Social Security Benefits

Do you wonder how much you might receive in Social Security? Use this calculator to help you estimate your Social Security benefits. Remember, this is only an estimate. Your actual benefits may vary depending on your actual work history and income.

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Definitions

Social Security income
Social Security is based on a sliding scale depending on your income, how long you work and at what age you retire. Social Security benefits automatically increases each year based on increases in the Consumer Price Index. Including a spouse increases your Social Security benefits by 1.5 times your individual estimated benefit. Please note that this calculator assumes that only one of the spouses work. Benefits could be different if your spouse worked and earned a benefit higher than one half of your benefit. If you are a married couple, and both spouses work, you may need to run the calculation twice - once for each spouse and their respective income. This calculator provides only an estimate of your benefits.

The calculations use the 2010 FICA income limit of $106,800 with an annual maximum Social Security benefit of $27,876 per year for a single person and 1.5 times this amount for a married couple. To receive the maximum benefit would require earning the maximum FICA salary for nearly your entire career. You would also need to begin receiving benefits at your full retirement age of 66 or 67 (depending on your birthdate). Your actual benefit may be lower or higher depending on your work history and the complete compensation rules used by Social Security.

Current age
Your current age.

Age of retirement
Age you desire to retire.

Household income
Your total household income. If you are married, this should include your spouse's income.

Expected salary increase
Annual percent increase you expect in your household income.

Expected rate of inflation
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2009. The CPI for 2009 was -1.0%, as reported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.

Are you married?
Check this box if you are married. Married couples have a higher maximum Social Security benefit than single wage earners.