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Social Security calculator for early retiree
Old 12-14-2018, 12:20 PM   #1
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Social Security calculator for early retiree

So I'm planning on retiring at 48, and I'll have another 2 years of w-2 income after that. My kids aren't going to be out of the house for a while, and I'm tossing around the idea of teaching a few business/investing/personal finance classes at one of the local colleges. I don't expect to actually need the money, but teaching is one of the most fun parts of my job and I think i'd like it and be good at it.

I'm curious how much a few more years income (though much lower than what I'm currently earning) will affect my eventual social security check. The problem is that most of the calculators assume that if I keep working, I'll make the same income. I want to be able to plug in my own income- also the only one I have found (on the SS website) that allows you to plug in your own numbers assumes that if you're retiring early, you'll be drawing early. Any body know of a calculator where I can change that? Also does the order of income matter? I may have to change my date of birth to alter the possible income- are there different benefit calculations if I make myself a few years older? I have 2 books on social security and it doesn't address this- I'm guessing it isn't a common concern. I probably am not the target market for either book...
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:51 PM   #2
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Try this estimator from the SS site. You can control income input and the year you wish to take it.
https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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I don't know if this is the same as what Dtail linked to, but the anypia program within the SS website is also good. I used it as a check against the homemade spreadsheet I created to calculate my estimated SS benefit which included a whole bunch of zero earnings years.


https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/anypia/download.html
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
which included a whole bunch of zero earnings years.
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Yes, I'll have lots of zeros as well. Thanks for the links- I'm sure one of the calculators will be what I need- Thanks
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:49 PM   #5
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I found https://socialsecurity.tools pretty easy to use to model empty years.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:57 PM   #6
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Thanks all- Calculators worked great, but I must be in the bend because a few more years working has nearly no effect on SS income. Oh well. It looks like the only reason to consider going back to work is if I want to- we shall see...
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:38 AM   #7
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Thanks all- Calculators worked great, but I must be in the bend because a few more years working has nearly no effect on SS income. Oh well. It looks like the only reason to consider going back to work is if I want to- we shall see...

SS uses your highest incomes. So unless you work more years with higher income to displace earlier years with lower income from the calc it would not effect your SS benefit.
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Old 12-20-2018, 06:45 AM   #8
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Yes but it uses 35 years of income. I only have 21 years of real earnings (not counting high school jobs, and college work study). I really thought filling in the zeros with a, say, 60K per year teaching job would make a difference, but it barely budged. Astonishing!
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:39 AM   #9
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Yes but it uses 35 years of income. I only have 21 years of real earnings (not counting high school jobs, and college work study). I really thought filling in the zeros with a, say, 60K per year teaching job would make a difference, but it barely budged. Astonishing!
The top 35 years are also inflation weighted. So making 65k a year now might not replace a lower earnings year 15 years ago. Just another thought.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:30 AM   #10
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The top 35 years are also inflation weighted. So making 65k a year now might not replace a lower earnings year 15 years ago. Just another thought.
True, but she has only had 21 years so adding one replaces a zero. Ugeaux, I would make sure you find a site where you actually enter each years income, if none of the ones you’ve used so far work that way. Then you can enter extra data to test it and get more comfortable with your number. I never found one on line and the estimators I used seem to be a bit off from what my FA calculated. Probably not off enough to make the difference on when to retire, but still, better to have to best number possible.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #11
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Yes but it uses 35 years of income. I only have 21 years of real earnings (not counting high school jobs, and college work study). I really thought filling in the zeros with a, say, 60K per year teaching job would make a difference, but it barely budged. Astonishing!
You can follow a sample calculation here: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/retirebenefit1.html

Roughly speaking, if you averaged about $110,000 of indexed earnings during the 21 years you worked, then your 35 year average would be $66,000. That's enough to get you into the 15% band. So, replacing one future zero with $70,000 would increase your PIA by 15% x $70,000/35 = $300 per year, or $25 per month.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:31 PM   #12
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I had about 21 years of real work as well and had just hit the last bend point. Another year of earnings at the maximum social security income would add about $45 a month to my FRA benefits which makes each OMY impact pretty small.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:23 AM   #13
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Use the linked spreadsheet here: https://thefinancebuff.com/early-ret...-benefits.html
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