Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Social Security Estimator

The Social Security Administration released a new easier online calculator on July 21, 2008. According to the news release, the Retirement Estimator is tied to a person's Social Security record, thus eliminating the need to type earnings information from past years. A person can print up to three different scenarios at a time to see what payments would be for retiring, for example, at age 62, full retirement age, or age 70. The system is secure since it only provides retirement benefit estimates while not revealing earnings records or personal information.

The calculator works best for those approaching retirement since it requires predicting future earnings which is harder to do for younger workers who are a long way from retirement. However, it does give younger workers valuable information to help in planning and saving for eventual retirement.

The Social Security Administration is also planning to introduce another time-saving feature in the fall, a new online application form that will reduce filing time from 45 minutes to about 15 minutes.