Find Out Your Personal Social Security Retirement Benefits

Looking for an estimate of when you should begin taking Social Security? Check out the Social Security Administration’s calculator.

The amount of your benefits is dependent on your date of birth and your earnings history. Due to security concerns, the SSA Online Benefits Calculator does not access your earnings record; instead, it uses the information provided by you to estimate your earnings.

It should be noted that the benefits estimates provided by the Quick Calculator are rough.

You can get the most accurate estimate if you have a My Social Security account. If you don’t have an account you can create one.

Setting goals

Are your current retirement planning strategies generating enough funds for you to meet your retirement goals?

You have the option to take retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, so-called “full” retirement benefits are payable at age 67.

If you delay collecting your retirement benefit until age 70, it will be for a higher monthly amount.

It amounts to an 8% “raise” every year you wait after your full retirement age, which varies by birth year. There is no incentive to delay claiming after age 70.

While it might seem like a bad deal to start taking benefits early remember, those who do are likely to collect checks for longer.

The government doesn’t reward you for starting Social Security payments early, on time, or late. It’s the same total estimated payment regardless of your chosen time frame.

Picking a payout

The million-dollar question is how long will you live, and do you want a reduced amount for more years or higher amounts for fewer years?

Besides your likely longevity, what also matters is your financial needs, current health condition, and if you enjoy working or not.

The best thing you can do to help with retirement planning is to hire a certified financial planner (CFP) and have them put together a custom financial plan based on your current assets, liabilities, as well as needs, wants, and wishes.

He or she will have you fill out a detailed questionnaire so that they can better understand how you live today and how you want to live in the future.

Getting help

Most advisors today use financial planning software because it provides sophisticated solutions and intelligent assumptions to help advisors navigate the complex financial elements of their clients’ lives.

The main focus of these programs is around:

  • Retirement planning
  • Tax planning
  • Retirement savings and income planning
  • Estate planning
  • Investment Planning

Combining your personal benefits information with planning advice from a professional can help you maximize your security in retirement. You might even find room to leave money behind to heirs or a favored charitable cause.