Working Age Americans: How an Online Calculator Can Predict Your Social Security Benefits

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.29 - 2023 10:19 AM CET

Foto: Pexels
Foto: Pexels
How an Online Calculator Can Predict Your Social Security Benefits.

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A recent life pro tip (LPT) on Reddit has brought to light a valuable tool for working-age Americans - an online calculator provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This tool enables individuals to estimate their future Social Security benefits, factoring in various variables like retirement age and future earnings.

The tip from the Reddit user reads as follows:

"If you are a working-age American, you can register your Social Security account online. There is a calculator that allows you to see what your Social Security benefits will be, along with several variables you can adjust to explore all of your options when you reach retirement age." the user states before following up:

"I learned this from my Great Aunt this weekend! I didn't know anything about it!"

How to Check Your Social Security Benefits

  1. Create an Account: Visit the official website of the Social Security Administration and set up a "my Social Security" account.

  2. Log In: Once your account is established, log in with your credentials.

  3. Locate the Calculator: Navigate to the "Retirement" section and find the Social Security benefits calculator.

  4. Enter Your Information: Input relevant details like your date of birth, work history, and anticipated retirement age.

  5. Adjust Variables: Modify variables such as future earnings and retirement age to see how different scenarios impact your expected benefits.

  6. Review the Results: Examine the calculated estimates to understand your expected benefits at various retirement ages.

This revelation aligns with the SSA's eligibility criteria, which require at least 40 work credits, accumulated through 10 years of work, to qualify for retirement benefits. The calculator considers the highest 35 years of earnings to compute the benefit amount.

Interestingly, Social Security benefits extend beyond individual contributions. Spouses, including divorced spouses from marriages lasting at least 10 years, can receive up to 50% of their partner's retirement benefit. Children are also eligible under certain conditions, like the demise of a parent.

Another crucial aspect is the timing of benefit claims. Delaying benefits can increase monthly income due to additional work credits and higher benefit rates at older ages. However, various factors like health, life expectancy, and other income sources should guide this decision.

Moreover, Social Security benefits are taxable, but only about one-third of recipients pay taxes on these benefits. The SSA assists with tax-related issues by providing necessary forms and withholding options.

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