Originally Posted by Shawn
I believe a lot of people are in this situation (probably without knowing it). I don't think it is all that rare to be at the "15%" social security level, where a person gets very little added benefit for each additional dollar contributed to social security. Not counting high school and college jobs (grad school RA/TA stipends being exempt from SS deductions), I've been in the workforce for only 16 1/2 years (with about 10 above the SS limit). However, in a couple of years I will be in this situation.
Have you gone through the numbers using the web site you referenced to compute where you are at? Basically, all you need to do is input your (wage adjusted) salary over your working career, and crunch a few numbers.
BTW, I laughed when you said you edited your post to be more positive. I don't how anyone can be more positive than you.
Aw, thank you! That makes me feel better. I do try to be positive and to contribute what I can to the forum. I was feeling a little down at the time.
Yes, the reason I brought this link to the website is that I have crunched the numbers now and then for nearly a decade, using my own numbers and sometimes other possible scenarios. I enjoy feeling familiar with exactly how SS computes benefits.
In order to get into the 15% bracket, you have to have earned over 4288*420=$1,800,960 in adjusted wages. In the 18 years in the workforce that it will take for you to get there, that would mean you would have averaged $100,053 in adjusted wages. Pretty good for your first year on the job, so I would suspect you started lower and are doing considerably better by now. Congratulations on finding such a high paying career!
Looking at the table in the original link, it appears that one would have to make over the maximum social security yearly wage for each of 19 years in order to move into the 15% category for most of the qualified wages earned during the 19th year.
So, suppose you would be making $200K in adjusted yearly salary from age 50-55, and are in the 15% category. How much extra would that money add to your SS? At first I thought that it might be
(($200,000 x 5yrs)/420)*.15 = $357/mo increase in monthly SS
But then in your relatively stratospheric salary range, there are upper limits to how much of your salary are social security wages ($97,500 for 2007, though that is far more than I make so I have been ignoring it). That would cut the increase in half,
(($97,500 x 5 yrs)/420)*.15 = $174/mo increase in monthly SS
Also there might even be upper limits on what your monthly payments can be as well, I suppose! Such limits will never apply to me, so I really have never looked into them.