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figuring out that pesky SS number
Old 02-26-2007, 09:30 AM   #1
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figuring out that pesky SS number


What's a good way (calculator?) to figure out some "what if" scenarios for future SS payments? Besides looking at the numbers for ages 62, 66 and 70, I'd also like to look at the differences for a variety of different years for pulling the RE trigger.

Also, let's say we do a few ER years, then one or both of us go back to work for a bit (possibly parttime) to earn enough for some goodies like extra travel or new car.... Does this mess things up by taking earnings "lower" ? Or do these years just join the early lowest earning years that are being dropped off for purposes of calculation?

Do I need these figures for future payments in "today's" dollar values in order to plug them into things like Firecalc and Optimal Retirement Planner?

Thanks for any comments!


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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number
Old 02-26-2007, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number

The online calculators at will do everything you want.


Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number
Old 02-26-2007, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number

The government SS site is pretty good. I think.

There are a few calculators there. I think you would need the most complicated one, which is a download, to do the scenarios you describe.

All the formulas for retirement benefits are based on your highest 35 years of earnings. It doesn't matter the order in which they occur. If you have fewer than 35 years it will include some zeros to make 35 years. In order to qualify at all you have to have 40 "credits" which is basically 10 years of work history.

Don't know about whether the answers from the SS site are in today's or future dollars, but I bet if you did some research there the answer would be readily available. I think they're in today's dollars, but don't quote me on that.

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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number
Old 03-04-2007, 04:06 PM   #4
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Re: figuring out that pesky SS number

when using the calculators at the SS site, you can select whether to show the result in today or future dollars.
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