Timing is everything. Good things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. Why is a cliché-fest so appropriate when it comes to deciding when to claim your Social Security benefit? The numbers tell the story, and now there’s a fast and easy way to estimate the impact on your own bottom line: AARP’s new interactive online Social Security Benefits Calculator. It’s free and available to anyone (regardless of age).
Why does it matter? Social Security is the only guaranteed, lifelong source of retirement income for most Americans. And for nearly half of older Americans, it’s their mains source of income. After you decide to claim Social Security you’ll get a monthly payment for the rest of your life. The amount you can expect depends on what you’ve paid into the system and when you start taking it. As you’ll likely see when you use the tool, most people will notice a big difference between claiming at 62 vs. waiting until 65 and later. Using the calculator is easy. You respond to a few questions (such as marital status, date of birth, gender and annual earnings). If needed, you can click to get more information about how to answer the question…gross earnings vs. net, for example, or how to respond if you’re currently unemployed.
The calculator is part of AARP’s new “Ready for Retirement?” effort, a ten-step approach to envisioning and planning for a secure retirement. It includes everything from thinking about what retirement means to you to creating a budget to preparing for the unexpected.
We’ll cover different elements of Ready for Retirement on our blog in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, whet your appetite with the Social Security Benefits Calculator, and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.
AARP wants to ensure that Social Security beneficiaries get the benefits they’ve earned, and believes it is important to make the program stronger for future generations. Learn more about Social Security in terms of where we stand, myths and facts, and how the program makes a difference for Americans.