Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Social Security launched Retirement Estimator, of future benefits, on its website

The Social Security Administration this morning released a new “Retirements Estimator” calculator of future benefits at its website, link here. The calculator will provide an estimate of social security benefits to begin at a particular age in most cases.

To use the calculator, the visitor should (1) not yet be receiving social security benefits (2) have enough credited work (usually forty quarters of qualified employments) to qualify (3) not qualify for a pension based on non SSA-covered work (now unusual). The application would appear to allow the visitor to experiment with calculations based on early retirement as early as 62, as well as waiting until full retirement age or working to maximum SSA retirement age.

The site allows the user 25 minutes of inactivity and requires that JavaScript be enabled. It should work in most well known browsers. The calculator requires that you allow access to your personal information from your computer, so it should be done from a home computer that you know is secure. It probably should not be done at work or in a public library or Kinkos.

The launching of the application was mentioned this morning (July 22) on the NBC Today show.

It also requires that a visitor click and “accept” agreement for use of online services.

The Social Security Administration also provides an actuarial Life Expectancy Table, here.

Some features should be noted. At any particular age, women have longer expectancies than men. At any particular age, women have a lower probability of death during that year. The expected remaining years slowly goes down, but not as quickly as age rises. A 90 year old man has a remaining life expectancy of 3.80 years. But at 94 the expectancy is still 2.86. Medical advances tend to increase life expectancy more rapidly than they can extend vitality, the ability to live with no assistance, and raise the risk of savings running out if one spends more than one makes on a fixed income.

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