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I may retire early, in my mid 50s. How can I tell what my Social Security benefits will be?

The SSA website says:

At early retirement age (62):

$XXXX a month

Your estimates are based on the assumption that you will earn 
$YYYYY a year from now until retirement.

But that last sentence won't be true if I retire early. Right now I'm making that salary but if I retire now it goes away. (I might not actually retire but take a much lowering paying job that gives more personal satisfaction, so it's essentially true.)

Answer below. I was just about to post and I did some searching on the SSA website.

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It turns out that the SSA has several benefit calculators, they're just slightly hidden. I'll post the URLs here but if SSA.gov changes things, just google for it.

You can find a small collection of calculators at https://www.ssa.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.html.

To answer this question you want the pretty awful web calculator at https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html. I say it is awful because you need to manually enter your data and there's no way to click back to explore some what-if scenarios.

There is a desktop calculator available at https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/anypia/anypia.html which includes the C++ source code!

Right now the OSX version is not unpacking so I'll probably just wait for the next version, or grab the C++ code and go for it.

  • Note that this Mac version will not work on a Mac running Lion or newer versions of the OS X operating system. We are currently working on producing a new Mac version which will work on newer versions of OS X, but this may take some time. -- Sigh... guess I'll grab the source code. – Paul Cezanne Jan 13 '17 at 11:47
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    AnyPIA is always the best answer, since it's from SSA, but the software is pretty painful to use. I suggest checking out socialsecurity.tools as an alternative. – Gregable May 24 '17 at 3:55

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