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SS Calculator Accuracy
Old 08-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
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SS Calculator Accuracy

Has anyone been using the SS calculator for a few years, kept records and now are collecting SS and can say the accuracy of what it reported and what you are actually receiving.

I had not checked the calculator for a few years, but the SS and Wine thread made me go check and update my personal spreadsheets. I was surprised how much it had gone up over just 2 or 3 years A little over 14%...

I have been working and I expected mine to go up a little, but not this much and even my DW's has gone up and she has not been employed for almost 7 years. Hers went up about 1% or so...

I can assume that mine went up because I have still been paying in and at a higher rate than my earlier years of employment since it uses the highest years, but the rest and my wife's increase must be tied to inflation index changes in the calculator or what...
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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The only experience I have regarding the accuracy of the figures is a friend who retired three years ago at exactly 65 years of age. For several years before retiring she checked her annual written statement, and she told me that the amount she actually received matched her statement down to the dollar. I found this fairly reassuring, given my need to be able to accurately predict my eventual retirement income.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
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If you check your numbers on December 1 of each year, it will include the COLA increase (if any), payable for January 1.

Being that I/DW are of SS age but neither collecting, I check it the first of each month.

Both benefit totals go up a few dollars for what we can get if we would file immediately. Of course, the FRA and age 70 totals remain the same, except for the possible December 1 update.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semiretired2008 View Post
Has anyone been using the SS calculator for a few years, kept records and now are collecting SS and can say the accuracy of what it reported and what you are actually receiving.

I had not checked the calculator for a few years, but the SS and Wine thread made me go check and update my personal spreadsheets. I was surprised how much it had gone up over just 2 or 3 years A little over 14%...

I have been working and I expected mine to go up a little, but not this much and even my DW's has gone up and she has not been employed for almost 7 years. Hers went up about 1% or so...

I can assume that mine went up because I have still been paying in and at a higher rate than my earlier years of employment since it uses the highest years, but the rest and my wife's increase must be tied to inflation index changes in the calculator or what...
The inflation rate (avg wage index) hasn't change much since 2008 (most current is 2010), so it isn't that. The calculator assumes you will continue making the same amount as the last year until retirement age. So if you had a good year, it will not just replace a previous year with the last year's, but replace others as well, for those who will retire early, this becomes a problem. It depends on how much you make today vs other years, how many years left until full retirement, those with higher incomes, their SS won't change much, because they have caps that clip off higher income, 15% for the top earners.
If you haven't used it in 5 years, then the wage increases would give you a 14% increase
TJ
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:21 AM   #5
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Thanks. Mine as I said I expected, just it is better than I expected - cannot argue with that I guess. Extra gravy is always appreciated...

It is good to know that someone has actually compared it to actuals.
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