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Old 02-12-2017, 02:51 PM   #21
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I've hit the max 13 times out of my 28 working years (which include the after-school job I had in high-school at 16). Another 5 years I've come within a few thousand dollars of the max.

I built a spreadsheet to model my expected SS income, and it's pretty depressing how little a full year of max earnings add to the monthly payment. Once you get past that 2nd bend point, the gains are pretty small.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:54 PM   #22
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I've hit the max 13 times out of my 28 working years (which include the after-school job I had in high-school at 16). Another 5 years I've come within a few thousand dollars of the max.

I built a spreadsheet to model my expected SS income, and it's pretty depressing how little a full year of max earnings add to the monthly payment. Once you get past that 2nd bend point, the gains are pretty small.
And it is even more depressing if you figure out how much that money would be if it were in your 401k, or in a non-SS retirement fund such as FERS or 403(b).
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:03 PM   #23
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I've hit it a couple times and have been right around it most years since I got out of the Navy. Hope to be hitting it for a few more years as the more I make, the more I can save, and the sooner I can say goodbye to working!
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:28 PM   #24
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44 years of SSA earnings (starting at age 17), 25 at the max. According to my records, my employers and I have contributed $312,000.

Some food for thought:
According to this website https://www.crystalbull.com/Social-S...on-Calculator/ my account would be valued at over $2,000,000 if I had invested both my employers and my contributions in the S&P500, and over $650,000 if invested in 10 year treasuries. So a 50/50 split would have yielded about $1,325,000.

FWIW, I am not advocating for privatization. This site just happened to have a calculator that satisfied my calculation needs.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:39 PM   #25
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To the best of my knowledge, I hit it in '96 and every year till I retired in '13. There was two different years where an option exercise early in the year caused me to max out in the first quarter. A first class problem for sure.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:01 PM   #26
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:18 PM   #27
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Not only did I not earn enough, but sometimes my jobs didn't even participate in social security or gave me the option of not participating (so I didn't).
Just curious- what types of jobs were they? Heck, they even withheld SS from my first official paycheck- for a week of delivering phone directories. I know clergy can opt out.

I paid the max for probably the last 30 years of my 38-year career. I once calculated the value of my contributions (not including employer's) accumulated at 6%, and the money was enough to buy an annuity that would pay 125% of what SS will pay. So, counting the employer contribution and accumulated return, I'd be able to buy an annuity for 2.5 times what SS will pay, both starting at age 70. That's not perfect, of course- SS includes COLA and spouse/survivor benefits, but it still shows there's a whole lotta income redistribution goin' on.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:43 PM   #28
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Federal employees did not have to contribute participate in SS until Reagan overhauled the FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System).

And to this day, some state employees still pay no SS, and have their own funding.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:45 PM   #29
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Just curious- what types of jobs were they? Heck, they even withheld SS from my first official paycheck- for a week of delivering phone directories. I know clergy can opt out.
For me, my two years of $0 contributions were when I worked for the University of California while I was a student at UCSB. We were considered state employees, so we didn't participate in SS, but we also weren't eligible for CalPERS since we were less than full-time.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:46 PM   #30
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About half my counted 30 years.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:18 PM   #31
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32 total years employment..
30 years paying into SS.
Hit the maximum 26 of those 30. The last of those 30 ended in March, so didn't even come close.
First 2 years had a DB pension so did not pay into SS.
Three of those 30 I was a self-employed sole proprietor.

Not counted at all, a $0.75 per hour job in high school that actually paid into SS and is on my record.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:36 PM   #32
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Just curious- what types of jobs were they?
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Federal employees did not have to contribute participate in SS until Reagan overhauled the FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System).

And to this day, some state employees still pay no SS, and have their own funding.
Thanks, NW-Bound. I was multitasking and missed athena53's question. Yes, your answer is correct and applies in my case.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:47 PM   #33
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All but first two years of my employment.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:46 PM   #34
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Interesting to play with the numbers. During the 35 years at megacorp, I maxed out 19 times. But one of the years I missed it was only by several hundred dollars. I hit at least 90% of the maximum 30 of the 35 years.

Another way of looking at it- for those 35 years, I paid in 97% of the maximum.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:55 PM   #35
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Luckily I hit it every one of my 35 working years.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:08 PM   #36
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I never did but I got pretty close during my last years of working full time in 1999 and 2000, getting only a few thousand dollars short. Once I reduced my weekly hours worked for the first time in 2001, I would never be close again.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:40 PM   #37
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Luckily I hit it every one of my 35 working years.

WOW... that means you came out the gate making good money...
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:46 PM   #38
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I'd say that just about every fresh grad who gets a job in tech in Silicon Valley is hitting the social security cap.
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:58 AM   #39
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5 times 1995-1999 then twice again 2012 & 2013.
+1 to the 5 years in early 90's. A group of four or five of my middle mgr. friends & I would celebrate when we hit it-nice increase for the remaining months.

In reading the responses posted here, it is interesting how many people DID NOT, or rarely made the top limit during their working years. More proof of the "not how much you make, but how much you save/invest" and LBYM arguments.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:57 AM   #40
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I was lucky to have a well paying career, so it happened in many of my working years, and the most enjoyable of which would occur half way through the year. DW was also a SAHW and I am very greatful that I was in position to help her do that.
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