4th Quarter 2018

Retiree Corner: How to Estimate Your Social Security Benefits

Retiree Corner: How to Estimate Your Social Security BenefitsWhen planning for retirement, it's important to have an idea how much income you’re likely to receive from Social Security. The following resources can help.

Your Social Security benefit statement shows you how much you're on track to receive. These statements are only mailed once every five years until age 60 (then annually until you receive benefits), but you can get a benefit estimate anytime if you sign up for a My Social Security account (www.ssa.gov/myaccount).

The benefit estimate is based on your past earnings and a projection of your future income, assuming your income will remain at the same level. Your actual benefits could be different if you end up earning more or less in the future.

You can also use the calculators at www.socialsecurity.gov to input expected changes in income (www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators), so you can get a better estimate of your benefits. The calculators also show you the difference in payouts if you take benefits as early as age 62 or how much extra you can receive each year if you wait until age 70.

The calculation can be complicated if you’re subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, which affects some public sector employees who have worked in jobs that don’t have Social Security taxes withheld from their salaries. See www.socialsecurity. gov/wep for more information.

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