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Old 10-04-2014, 07:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by WorkTillYouDont View Post
I must be missing something, because I'm finding all those calculators on the Social Security site extremely unhelpful if you're not planning to collect benefits the second you retire.

The labor-intensive one assumes collecting at 62 if you key in retirement at 55, which is a slight improvement, but ...
but it is relatively easy to convert the amount you will receive at 62 (assuming you stop working at 55) to your PIA or age 70 benefit (or any age between 62 and 70).

I concede though that it would be nice if they could add selecting a start drawing date to that calculator in addition to the stop working date.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkTillYouDont View Post
I must be missing something, because I'm finding all those calculators on the Social Security site extremely unhelpful if you're not planning to collect benefits the second you retire.

The labor-intensive one assumes collecting at 62 if you key in retirement at 55, which is a slight improvement, but ...
Yes, this is why we ended up with ESPlanner. Like most of us here, I tried to use every free tool including my own spreadsheets before finally shelling out the $150 to get ESPlanner. Now that we have it we're really happy we got it, and we have much better confidence in our strategy.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #23
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After viewing the SSA benefit calculation about 5 years ago, I was able to create a spreadsheet to mimic it and enter my own earnings history. I had downloaded their AnyPIA calculator program but had trouble using it initially. After seeing some threads on that item a year or two later, I gave it another try and it worked! I used it as a check on my spreadsheet and I came to within a dollar of my projected monthly benefit (probably some rounding issue). I had entered a bunch (about 13 of them) of zeroes to fill in all the earnings years needed to get to 35.

Just for kicks, I decided to change those zeroes to actual earnings had I kept working and received "average" raises of 2-3%. Because I was in the 15% Bend Point, my projected monthly benefit would have gone up about 11%, not a whole lot.
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #24
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Could you post a generic version of that spreadsheet (with hypothetical data rather than your personal data)?
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #25
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Could you post a generic version of that spreadsheet (with hypothetical data rather than your personal data)?
+1
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #26
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There is a good article, graph and a downloadable spreadsheet related to this issue here at this link......

Retiring Early: Effect On Social Security Benefits
Retiring Early: Effect On Social Security Benefits

I downloaded the spreadsheet and found it to be a useful tool. Definitely useful for very early retirees looking for when they have passed the second "bend point". You will find when you are "after the second bend point", the more earnings you have, the less it impacts the payout.

The article is worth reading, but, for those who want to "jump to the spreadsheet", it can be found here...
https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.do?rid=n9y9p8dc09c5cbf2c4357beba2771b70c 1ab3
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:49 PM   #27
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Thank you, datumpoint, for posting your link. I am not at home now where my spreadsheet is until tomorrow and I wouldn't know how to post it anyway. I could email a copy of the spreadsheet (after I change the data and convert it to Excel) to those interested in it.

My spreadsheet is similar to the linked one. It has earnings, an index factor, and indexed earnings. Mine then averages the AIME at the end then figures out a PIA by playing with the bend points.
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:49 PM   #28
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I use the AnyPIA detailed calculator that you can download from ssa.gov. The first time I used it, I took about an hour getting to the point where I could replicate my summary numbers from ssa. Most of that time was spent pressing F1 and reading help documentation to understand all the forms and required fields. After I got some confidence that it was working correctly, I customized for our situation. I retired last year, but I'll have some very specific earnings in 2014 and 2015 from exercising my remaining megacorp options. I input these earnings figures, played around with various benefit increase assumptions, and dates to begin collecting. I did the same with DW's data.

I wish there was a free spreadsheet version of this so I could see the underlying calculations and do what-if's more easily. This tool is not very intuitive to use, and the documentation seems to be a bit technical and geared toward people who already have a working knowledge of how SS is calculated. I can't bring myself to spend $150 for ESPlanner.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:01 PM   #29
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For those that have Early Retired, no longer paying into SS, here is my N=1 on how to easily tell your FIRE PIA. Look at the SS Estimated Benefits page, right below where it tells you your Retirement PIA at 66 and the 62 or 70 amounts, it list:

Disability
You have worked enough credits to qualify for disability benefits.
If you become disabled right now your estimated payment would be: $X,XXX a month.

The disability amount matches the calculator output when i enter 0s for future income. This makes sense because if you are disabled, you will not be paying into SS and zeros are input for future income. Maybe someone can verify this holds true for them, looks like a nice shortcut.
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Old 10-04-2014, 05:26 PM   #30
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Hmmm. I was able to get the info from the retirement estimator.

Retirement Estimator

You need your approx. earnings from last year (and a bunch of other personal info). That helps SS make sure you're you.... since it's using your actual SS earnings.

That gives you an estimate based on the idea that you'll continue to earn about the same amount... for your various retirement dates. (62, FRA, 70).

BUT - there's a "Add a New Estimate" button right below that info.
If you select a retirement age LATER than 62, but enter average future earnings of ZERO - you can get the various scenarios for taking SS at various ages - even if you stop working well before then.

In other words - it's available on the SSA.gov website - if you know how to use the tool.

Using my info as an example - I would get $300/mo less if I collect at 67 with my retired status starting now - than if I work till age 67. Working from now till 67 is not worth 300/month... in my opinion. (I'm 53). If I work till age 70 - it only pays me $300 more per month than if I don't work - but don't collect till 70.
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