Try This Life Expectancy Calculator For Social Security
Retirement benefit calculations are based on extensive actuarial studies and data. As a service to the public, the Social Security Administration has developed a simple Life Expectancy Calculator that allows you to plug in your gender and date of birth to get a rough estimate of how long you may live.
Knowing this information may help you in deciding when the right time is to apply for retirement benefits.
To use the Calculator, go to
How To Get A Social Security Card
Average The Highest 35 Years
The Social Security benefits calculation uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your average monthly earnings. If you do not have 35 years of earnings, a zero will be used in the calculation, which will lower the average. In the table below, the highest 35 years are listed in Column G.
Total the highest 35 years of indexed earnings, and divide this total by 420, which is the number of months in a 35-year work history, to find the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings.
For our example worker, who was born in 1953 and turned 60 in 2013, the highest 35 years of wages total $1,919,040. Divide by 420 to get an AIME of $4,569.
|How to Calculate Your AIME for Social Security Benefits|
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Earnings And Their Impact On Your Benefit Amount: How Much Will My Social Security Payment Be
Certain types of earnings may reduce your actual retirement benefit amount, while others will not. Those that may reduce the amount you receive include:
- Wages earned as an employee. These dollars will be calculated for the taxable year that you earn them.
- Self-employment net earnings. These dollars are calculated for the taxable year that they are received.
- Work related income, including commissions and bonuses.
Other types of earnings will not impact the amount of the retirement benefit you receive. Generally, these will include:
- Retirement and pension payments
- Investment income
- Income earned after you reach your full retirement age
In some instances, other types of income may affect the bottom line of your retirement benefit amount. Its best to check with your tax professional or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
The Big Question: When Should I Apply For Retirement Benefits
The single biggest decision youll make when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits is when to apply.
Every persons situation is unique and so theres no single right answer. In general terms and based on life expectancies, Social Security retirement benefits are calculated to give you approximately the same total amount of benefits over your lifetime. If you decide to draw benefits earlier in your life, your average monthly amount will be less than if you delay and draw benefits later in life.
The amount you receive can vary widely. For example, if you were born in 1953 or 1954 and you were entitled to draw a $1,000 benefit at your full retirement age of 66, that amount would be $750 if you decided to draw benefits starting at age 62. But in that same scenario, if you delayed benefits until age 70, the amount would jump to $1,350.
There is no exact science when deciding when to apply, but here are some things to consider as you decide whats best for you.
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Exceptions To Benefit Payment Schedule
As 2022 nears and beneficiaries await their first payment of the new year, the SSA noted there are several exceptions to the new schedule. For example, payments are sent on the third of each month when:
- You first filed for benefits before May 1997
- You are receiving a Supplemental Security Income and Social Security payments
- The state pays for your Medicare premiums
- You live in a foreign country
For those who receive SSI benefits but do not get Social Security payments, their scheduled payment date will be on the first of each month.
If you rely on Social Security benefits and are waiting for the new payment schedule to start in 2022, you can take out a personal loan now to help meet your monthly expenses. Visit Credible to compare multiple lenders at once and choose the lender with the best personal loan rates for you.
What Is The Future Of Social Security
Social Security is expected to run out of cash reserves in 2034, according to the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the retirement benefits account managed by the Social Security Administration.
However, this doesnt mean the program would be bankrupt and unable to pay out benefits. If Congress does nothing to reform the system by 2034, Social Security would still be able to pay 79 percent of promised benefits until 2090.
Social Security has run out of cash reserves before. Congress reformed the program in the 1980s by taxing benefits based on income levels and by gradually increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67.
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Who Is Eligible To Collect Social Security Retirement Benefits
Workers who are at least age 62 and who have worked at least 10 combined years at jobs for which they paid Social Security taxes are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. In many cases, spouses, widows and divorcees are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits based on a spouses or ex-spouses earnings history. Unmarried children 18 and younger can also get survivors benefits. You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful alien to collect benefits.
Social Security Phone Number
You can contact Social Security by phone by calling their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, their TTY phone number is 1-800-325-0778. You can use their automated telephone services to obtain recorded information and to conduct some business 24 hours a day. You can speak with a Social Security representative if you call between 7am and 7pm Monday through Friday. You can also reach their TTY number if you call between 7am and 7pm Monday through Friday. For instructions on their Automated services click here.
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How Social Security Approval Works
When you retire, a lot of questions cross your mind. The one question that almost every retiree asks is: how long does it take to get my first social security check? It would be prudent to start by knowing how long does it take to apply for social security online. To your relief, the process will not take a lot of your time. Now that your application is done and submitted, you will be wondering how long does it take to get social security approval.
Typically, it takes 6 weeks to process your application and for the benefits to start. However, it will take longer if you submit incorrect information. Also, the duration for approval will depend on the number of submissions the Social Security Administration will be processing at the time. Overall, the wait time is at least six weeks or longer depending on a number of factors.
You will require your social security number, birth certificate, and supporting financial documents when you apply. Tax return evidence and W-2 forms are also required for self-employed applicants.
For those born out of the USA, you should provide proof of citizenship. A certificate of citizenship or passport will be adequate. Also, marital information and those of your children will be required.
Luckily, all these documents are not required at once when you apply. The SSA will send you notification when they are required.
Determining Your Best Benefit Options
Exemptions for Documentation
How Does Social Security Affect Medicare And My Retirement Benefits
Although Medicare is a separate benefit offered by the government, it often times goes hand in hand with Social Security retirement benefits as a means of providing a financial safety net for retired workers.
Medicare is the government sponsored health insurance plan for people who are at least 65 years old. The only exceptions to this are the disabled or those who have permanent kidney failure, both of whom can get Medicare at any age.
Medicare is broken into four parts:
Medicare Part A Hospital insurance that helps pay for in-patient hospital care and some follow-up services.
Medicare Part B Medical insurance that helps pay for doctors services, outpatient hospital care and related medical services.
Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage Plans allow people to combine Part A and Part B to get medical services from a single provider organization.
Medicare Part D Prescription drug coverage helps pay for prescribed medications.
Medicare and Social Security benefits are linked in that when you turn 65 years old, your Part A Medicare hospital insurance begins automatically. If you live in the United States or U.S. territories, youll also be enrolled in Part B Medical insurance coverage as well.
Regardless of whether or not youre getting Social Security benefits, you should sign up for Medicare about three months before your 65th birthday.
You Can Work And Still Receive Benefits
If youre younger than FRA, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits, according to Social Security. If youre younger than FRA during all of 2022, Social Security deducts $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earn above $19,560. If you reach FRA during 2022, Social Security deducts $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn above $51,960 until the month you reach FRA.
Beware The Social Security Earnings Test
Bringing in too much money in earned income can cost you if you continue to work after claiming Social Security benefits early. With what is commonly known as the Social Security earnings test, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2021 is $18,960. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test disappears, and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.
Any Social Security benefits forfeited to the earnings test are not lost forever. At your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will recalculate your benefits to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full years worth of benefits to the earnings test, at a full retirement age of 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.
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Social Security Spousal Benefits
You may be able to get spouses retirement benefits even if you have never worked under Social Security. Your spouse must already be receiving retirement or disability benefits and you must be at least 62 years of age, and you can also qualify for Medicare if you are at least 65 years of age. You can receive spousal benefits no matter how old you are if you are caring for your spouses child who is also receiving benefits. To receive benefits, a child must be unmarried and either be under age 18 or be age 18-19 and a full-time student they can also receive benefits if they are 18 or over and disabled with a disability that started before the age of 22.
You can also receive spousal benefits even if you are divorced, if the marriage lasted ten years or longer. You must be unmarried, at least 62, your spouse must be entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, and the amount of the benefit you receive based on your own work must be less than the benefit you would receive from your ex-spouses work. To apply for Social Security spousal benefits, you can use the online application you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or for the deaf and hard of hearing, 1-800-325-0778 or you can make an appointment and visit your local Social Security office. If you do not live in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory, you can contact the nearest Social Security office, U.S. Embassy, or consulate
Direct Deposit: Its The Law
Effective March 2013, a new law went into effect requiring that all Social Security benefits be paid electronically. This means benefits due to you are directly deposited into a bank account of your choosing. The change means a quicker delivery of benefits as well as being safer and more convenient for customers.
The U.S. Treasury administers the Direct Deposit program and can answer questions for customers who call their helpline at 1-800-333-1795. For information and to sign up for the electronic delivery of funds, go to the Go Direct website at
The Treasury will also grant waivers in rare instances. To request a waiver or for more information, call 1-855-290-1545.
How to contact the Social Security Administration
TTY number: 1-800-325-0778
E-mail: Fill out a contact form located at
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Get A Social Security Statement
The Social Security Administration maintains an online service that lets you find out what you have paid into Social Security, how many hours of work your employers have reported each quarter, and what your expected benefits would be if you were to retire or go on disability in the near future.
You may think that would be wonderful since the worker reporting hours to your Social Security account is moving you closer to vesting your Social Security benefit, but in fact, you can have your expected Social Security payments greatly reduced if someone is reporting low-wage labor to your account. So you want to clear up any double-dipping of your Social Security account.
Requesting your statement is straightforward. You will need to create a my Social Security account if you dont already have one. You can access the sign-in/account creation page here. Once logged in, you can request a Social Security statement to print out from your account. If you prefer a low-tech approach, you can fill out a request form and mail it in, and get a statement mailed to you in 4 to 6 weeks.
No : Look Into Survivor And Disability Benefits
You may be able to get more money from Social Security than you thought if you’ve been widowed or are disabled or related closely to someone disabled. That’s because Social Security offers survivor and disability benefits and even retirement benefits for dependents of retirees in some cases. If your spouse passes away, you may be able to claim survivor benefits and your children may receive them, too, through age 17. Social Security offers disability benefits, also, to people of all ages who qualify.
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How To Estimate Your Social Security Income
Two facts are knownSocial Security benefits are not guaranteed, and some changes will be necessary to keep the system solvent in the future as millions of baby boomers retire and begin to receive their Social Security benefits. While these facts add uncertainty, its also true that the quality of your retirement depends on your planningand you must start planning somewhere.
A good starting point is to figure out the amount of retirement benefits to which all of your years of Social Security contributions entitle you under current law. There are four ways to do this:
How Is Your Benefit Calculated
Social Security actually calculates your benefit based on the monthly average of your 35 highest earning years, not your last five years nor your highest three years, said Czarnowski. And if you dont have 35 earning years, zeros get plugged into the calculation, and that lowers your monthly average and, in effect, lowers your benefit.
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No : Delay Starting To Collect Your Benefits
Another way to increase your Social Security benefits is to delay starting to collect them. You can start as early as age 62 and delay up to age 70. Each of us has a “full” retirement age , and for every year beyond that that you delay, your benefits will grow by about 8%. Delay from age 67 to 70 and you’ll get benefits 24% bigger. The table below shows the effect of starting to collect early or late. For example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you start collecting benefits at 64, your checks will be 80% of what they would have been had you started collecting at 67.