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I was thinking that, from my ssa.gov webpage, it says if I retire at 62, my benefits will be about US$1800 each month, but if I retire at age 70, the benefits will be US$4000. (and will be adjusted to future inflated values).

However, does that mean it assumes that I keep on working from age 62 to age 70 and have a similar wage as before? Because I don't know how much energy I will have after age 62.

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  • In addition to the possibility of getting a higher benefit because of a higher average of the highest 35 years of income, there is another important factor. You get delayed retirement credits for waiting past your full retirement age and similar reductions if you start taking social security before your full retirement age. May 15 at 16:03
  • You can enter $0 into the calculator for your expected future earnings to see how retiring now but delaying social security would affect your benefit. May 15 at 16:05
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    There are multiple calculators available on their website which work in different ways. They spell out what their assumptions are. As I recall, it is hard to tell them you will stop working at one age (several years in the future) but then not start taking benefits until a later-yet age. To do that you had to use the calculator where you fill in your entire work history but are free to change it to hypothetical values. If that is not the one you used, then yes they assumed to worked up until you started benefits.
    – jjanes
    May 15 at 23:49

1 Answer 1

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The benefits estimate on ssa.gov is based on your earning history up to this point and an estimate of how much you will earn until retirement.

Your estimate for age 62 assumes that you will work up until age 62. The age 70 estimate assumes you will work until age 70.

From the disclaimer on the estimate:

We estimated your benefit amounts using your average earnings over your working lifetime.

If you worked last year, we will also assume that you will continue to work and make about the same amount as you entered for last year's earnings (or the estimated annual future earnings you entered for your custom scenarios).

Generally, the older you are and the closer you are to retirement, the more accurate your retirement estimates will be. The estimates are more accurate when they are based on a longer work history with fewer uncertainties such as earnings fluctuations and future law changes.

It assumes that you will keep working after this year and that you will earn the same as you do now, up until you “retire” and start collecting benefits. However, you can customize the estimate by entering a future annual earnings amount. So if you just got a new job with a raise, you can enter that new number and see the benefits estimate rise. Conversely, you can enter a $0 amount there and find out what your benefits would be at retirement age if you stopped earning now.

“Retirement,” as far as Social Security is concerned, doesn’t necessarily mean that you have stopped working; it simply means that you have chosen to start collecting your Social Security benefits. There are limits to how much you can earn without reducing your benefits if you “retire” early, but if you start collecting benefits at “full retirement age” or later (age 67 if you were born after 1960), you can continue to earn as much or as little as you want while collecting Social Security benefits.

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  • Better answer than mine was.
    – keshlam
    May 16 at 23:09
  • it seems I can enter $0 for the year 2024 and forward, but not enter $0 for when I am 62 to 70 May 17 at 20:59
  • but there is a way to hack a $0 for age 62 to 70... let's say if I will be 62 about 20 years later, then I can move all the wage numbers 20 years earlier and set 2024 to be $0... and set my Data of Birth to also 20 years earlier. But this is hack and I may hit a problem if there is something like "for wages before 1970 there is some special rules" or "the rules changed in the year 1975" May 17 at 21:04

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