retirement: 67
Annual earnings from my actual record
Estimated earnings for 2019: $xxx,xxx
Earnings in 2020 and later: $0

I assume this is the correct way to enter the retirement date and NOT ďage at retirement = 54Ē. If I put 54 then the program defaults to age 62, which is not when I plan to take benefits.

Iím pleasantly surprised that the payment amount is so favorable, even with 13 years of zeroes. In fact, the calculator shows benefits (todayís dollars) are 83% of the estimated benefits if I kept working till age 67 earning the same pay. Seems too good to be true.

Does anyone know how accurate this calculator is when compared with actual experience? Is it safe to use this figure for retirement planning purposes (even though Iím not counting on SS in my retirement plans)?

Thanks!
https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html

If the above calculator is the one you are using, then it sounds correct.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html



If the above calculator is the one you are using, then it sounds correct.


I used this one:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html

The other one appears to be behind some sort of firewall and I couldnít access even when logged into my SSA account.

Thanks.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Austin704 View Post
I used this one:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html

The other one appears to be behind some sort of firewall and I couldnít access even when logged into my SSA account.

Thanks.


I was able to use the one you provided but it is very high level and does not provide the detailed data fields needed to include years of earning $0 income. I think the one I used is correct, Iím just surprised at how little 13 years of 0s affects my benefit. But I have a 35 year work record, so thatís probably why.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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I've used and recommend the free PIA software download from SS:

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/anypia.html
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:35 PM   #6
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Using the Retirement Estimator, DW got an estimate that exactly matched what she actually got when she filed. As I recall, you might have to enter your numbers, then click on the “new estimate” button and do it again to get an accurate estimate if you are still earning income but intend to quit work before age 62.

Not sure why you are unable to use that estimator.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDRE View Post
I've used and recommend the free PIA software download from SS:

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/anypia.html
+1
This one allows you to enter your entire work history by year, and zeroes for ever non-working year before FRA.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin704 View Post
I was able to use the one you provided but it is very high level and does not provide the detailed data fields needed to include years of earning $0 income. I think the one I used is correct, Iím just surprised at how little 13 years of 0s affects my benefit. But I have a 35 year work record, so thatís probably why.
Yes, you reached the second bend and thus some zeros would not matter that much.
I had 6 years of zeros and IIRC, the difference was ~$50 a month.

Back to the calculator I provided, it should work if you have only zeros from "x" year to 62 y.o. vs. some years with zeros and some with income.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:15 PM   #9
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I built a spreadsheet using this as a guide and then plugged in my earnings for each year from my SS statement... it worked perfectly.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:29 PM   #10
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Many thanks, everyone!
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