26 Sep How Do I Estimate My Social Security Benefits in Retirement?
Since the monthly benefits you’ll receive from Social Security vary from person to person based on factors such as age and earnings record, the best place to find an estimate is on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website.
The SSA has a Social Security benefits calculator where you can input information such as your annual income and expected retirement age to get a benefit estimate.
If you want to get more specific, you can log in to your account on the SSA’s website to look up the years that you’ve paid into the Social Security program, as your monthly benefits are based on a formula tied to the 35 years in which you earned the most money. If some of those high-earning years are still to come for you, your Social Security check will likely be higher than they would otherwise be if you claimed Social Security now.
Even if it looks like you’ll have a high monthly benefit, you’ll want to plan out when to start claiming Social Security retirement benefits. If you do so before you reach full retirement age (FRA), you won’t receive your full benefit amount.
Increasing Your Social Security Benefit Amount
Although you can claim Social Security as early as age 62, your monthly benefits will be reduced on a sliding scale based on the year you were born, whereas the closer you get to full retirement age, the higher your monthly benefits will be. Waiting until age 70 will yield the maximum amount per month.
Social Security can also provide spousal benefits, where your spouse can receive 50% of your monthly benefit amount based on your full retirement age, though this amount would change based on whether you claim benefits before or after this age.
Spend some time looking at the benefit calculators and explanations on the SSA’s site, and consider speaking with a financial advisor to incorporate Social Security into your overall retirement plan. As a fee-only financial planner in Roseville, CA, we can help you and your spouse figure out when to start claiming Social Security benefits based on your goals and personal circumstances.
Schedule a complimentary, 15-minute call with a fee-only financial advisor today to discuss your personal situation.
Parkshore Wealth Management is a family-owned, independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor serving the greater Sacramento area with an office in Roseville, CA. We partner with financially responsible individuals and families who are eager to take positive steps that will allow them to use their money to build the life they desire. The firm is led by Harold Anderson, CFP®, and Daniel Andersen, CFP®, both members of NAPFA, the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors.