A Social Security retirement calculator is important when it comes to claiming your benefits. It will help you identify how much you have already paid towards it and when you can claim your benefits. With the use of Social Security retirement calculators, you can maximize the benefits you can get from your retirement portfolio. Learn more about the Social Security retirement calculator here as we answer these frequently asked questions.
Social Security Retirement Calculator FAQs
In this article:
- What is a Retirement Estimator?
- How Does the Social Security Retirement Estimator Work?
- Who is Eligible to Use the Retirement Estimator?
- What is an Online Calculator?
- How do you Change the Earnings When it Comes to the Estimates of the Quick Calculator?
- What Does a Relative Growth Factor Mean?
- Why is There an Age Requirement (22 or older) to be Able to Use the Quick Calculator?
What is a Retirement Estimator?
With a retirement estimator, you can get an estimate of your actual Social Security earnings according to the records. Take note these are only estimates because the Social Security Administration can’t provide an actual amount when it comes to retirement benefits.
How Does the Social Security Retirement Estimator Work?
What the retirement estimator does is access your history of earnings to give you benefit estimates that are accurate. The amount of the estimates will differ because of the following conditions:
- What you will earn can decrease or increase in the future
- When you start receiving benefits, the earnings need to be adjusted in relation to increases in the cost of living
- When it comes to benefits, the estimates will follow current law
- The amount of your benefit will change depending on time spent in military service, a Social Security pension earned from work which you didn’t pay tax for, and railroad employment
Who is Eligible to Use the Retirement Estimator?
The following criteria will allow you to use a retirement estimator:
- If you have the right number of Social Security credits
- If you’re not receiving benefits as of now as indicated on your Social Security record
- When you are no longer waiting for the results of a benefit application
- You are not 62 or older, or receiving some form of benefit from another Social Security record
- If you’re not eligible to receive a pension based on a job that is not covered by Social Security
What is an Online Calculator?
This is different from the retirement estimator in a way that the retirement estimator provides you a more accurate Social Security benefits estimate. All you need to do is enter all of your previous earnings shown in your Social Security Statement online.
In cases where you received a pension based on a job that isn’t covered when it comes to Social Security, this can lessen the benefit amount that Social Security will pay you. The examples include employees of the local government, Federal, or State.
You can also use the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) online calculator instead to get your benefits estimate. The GPO (Government Pension Offset) Calculator can show you how your benefits can be affected if you’re a widow, spouse, or widower. Retiring before your FRA (full retirement age) will also reduce the benefits you can receive. You can use the Retirement Age Calculator when finding the FRA.
How do you Change the Earnings When it Comes to the Estimates of the Quick Calculator?
Upon entering the information required by the Quick Calculator, it will show you an estimate of your benefits and a phrase “See the earnings we used.” You can specifically change your estimates of benefits by doing the following:
- Click “See the earnings we used” to view your estimated earnings.
- There are 2 options when changing past earnings.
Option 1: You can manually change earnings shown for a particular year or any year manually
Option 2: You may choose to key in “relative growth factor” on all of the past earnings you’ve had.
Note: When selecting option 2 you have to tick or check the box for the second option aside from entering the growth factor in the given box.
- If you wish to see the estimate of your benefits through future dollars, you can key in a growth factor for future earnings.
What Does a Relative Growth Factor Mean?
This pertains to the number a Quick Calculator uses when adjusting the earnings growth. The earnings growth must be in relation to the national average wages growth.
Why is There an Age Requirement (22 or older) to be Able to Use the Quick Calculator?
This is because most people who are under the age of 22 often don’t have at least one year of full-time earnings, which the calculator requires to make an estimate. It cannot access your earnings record either, due to privacy protection. Thus, it can only provide estimates.
Your Social Security retirement calculator makes it easy for you to estimate of how much you’ll be receiving when it comes to benefits. There are also a couple of formulas if you opt to do the hard math when estimating how much you receive. When you get even the rough estimates, you can securely plan your retirement finances and maintain the same lifestyle even after you retire.
What other queries do you have regarding the social security retirement calculator? Please share them in the comments section below.