There have been several updates to social security calculators in 2021. In this article, you will learn the best calculator to use for your personal situation.
Did you know that 24% of Americans aged 65 and over live in families that depend on Social Security benefits for 90% or more of their income? There are hundreds of rules and clauses in the social security handbook – and it’s up to you to figure things out so you can maximize your income.
The goal of this post is to show you the best social security calculators available, so you can work through different scenarios easily. Each calculator is better for certain scenarios than others.
Before we start, these are key tips to keep in mind when it comes to social security.
Key takeaways to maximize social security income:
- Work 35 or more years – as social security is the average of all 35.
- Earn a higher salary.
- Don’t claim before your Social Security full retirement age, especially if you’re in good health.
- Consider delaying Social Security until age 70.
- Use a Social Security spousal benefits strategy.
- Maximize Social Security survivor benefits (if the higher earner passes, the survivor can get an increased benefit).
- Claim Social Security survivor benefits for children (children of a deceased worker can qualify for payments until 18 )
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at the best social security calculators for 2021.
Best Social Security Calculators for Every Scenario
- Best overall social security income calculator.
- Best widow benefit calculator.
- Best “break-even” calculator.
- Best “survivor benefit” calculator.
- Best “disability” calculator.
Best overall social security income calculator – RetirementEstimator
Pros: Real numbers with actual earnings, ability to select ages to stop working, and examine changes to income.
Cons: must enter personal information and have enough social security credits to set up an account.
Best widow benefit calculator – Retirement Calculator
There are about four million widows and widowers receiving monthly Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouse’s earnings record. For many of those survivors, particularly aged women, those benefits help to provide the necessities of life.
Widows and widowers can receive:
- Reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older.
- If widows or widowers qualify for retirement benefits on their own record, they can switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62.
- Benefits as early as age 50 if they’re disabled AND their disability started before or within seven years of your death.
Best “break-even” calculator – Broadridgeadvisor.com
Full link: https://www.broadridgeadvisor.com/
To help make the decision, this calculator compares the cumulative Social Security retirement benefits paid beginning at three different starting ages and estimates how long it takes for the cumulative benefits begun at a later age to equal or “break-even” with the cumulative benefits begun at an earlier age.
The total cumulative benefits you receive can be affected by a number of factors, including the age at which you begin receiving benefits and how long you live.
Best “survivor benefit” and “disability” calculator.
Full link: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/anypia/anypia.html
Pros: Get the most precise estimate of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. The estimate includes WEP reduction.
Cons: Must be downloaded and installed on your computer.
- Different social security calculators are different for different scenarios. We show you the best one’s above
- Don’t just rely on social security for monthly income. See strategies to generate high monthly income with low savings here.