We all receive a periodic statement from the Social Security Administration, providing us our estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and survivors. While this should be filed or scanned away in a safe place, we all know that this paperwork can get lost in the shuffle.
The Social Security Administration recently added a new feature allowing access to Social Security Statements online. If you clients do not have a copy of their statement, they can sign up for an account and view their statement at any time (http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement/).
While it’s best to use the statement benefits, other options are available to estimate Social Security benefits for your client’s planning projections.
Money Tree’s financial planning software will estimate a client’s Social Security benefit based on the client’s current age, earned income and Social Security start age. The calculation built into the software to estimate the benefit works like the Social Security Quick Calculator available on the U.S. Social Security Administration website, by making assumptions about past earnings. This allows the program to include a rough estimate of the Social Security benefit for the client’s financial plan.
The Social Security department’s website includes three different calculators to help estimate Social Security benefits.
- Social Security Quick Calculator:
The Social Security Quick Calculator uses the client’s date of birth, current earnings, and an assumed retirement age. Using this information, a rough estimate of Social Security benefits are provided for the client for three ages: 62, full retirement age, and 70.
- Social Security Online Calculator:
The Social Secuirty Online Calculator estimates benefits more accurately by using the clients actual past earning information. The estimated retirement benefit is caclulated for the clients assumed retirement age, as well as current benefits for disability or survivor situations.
- Social Security Detailed Calculator:
The Social Security Detailed Calculator is available to be downloaded to your computer. This provides the most precise and comprehensive benefit calculations.