These calculators can help you begin thinking about what you can do to maximize the amount you will receive from Social Security in retirement. Here's how to decide which calculator will best help you make your Social Security claiming decision.
The Social Security Administration's Retirement Estimator uses your actual Social Security earnings record to provide a benefit estimate for three claiming ages: age 62, your full retirement age and 70. The estimate is likely to be the most accurate for people close to retirement who have a long earnings history.
The tool allows you to adjust your future income and select alternative ages to stop working and examine how that changes the amount you will receive from Social Security. However, the calculator does not make recommendations about the best age to claim. You also have to enter some personal information, including your Social Security number, to use the tool. You can only use the Retirement Estimator if you have enough credits to qualify for benefits but have not yet begun your Social Security payments.
My Social Security Retirement Calculator
The My Social Security Retirement Calculator automatically gives you an estimate of your Social Security benefit if you start payments at age 62, full retirement age and age 70, based on your actual earnings history. You can also enter alternate retirement ages and the average amount you expect to earn in the future to get a more accurate estimate of your future Social Security benefit. You need to create a my Social Security account in order to use this tool.