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Old 01-28-2014, 09:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,024 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello,
If I retired next year, my estimated monthly benefit would be $550. Back in 08, when I worked more, I remember that my estimated benefit was was around $800. Now it dropped significantly. How much should I make this last year in order to bring it up to the same level?

Here are my earnings:
'08: $32,600
'09: $21,100
'10: $21,700
'11: $21,800
'12: $20,000

Sincerely,
P
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:48 PM
 
Location: In the realm of possiblities
2,713 posts, read 2,489,800 times
Reputation: 3256
This will explain it to you.

The United States Social Security Administration
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:08 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
6,264 posts, read 10,113,849 times
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Hopefully you worked more than the 5 years shown. You need a minimum of 10 years to be eligible for any benefit. Assuming you do have at least 5 more years of past work, then you can use the on-line calculator at
Calculators: Online Calculator to input your past annual income history, and then play with the future years to see what it would take, in both income and years, to achieve a higher benefit.

Have fun....
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:16 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,024 times
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Thanks. So from using the calculator it seems that there is no advantage of working too much anymore as the benefit is not growing or falling regardless how much or how little I make. Unless I will wait 4 more years untill I am 66. It does not even matter at what level my earnings will be after this point as they have marginal effect on the benefit amount. Am I understanding it correctly? Thanks
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:41 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,932,658 times
Reputation: 32439
Quote:
Originally Posted by helloprincess View Post
Thanks. So from using the calculator it seems that there is no advantage of working too much anymore as the benefit is not growing or falling regardless how much or how little I make. Unless I will wait 4 more years untill I am 66. It does not even matter at what level my earnings will be after this point as they have marginal effect on the benefit amount. Am I understanding it correctly? Thanks
Social Security averages the highest 35 years of earnings, adjusted for inflation, to calculate retirement benefits. While it may be true that one single year of higher earnings would have a "marginal" effect on the benefit amount, I wouldn't say "the benefit is not growing or falling regardless how much or how little" you make. How much effect one, two, or three years of higher earnings would have depends on two things:

1. How many other years of earnings one has under Social Security, and
2. how much higher the additional year(s) is (are) than the previous average.

It is simple arithmetic.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Florida
21,126 posts, read 22,107,100 times
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If you work for a few more years and earn significantly more, your benefit would increase.
It's all a matter of math so it would have to be enough to affect the averaged out amounts.
One year isn't going to do it at anywhere near your current level of income.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,504,643 times
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Also remember that for every month before your Full retirement age 66 I think you said in your case you lose a Percentage. it can come to quite a bit and it is permanent.
Also you didn't say but you have worked more than the five years listed? as someone said you must have worked at least 10 years, to collect on your own record.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,982,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
If you work for a few more years and earn significantly more, your benefit would increase.
It's all a matter of math so it would have to be enough to affect the averaged out amounts.
One year isn't going to do it at anywhere near your current level of income.
I decided to continue working until 66 because I am earning significantly more than I earned early in my life, so between NOT losing 25% of my benefits and replacing my 4 lowest years with 4 much, much higher years, my SS will go up almost 50% a month.

OP, that original $800 projection probably assumed that you would continue to earn about $30K annually until you retired and that you retired at FRA. Retiring at 62 will cost you 25% of what you would receive at 66. Continuing to work for 4 more years at about what you're earning now (until you reach FRA) would give you $183 more a month or about $733.
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