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DQOTD: How Accurate Are Soc Sec Estimates For Seniors (not working)?
Old 12-05-2023, 12:40 PM   #1
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DQOTD: How Accurate Are Soc Sec Estimates For Seniors (not working)?

I realize estimates of future Soc Sec benefits can be way off when we're younger, as they are extrapolating what future earnings may be, in some cases many years. But I retired in 2011, with more than 35 years of earnings history, so I am assuming the estimate Soc Sec has published on my statement for the last few years should be pretty accurate. Am I missing something? I will be claiming next Summer.
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Old 12-05-2023, 12:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I realize estimates of future Soc Sec benefits can be way off when we're younger, as they are extrapolating what future earnings may be, in some cases many years. But I retired in 2011, with more than 35 years of earnings history, so I am assuming the estimate Soc Sec has published on my statement for the last few years should be pretty accurate. Am I missing something? I will be claiming next Summer.
Should be very accurate at this point.
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Old 12-05-2023, 12:57 PM   #3
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Following. DW filed in Oct. to start her FRA SSB on Jan. 2024. So, on or about the 4th Wednesday in Feb. we'll know.
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Old 12-05-2023, 01:04 PM   #4
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I don’t think you are missing anything. If you’ve had zeros for wages for many years now I think they assume zero for the future.
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Old 12-05-2023, 01:25 PM   #5
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Should be very accurate at this point.
+1

For me, my estimates were absolutely correct to the penny. I used the methods explained by SS on their website, to do these estimates.
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Old 12-05-2023, 01:31 PM   #6
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SS is not yet ready to let me retire - so I plug in zero for future earnings.
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Old 12-05-2023, 02:10 PM   #7
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When DW filed a few years ago, the estimate was dead-on, to the penny.
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Old 12-05-2023, 02:48 PM   #8
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I had zeros for 10 years - retired at 52 and started collecting SS at 62. My payment estimate went up during those 10 years (presumably due to inflation) even though I was earning no income.

When it came time to begin collecting at 62, my actual payment was within a few dollars of the estimate on my annual statement.
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:19 PM   #9
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Following. DW filed in Oct. to start her FRA SSB on Jan. 2024. So, on or about the 4th Wednesday in Feb. we'll know.
Yikes. I think I screwed up. I want to start SS to where I will receive the first payment in April 2024, which means it needs to be in place by the end of February 2024 to get the March accrual. I was planning to sign up the first of January 2024, but based on the above, that may be too late. I was mainly waiting to see the impact of the 2024 COLA, which I didn't see until this month.
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:43 PM   #10
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Yikes. I think I screwed up. I want to start SS to where I will receive the first payment in April 2024, which means it needs to be in place by the end of February 2024 to get the March accrual. I was planning to sign up the first of January 2024, but based on the above, that may be too late. I was mainly waiting to see the impact of the 2024 COLA, which I didn't see until this month.
You are not at all too late. I decided over New Year's weekend to file for my SS. On January 1 of that year I applied on line to start in January with a first payment in February. It was approved January 10 and I received my first in payment in February. You can actually apply up to 6 months after and just request for it to be retroactive.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:18 PM   #11
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I started paying close attention to our SS statements about 10 years prior to retirement at age 60.
We filed at 62, they were spot on, accounting for no earned income for two years for DH and my on call for two years.
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Old 12-06-2023, 07:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the encouraging accounts. I guess we’ll have quite a windfall next Summer when I claim my Soc Sec benefit at age 70. Yes, I know how 85% of it will be taxed, but just having any income after 13 years without will be surreal.
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Old 12-07-2023, 08:24 AM   #13
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The numbers I calculate on opensocialsecurity.com don't seem to match with estimates in our SS online accounts. I can't seem to find an accurate calculator in the online accounts. I've already taken SS at 65. DH, not sure yet. He's 66. If I log into his account it shows his Medicare info and we can look at his SS estimates at different timelines. But no where to calculate with my SS and spousal benefits.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:00 AM   #14
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The numbers I calculate on opensocialsecurity.com don't seem to match with estimates in our SS online accounts. I can't seem to find an accurate calculator in the online accounts. I've already taken SS at 65. DH, not sure yet. He's 66. If I log into his account it shows his Medicare info and we can look at his SS estimates at different timelines. But no where to calculate with my SS and spousal benefits.
Sorry to be rude, but you have disparaged opensocialsecurity.com before and I don't think it is warranted or helpful to people looking for resources to understand their SS benefits. It is a fantastic program that has been tested by many people. I've used it to help me understand how the formulas work, much easier for me to see the numbers worked out than to read the "word problem" description on SSA.gov.

Meanwhile I recall from another thread and I see you repeating the same data here - you never discuss your PIA, just your benefit. You need your PIA and the month you claimed to run the program. You can work out your PIA if you have your birth month and year, the month and year you claimed and your current gross benefit using the various formulas on the SS website. But you cannot go by your memory of what it was, memories can be wrong, COLAs get applied, etc.

Last time you started in on this, I saw that someone forwarded a link to the thread with your criticism to Mike Piper, the SS expert and author of the program on a Feature Request/Bug Report thread over on Bogleheads.com. I believe he responded that he couldn't help without actual data.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
The numbers I calculate on opensocialsecurity.com don't seem to match with estimates in our SS online accounts. I can't seem to find an accurate calculator in the online accounts. I've already taken SS at 65. DH, not sure yet. He's 66. If I log into his account it shows his Medicare info and we can look at his SS estimates at different timelines. But no where to calculate with my SS and spousal benefits.
This was thoroughly discussed on your earlier thread, and it was apparent what the misunderstanding might be. Please refer back to that thread.

This thread is not about opensocialsecurity. Let's not "relitigate" that here again please.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:42 AM   #16
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Sorry to be rude, but you have disparaged opensocialsecurity.com before and I don't think it is warranted or helpful to people looking for resources to understand their SS benefits. It is a fantastic program that has been tested by many people. I've used it to help me understand how the formulas work, much easier for me to see the numbers worked out than to read the "word problem" description on SSA.gov.

Meanwhile I recall from another thread and I see you repeating the same data here - you never discuss your PIA, just your benefit. You need your PIA and the month you claimed to run the program. You can work out your PIA if you have your birth month and year, the month and year you claimed and your current gross benefit using the various formulas on the SS website. But you cannot go by your memory of what it was, memories can be wrong, COLAs get applied, etc.

Last time you started in on this, I saw that someone forwarded a link to the thread with your criticism to Mike Piper, the SS expert and author of the program on a Feature Request/Bug Report thread over on Bogleheads.com. I believe he responded that he couldn't help without actual data.
"DQOTD: How Accurate Are Soc Sec Estimates For Seniors (not working)?"

Considering the OPs question, I fail to see how my question is disparaging. I specifically asked where do I find a calculator on my specific social security statement online, that gives me accurate information with accurate dates, PIA, and estimates. Yes, I've addressed this before and it is confusing. I do not think I'm the only one with this question.

"criticism to Mike Piper, the SS expert"

It's not a criticism it's a question. I know my PIA, I know my DH PIA. Do the yearly increases (COLA)come into play when figuring out future benefits?

I welcome posters to jump down my throat about this issue as you did. But I guarantee there are many on this forum questioning this very issue.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
+1

For me, my estimates were absolutely correct to the penny. I used the methods explained by SS on their website, to do these estimates.
This is the formula on the SS website I'm asking about and should have quoted W2R. My mistake. I can't seem to find the "methods" explained by SS on their website.
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Old 12-07-2023, 10:38 AM   #18
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This is the formula on the SS website I'm asking about and should have quoted W2R. My mistake. I can't seem to find the "methods" explained by SS on their website.
Well, I found them and figured out how to do it using those methods, all by myself many years ago. I've now been retired for 14 years and I'm not going back to re-find the explanation, re-update it for any changes that have been added since, and re-explain on this thread. But you can put in the effort to do these things if you want to. Don't forget to index each year's earnings using their index factors before you begin your calculations. And pay attention to exactly what they say about how/when to round.
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Old 12-07-2023, 10:45 AM   #19
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Well, I found them and figured out how to do it using those methods, all by myself many years ago. I've now been retired for 14 years and I'm not going back to re-find the explanation, re-update it for any changes that have been added since, and re-explain on this thread. But you can put in the effort to do these things and perhaps you owe it to yourself to do this independently.
Got it. I'll continue to work on that.
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Old 12-07-2023, 11:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
The numbers I calculate on opensocialsecurity.com don't seem to match with estimates in our SS online accounts. I can't seem to find an accurate calculator in the online accounts. I've already taken SS at 65. DH, not sure yet. He's 66. If I log into his account it shows his Medicare info and we can look at his SS estimates at different timelines. But no where to calculate with my SS and spousal benefits.
Does this web page work for you?

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html
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