Author Topic: Is there a reliable site that lets you estimate Social Security if you FIRE?  (Read 1205 times)

ender

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I've seen a lot of online Social Security calculators.

Without fail, they work on the "work until you start taking Social Security" paradigm. Which makes them very difficult to use for planning on working say from 21-40 and then taking SS at 67.

Is there one somewhere which works for these types of situations?

kingxiaodi

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I've seen a lot of online Social Security calculators.

Without fail, they work on the "work until you start taking Social Security" paradigm. Which makes them very difficult to use for planning on working say from 21-40 and then taking SS at 67.

Is there one somewhere which works for these types of situations?

Looks like there's a sheet named "SocialSecurity" in the MDM's Case Study Spreadsheet (thread here)

If you don't like that option, would it be too difficult to build your own?


YttriumNitrate

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The Social Security Administration's calculator lets you play around with the date you stop working. While working till 62, 67, or 70 is assumed for the first round, once you get the results you can click on the "Add a New Estimate" button to change the date you stop working. They state that "If you select an age prior to 62, we will estimate your benefits starting at age 62" so it won't do the delay collecting till 67 calculation, but estimating about 40% higher than the age 62 number is a good guess for the age 67 number. Estimating 80% higher is a good estimate for the age 70 number.
https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html

MDM

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A couple of spreadsheets and a web tool that work well for calculating an individual's benefit:
 - The 'SocialSecurity' tab of the case study spreadsheet.
 - The Downloadable Social Security Benefit Estimator (repost) - Bogleheads.org.
 - Social Security Calculator

A web tool that evaluates SS benefit start dates for a couple:
Open Social Security: Free, Open-Source Social Security Calculator

seattlecyclone

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There's also this worksheet from the Social Security Administration. You can get the formula from there and make your own spreadsheets as your heart desires.

FIREstache

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I use the downloadable social security calculator from ssa.gov, which let you enter your SS wages each year and select when you want to start pulling benefits, unlike the web based ones there.  It is more complicated to use, though.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 04:58:51 AM by FIREstache »

spartana

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I use the downloadable social security calculator from ssa.gov, which let you enter your SS wages each year and select when you want to start pulling benefits, unlike the web based ones there.  It is more complicated to use, though.
I recently used this too after a long thread on MMM forum somewhere about SS. You can get your earnings online at SS and add those to the calculator and then just add in a bunch of zeros for the years you won't be working or adding into SS. I did it both for 62 and 67 (you can do any year or month from 62 up) and I just added 37 years worth of zeros to the calulator which will be the number of years I haven't contributed into SS by the time I'm 67. Be aware though, if you had a job where you paid into a government pension instead of SS you may be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the SS calculator doesn't account for that. You'll have to go to the WEP calculator afterwards to figure out the amount your SS will be reduced.

nereo

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Good resources shared by others.

One aspect I've found enlightening is to play around with SS benefit estimate calculators and see how occasional part-time work can really impact future benefits in place of a bunch of zeros.  As the first 'bend point' is at $926 ave monthly wages (about $11,000 annually) and results in 90% benefits, for early retirees* earning this amount per year can result in a substantial shift, which may or may not be important to you. 

*yes, call the IRP on me for suggesting some 'work' during ER.  :-P

YttriumNitrate

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One aspect I've found enlightening is to play around with SS benefit estimate calculators and see how occasional part-time work can really impact future benefits in place of a bunch of zeros.  As the first 'bend point' is at $926 ave monthly wages (about $11,000 annually) and results in 90% benefits, for early retirees* earning this amount per year can result in a substantial shift, which may or may not be important to you.

While there will be some benefit to working during retirement, the SS calculation is done by taking the average of your highest indexed 35 yearly earnings (up to the SS max of about $130k) and then applying the formula that bends at $926 and then again around $5,500 monthly income. In other words, in your hustling years, if you work ~3 years at or above the SS max, you're already past the first bend point regardless how many zeros there are in the other 32 years. If you work ~17 years at the SS max, you get past the second bend point. Motley Fool Article on Calculating Benefit

**So sayeth Officer YttriumNitrate of the IRP**
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 06:50:51 PM by YttriumNitrate »

FatFI2025

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One aspect I've found enlightening is to play around with SS benefit estimate calculators and see how occasional part-time work can really impact future benefits in place of a bunch of zeros.  As the first 'bend point' is at $926 ave monthly wages (about $11,000 annually) and results in 90% benefits, for early retirees* earning this amount per year can result in a substantial shift, which may or may not be important to you.

While there will be some benefit to working during retirement, the SS calculation is done by taking the average of your highest indexed 35 yearly earnings (up to the SS max of about $130k) and then applying the formula that bends at $926 and then again around $5,500 monthly income. In other words, in your hustling years, if you work ~3 years at or above the SS max, you're already past the first bend point regardless how many zeros there are in the other 32 years. If you work ~17 years at the SS max, you get past the second bend point. Motley Fool Article on Calculating Benefit

**So sayeth Officer YttriumNitrate of the IRP**

I also would see nil SS benefit from continuing work in RE and I suspect that's true for most early retirees. OP, recommend building your own spreadsheet for the educational value.