Useful Tools to Help You Calculate Your Social Security Benefits

3rd in a series

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

My last post argued that you may be better off to delay the receipt of your Social Security benefits to age 70. Taking benefits earlier results in a lower monthly payment, and likely a lower total amount of benefits paid out over your lifetime.

Of course, that is not always the case. To determine your optimal beginning date, you will need to do some research. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration makes this easy to do on their website.

You will find their retirement benefits calculators here

How To Know When To Start Collecting Social Security Benefits

2nd in a series

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

“When Is the best time to start taking Social Security benefits?” Retiring clients ask me this question more than just about any other. I often answer them with two questions of my own, “How long do you think you will live”? And, “Can you afford to delay receiving benefits?”

How Social Security benefits work

Most people receive their full social security benefit somewhere between age 66 and 67, also known as Full Retirement Age (FRA). Generally, benefits may be taken as early as age 62, but it comes with a price.

How Your Social Security Benefits Are Calculated

1st in a series

August 14th marks the 83rd Anniversary of Social Security. To mark the milestone I will be posting additional content throughout the month of August regarding social security benefits and how it effects your retirement plan.

To kick things off, check out this short video describing how your social security retirement benefits are calculated and why it may pay to wait.




2018 Social Security Raise – Better Than a Stick in the Eye

photo credit: Vitaly.

The Social Security Administration projects a 2.2% increase for those receiving retirement benefits in 2018. While this is actually the biggest increase in years – 2017 saw an increase of only 0.3% and 2016 social security recipients saw no increase at all – it’s not likely to bump you into a new tax bracket.

In dollars, the projected increase adds up to about $28 per month for the average social security recipient.

As my grandfather, himself a longtime social security beneficiary, is fond of saying, “it’s better than a stick in the eye”.

The Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

As expected the Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates unchanged at its most recent Open Market Committee meeting last week. This comes after four rate increases in the Federal Funds Rate since they began raising interest rates in December of 2015.

The Federal Funds Rate remains at 1.25%.  The next FOMC meeting is scheduled for September 19-20 when many Fed watchers predict another increase or possibly a change in tactics.