Originally Posted by BlueberryPie
Thanks Detail, I can't figure out how to make that calculator determine "work till 62 but start benefits at 70". It assumes I want to start benefits as early as possible after stopping work.
I'll keep looking at other calculators to see how much difference swapping 5 years of low earnings with late career earnings makes. I suspect (hope) it won't make a substantial difference.
SSA assumes you work to 62 at your last reported wage. Wages prior to the year you turn 60 are indexed. Wages for the last two years are not.
So here is how to see the effect of changing that assumption:
Go to "myssa" and get your earnings record. Copy and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet.
Then go here https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/awifactors.html
and get the average wage indexing factors. The year you input should be the year you turn 62. Copy and paste the appropriate year range to your spreadsheet. Make sure they line up properly with the years in your earnings report.
Use a PRODUCT function to multiply your earnings in a particular year by the AWI factor. Keep that as one column and make a second, duplicate column next to it.
From the duplicate column, eliminate all but the highest 35 years, then SUM the column. Divide by 35, which gives you your average yearly indexed wage. Then divide by 12 for your average month wage.
Calculate as follows: 1st $992/mo x 90% + above $992 up to $6002 x 40%; and anything over $6002 x 15%. This gives you your monthly primary insurance amount. That is what you would get at full retirement age.
Now you can play around with your earnings to substitute zeros for the last few years, which means you'll need to add back an equal number of your early, low earning years (as indexed) to keep the number of years at 35. Do the calculation again with the new highest 35 years and see how your PIA changes.
To find out what you'll get at 70, multiply your PIA by (1 + (.0067 x the no. of months between your full retirement age and age 70))