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Old 03-09-2018, 10:59 AM
708 posts, read 501,365 times
Reputation: 1165


Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
The process is not complicated.

You can request your work history using this form:


Or you can get your work history from your Social Security account.

All you have to do is index your wages to account for Inflation and other factors, add your adjusted wages for the 35 highest years, divide by 420 to get your average monthly earnings, then apply the bend-point formula to determine your benefit.

The principles involved only require 6th Grade math skills.

Since you're applying for benefits in 2018, your wages will be indexed to year 2016.

The Social Security Administration will not make any future adjustments to your benefits. Even if you waited until December, your wages would still be indexed to 2016, because that's how they apply the formula to everyone.

If you waited until January 2019, your wages would then be indexed to 2017.

Note that those who applied for benefits in 2011 got screwed, because the wage index for 2009 actually declined from $41,334 in 2008 to $40,711 in 2009.

Will the wage index for 2017 decline? I seriously doubt it. I see absolutely no evidence to indicate that it would. According to BLS, real average hourly earnings increased 0.8% from January 2017 to January 2018.

The wage index for 2016 is $48,612.15 so good possibility it will be $49,031.14 for 2017.

35 years ago in 1981 the index was $13,773.10.

That makes your multiplication factor 3.53 using 2016 and 3.56 for 2017.

Let's say you earned $10,000 in 1981, then:

$10,000 * 3.53 = $35,300

$10,000 * 3.56 = $35,600

That's a difference of $300.

25 years ago in 1991 the index was $21,811.60.

That makes the multiplication factor 2.23 and 2.25 respectively.

Let's say you earned $30,000 in 1991, then:

$30,000 * 2.23 = $66,900

$30,000 * 2.25 = $67,500

That's a difference of $600.

Anyway, the point is your average monthly earnings would increase somewhat, and that would result in a slight increase in your monthly benefit, so if you can afford it, you might want to delay applying for benefits two months until January 2019.
Thanks - Exactly what I was looking for. Yes I can afford it, I was just wondering if it was worth it.
Looks like i would be better off waiting a couple months. also I think I would have to pay more taxes
on the last 2 months of 2018 SS if took it as I am working 10 months of 2018 and not at all in 2019.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:53 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,431 posts, read 3,659,178 times
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I self-calculated my SA Benefits this weekend using the form found on the SS web site. I retired from my first job in 2012, went 6 weeks without any employment income, then had 3-1/2 months of employment at 70% of my pre-retirement income before another job change to an income level comparable to my pre-retirement level.

The impact on 2012 earnings was significant enough that 2012 fell out of my 35 highest adjusted income years and was replaced by 1982! I never expected that!

I did note that 2016 and 2017 both had the same wage index multiplier. This is probably due to the time lag in computing the multiplier for 2017 as Mircea mentioned, and adjusting all other years accordingly.
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