Social Security: A Simple Way to Calculate Your Exact Benefits

Wondering how much you'll collect in Social Security benefits? Regardless of how old you are, calculating your expected monthly payout is both easy and important.

Although the process seems shrouded in mystery and accessible only to someone with an advanced mathematics degree, the truth is that the Social Security Administration makes it relatively simple for prospective retirees to learn how much they'll receive each month in benefits.

The most direct way to determine this is to use the SSA's official Retirement Estimator. This references your actual earnings history and spits out three different estimates: one that applies at your full retirement age, a second that factors in your delayed retirement credit, and a third that assumes you apply for benefits at the earliest possible time.

This approach may be challenging if you're still young and expect your income to continue climbing. In this case, it's helpful to know roughly how your benefit is calculated. To discover where these figures come from, check out the video below, in which Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield explains the math behind your Social Security benefits.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it’s not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (24)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2014, at 3:03 PM, MJElsken wrote:

    Actually, the site can give you more than just the three figures mentioned. It can also tell the person how much they would qualify for in monthly disability benefits should they become disabled, and it also provides information on survivor's benefits for spouses and children. Knowing retirement benefits is certainly important, but this additional information could prove crucial for some individuals and their families.

  • Report this Comment On May 13, 2014, at 11:37 AM, greyhound44 wrote:

    Well, I retired 31 Aug 2003 at age 58.75 after having paid 35+ years of SS portion of FICA at the Maximum.

    Collected MAX SS retirement benefits (reduced for age) at 62.

    This IDIOT financial adviser should be so fortunate!!!

    Get rid of this FOOL!!!

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2950208, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 8:24:37 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

John Maxfield

John is The Motley Fool's senior banking specialist. If you're interested in banking and/or finance, you should follow him on Twitter.

Today's Market

updated 11 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
NASD 4,733.50 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes