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How to Use Social Security Calculators So That You Know When to Claim Your Social Security

Social Security calculators are excellent tools that help you determine what your benefits will be when you are ready for retirement.  Below we will share some basic details about how to use a SSI calculator to determine your benefits.

Knowing how much you have paid into Social Security, will give you a concrete number that will tell you how you will be cared for in the future. Understanding your benefits will go a long way in helping you to plan for your retirement years.

Using The Calculator Online

The online calculator is a helpful resource that you may begin using today. You may enter how much you have paid into the system, and you may enter how much you plan to pay in the future.Using the calculator will help you decide when the best time will be for you to start claiming your benefits.

Understand Your Benefits

You cannot retire properly until you understand your Social Security benefits. The Social Security calculator is meant to help you make an informed decision as to when the best time is to retire.  Choose you retirement age carefully. Your benefits are determined on both your income and age.

Which Calculator Should I Use?

There are a variety of calculators online for you to choose from. You may discover that you will not automatically get the same results from every calculator. Overall, the calculator found on the official social security website may be the best one. The reason being, it will use your actual earnings as opposed to estimates you use on other sites. However, you will have to input your social security number. Additionally, you are not able to take your mates benefits into account on this calculator. Lastly, you can only use the SS calculator, if you have enough work credits to actually apply.

Other Worthwhile Calculators

If you are happy with a general idea of your benefits, then certainly try some of the other calculators online. You will not need to add as much personal information and can play with the numbers more for a variety of scenarios. The following are some to try.

  • AARP Benefits Calculator
  • Bankrate
  • Financial Engines
  • Consumer Financial Protection
  • Center for Retirement Research

These calculators will at least get you started thinking about when the best time may be to start collecting your benefits.

Information You Need

When using the online calculator, make sure you have specific information handy. First you will need the simple basics-your marital status and birth dates for you and your mate. Second, you will be asked if you have worked in a government job for more than ten years. Next, you will need to input your annual income. The next step allows you to see your estimated benefit. Finally, you will see a chart that shows you your benefit at various ages starting at age 62 and ending at age 70.

Play With the Calculator

Don’t be afraid to play with the calculator. you can add or not add your spouse’s information. You can change amounts you input to get various results. Nothing is written in stone at this point. However, the calculator is a great tool to get you thinking about the best time to start collecting benefits.

Should You Include Your Spouse?

It is generally better to not include your mates income. If you check the box stating you are married, Social Security will automatically increase your benefit by 50 percent. If your mate works and wishes to apply for Social Security on their own, he or she will have to apply individually and separately. A married couple with only one wage earner will receive the maximum benefit. Your local social security office will assist you if you have any questions.

The above chart will to clarify and aid you in determining the best time for you to apply for your Social Security benefits.

Social Security Increases

You will receive an automatic increase of your social security benefits every year. This increase is based on the Consumer Price Index. When your mate is included in your benefits, your increase will be 1.5 times greater than an individual benefit.

Calculate Your Retirement

Social Security benefits need not be confusing, and you will find the calculator does quite a lot for you as you plan to retire. You may be retiring now or in the future, and you must know how much you will receive. Use the calculator to determine what age will be the most advantageous for you.  There are quite a few ways to earn the benefits that are coming to you, and you will plan them out using the calculator.