Author Topic: Question about SS benefits  (Read 2060 times)

slappy

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Question about SS benefits
« on: March 23, 2016, 07:26:05 AM »
Good morning,

I believe I've seen some posters say that their SS benefit would be $x at age x, even if they FIRE now.  If I'm reading correctly, my statement says that my benefit would be roughly $2k a month, assuming that I continue to earn at least my current salary until retirement age.  Is that correct? How can I see where it says what it would be if I stopped working? I'm nowhere near FI, so it's not imperative, but I am curious.

Also, the statement shows the benefit that my spouse/child would get if I were to die. It shows that my child would get $1400 per month and my spouse who is caring for a child would get $1400 per month. Does that mean that if I die now, my family would receive approx $2800 per month?  It does say that the most one family can receive is $3200, so I'm taking that to mean that my next child would not get an additional $1400 per month if I were to die.

Thanks for any insight. I'm only 31, so I'm not putting a lot of faith into my SS retirement benefit number, but it's nice to at least know what it is supposed to be.

rubybeth

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Re: Question about SS benefits
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 07:40:50 AM »
I've done this, I am pretty sure I used this calculator, put in my 'retirement date' in 2026 (date of estimated FIRE), and then made sure the earnings they used actually matched my social security earnings from my online record.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/index.html

It estimates benefits starting at age 62 and 1 month. I haven't downloaded this one, but you could also try this: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/anypia.html

More info. on the survivor benefits: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf

More calculators here: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.html
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 07:49:17 AM by rubybeth »

slappy

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Re: Question about SS benefits
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 07:49:03 AM »
Wow, it cuts my benefit in half to stop working in 2030, and that's just a random guess. FRA would be 2052.  No idea when FIRE would be, as I'm just getting started. Very good to know and work into planning.  Thanks for the info.

rubybeth

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Re: Question about SS benefits
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 07:51:43 AM »
Wow, it cuts my benefit in half to stop working in 2030, and that's just a random guess. FRA would be 2052.  No idea when FIRE would be, as I'm just getting started. Very good to know and work into planning.  Thanks for the info.

If you do end up working toward FIRE, don't think of it as cutting your social security benefit in half, think of it as buying your freedom from the workforce sooner. I'm nearly 35 but I'd much rather quit full time work at 45 than have to work another 20 years for an extra $1,000 a month in social security when I'm 65. Social security is like insurance. If you can become self insured before you need it, then you're golden. :)

Moby32

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Re: Question about SS benefits
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 08:26:25 AM »
Here is a quick spreadsheet I threw together last week.  I haven't really had time to double check the whole thing because it is a work in progress.  You would need to move the formulas up or down rows depending on how long you have been working, but the indexing factor formula should pull in the correct figures automatically for you.  My goal was to find out how much of the maximum benefit I have already earned in present value dollars assuming I draw at 66 (I won't but just a baseline for this calculation).  If anyone out there finds some errors in my math, please let me know.

lhamo

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Re: Question about SS benefits
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 09:24:55 AM »
MDM's Case Study spreadsheet also has a great Social Security tab - I prefer it to the ssa.gov calculators and other on-line tools because you can see how the calculations are being done and experiment with different dates for stopping work, continuing to earn a bit of part time income, etc.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxe0EgraZFRBT2pGYjBEbG1qYlk/edit