Social Security

Retirement Estimator The Social Security Administration’s Retirement Estimator will project your Social Security benefits using your actual earnings record (plus a projection of future earnings if necessary). If you just want a quick estimate of your benefit, try Social Security’s Quick Calculator.

Social Security Full Retirement Age This section of the Social Security website shows your “full retirement age” (aka “normal retirement age”)—the age at which you are eligible for full Social Security benefits—and explains how much your benefit is reduced if you claim early. The Delayed Retirement Credits page shows how much you can increase your benefit by claiming after you’ve reached full retirement age.

Financial Engines Social Security Calculator Plug in your name, age, current income and the age at which you expect to begin collecting Social Security. The tool will estimate the amount you’ll collect in today’s dollars over your lifetime, tell the age at which you should claim benefits to increase your lifetime payments and estimate how much more you’ll collect. If you’re married, the tool will recommend a claiming strategy to maximize lifetime benefits for you and your spouse.

Boston College Center For Retirement Research Social Security Claiming Guide  This free 28-page guide can help you sort through and evaluate your options for claiming Social Security benefits and answers common questions people have about how Social Security works.

2017 Social Security Trustees Report This report details the financial status of the Social Security trust funds and projects the funds’ balances for the next 75 years. The 2017 report estimates that Social Security’s main trust fund for retirement benefits will run out of money in 2035, at which point payroll taxes will be able to fund 75% of projected benefits.

Social Security Fix-It Book This easy-to-read guide from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research explains how the Social Security system works, offers an assessment of its financial health and outlines a number of fixes that have been proposed to deal with the system’s looming funding shortfall.

Social Security Full Retirement Age You can consult this section of the Social Security website to determine your “full retirement age” (aka “normal retirement age”)—that is, the age at which you are eligible to collect full Social Security benefits. This page also explains how much of your full benefit you’ll lose if you claim benefits early. The Delayed Retirement Credits page shows how much you can increase your benefit by postponing benefits until after you’ve reached full retirement age.

How Work Affects Your Benefit This guide from Social Security explains how your benefit is calculated from your lifetime earnings, outlines the “earnings test” that determines whether your benefit may be reduced if work and collect benefits while under full retirement age and illustrates how benefits reduced due to work earnings are restored when you reach full retirement age.

Income Taxes And Your Social Security Benefit Up to 85% of your Social Security benefit could be taxable depending on how much (and what kind of income) you have in addition to your Social Security benefit. This section of the Social Security site explains the formula that’s used to determine if your benefits are subject to income taxes and, if so, what portion.