"Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:23 pm

MrTimewise wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:02 pm
Mike,

Just out of curiosity, did you factor into the total benefit computations the initial benefit year's lower monthly payments that can result when claiming between FRA and 70 years. That is, when claiming after FRA but before 70 years, the SSA's uses only the accumulated DRCs as of January of the year of filing. Then, the following January, any DRCs that had accumulated within the year of filing are additionally used to determine total benefits.
No, that's not included in the calculation.

The biggest impact it can have is one year's benefit being underweighted by 6 months x 6 DRCs = 24% of the person's PIA (e.g., a one-time $240 cost for a person with a $1,000 PIA). That's generally going to have an impact less than 0.2% of the overall NPV -- often less than 0.1% if they file in a month other than July.

If this were enough to sway the calculator from suggesting one claiming month to a different claiming month, it would essentially mean nothing other than "these two claiming months are basically as good as each other" -- which you can already see if the NPVs are that close together.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

MrTimewise
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:35 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by MrTimewise » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:28 pm

I was just curious.

:happy

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:30 pm

There are a handful of other simplifications as well.

For example, for purpose of discounting, all benefits are assumed to be received in the middle of the year rather than discounting each individual month by the appropriate number of months using a monthly discount rate.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:40 pm

Update:

The calculator now reflects withholding (and eventual benefit adjustment) for the earnings test (i.e., for people receiving benefits and working while under full retirement age).

It also now allows for the selection of a specific "I will die at" age.

The default mortality table has been updated for the newly-released 2015 SSA period table. (Previously used the 2014 table, as that was the newest available until this month.)

It also now automatically pulls the yield on 20-year TIPS as the default discount rate.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

dconrath
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by dconrath » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:45 pm

I don't see the "It also now allows for the selection of a specific "I will die at" age." option in the standard or advanced input form yet?

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:46 pm

dconrath wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:45 pm
I don't see the "It also now allows for the selection of a specific "I will die at" age." option in the standard or advanced input form yet?
It should be the final mortality option if the "advanced" box is checked.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

dconrath
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:24 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by dconrath » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:53 pm

Yes, I see I missed that. Thanks very much for the updates :-)

bayview
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by bayview » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:52 pm

< insert popcorn-eating emoji here >

sorry, jk truly!

Appreciate all the work you are doing on this.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

JoeRetire
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:40 pm
It also now allows for the selection of a specific "I will die at" age.
Nice work!

The results when using a specific age now agree with other tools using a similar method.

Thanks!

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:50 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm
ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:40 pm
It also now allows for the selection of a specific "I will die at" age.
Nice work!

The results when using a specific age now agree with other tools using a similar method.
That's good to hear. Thank you for reporting back.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:27 pm

Update: The calculator now allows for situations in which one of two spouses has already filed, in order to get a suggestion for the other spouse.

Important caveat: the concept of voluntary suspension is not yet built into the calculator. So in cases in which suspending benefits (for the person who already filed) would be wise, the calculator won't know to suggest that. Such functionality is on my list, but I think that's going to be another major project (i.e., many days of full time work).
Mike Piper, author/blogger

bayview
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by bayview » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:58 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:27 pm
Update: The calculator now allows for situations in which one of two spouses has already filed, in order to get a suggestion for the other spouse...
Thanks, this is great! And the result was instant (Safari.) I think your coding skills are doing just fine.

Question: so you’re still working on the option to choose a different start date without having to enter spousal claiming? Because there’s no way DH would ever file for spousal, having already drawn SS for 4 1/2 years. I kept throwing different dates in there for spousal, and the results got stranger and stranger. All I want to play with is my own claiming date.

Also, when entering PIA for a spouse already filed early, what do we enter for PIA? I entered his current amount, but he filed 24 months early. Do I have to figure out some way of determining what it would have been?
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:10 pm

bayview wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:58 pm
Question: so you’re still working on the option to choose a different start date without having to enter spousal claiming? Because there’s no way DH would ever file for spousal, having already drawn SS for 4 1/2 years. I kept throwing different dates in there for spousal, and the results got stranger and stranger. All I want to play with is my own claiming date.
Yes, I'm working on input options to make this more clear.

In the meantime, to calculate a "no spousal benefit" scenario for a person with a PIA that is at least 50% of their spouse's PIA, enter the later of the two retirement benefit dates as the spousal date. (So in this case, you'd enter your retirement claiming date as the date on which your husband files for spousal benefits.)
bayview wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:58 pm
Also, when entering PIA for a spouse already filed early, what do we enter for PIA? I entered his current amount, but he filed 24 months early. Do I have to figure out some way of determining what it would have been?
In every case, the input for PIA is their PIA. If he filed 24 months early, his current retirement benefit is 86.67% of his PIA.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

bayview
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm
Location: WNC

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by bayview » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:16 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:10 pm
bayview wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:58 pm
Question: so you’re still working on the option to choose a different start date without having to enter spousal claiming? Because there’s no way DH would ever file for spousal, having already drawn SS for 4 1/2 years. I kept throwing different dates in there for spousal, and the results got stranger and stranger. All I want to play with is my own claiming date.
Yes, I'm working on input options to make this more clear.

In the meantime, to calculate a "no spousal benefit" scenario for a person with a PIA that is at least 50% of their spouse's PIA, enter the later of the two retirement benefit dates as the spousal date. (So in this case, you'd enter your retirement claiming date as the date on which your husband files for spousal benefits.)
bayview wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:58 pm
Also, when entering PIA for a spouse already filed early, what do we enter for PIA? I entered his current amount, but he filed 24 months early. Do I have to figure out some way of determining what it would have been?
In every case, the input for PIA is their PIA. If he filed 24 months early, his current retirement benefit is 86.67% of his PIA.
Thanks! Both answers were exactly what I needed.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

Emilyjane
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Emilyjane » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:26 am

Mike,

Thanks for the new version of your Social Security calculator. I really appreciate the ability to enter different “I will die at” dates. Turns out I have to live to 87 yo to make waiting to file at 70 yo end up with more SS $ (since we are in that small cohort where my husband would be able to get a spousal benefit for a few years if I filed early). I’m still inclined to wait, as I value the longevity insurance, but I value the info.

https://obliviousinvestor.com/long-will ... -benefits/
"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance", Confucius

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:48 am

Updated as of 6/20/18 to include a few new things:

1) The calculator's "recommended strategy" output now sorts the recommendations in date order and provides monthly benefit amounts in addition to the NPV.

2) In the form to test an alternative strategy, there's now a box to check for "I won't be filing for spousal benefits."

3) In that same form, retirement date inputs no longer show up for a person who has already filed (i.e., the calculator simply uses the filing date that was provided in the form above).

4) DoB and "already filed" input month options have been expanded to go back further, per a request.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

SGM
Posts: 2680
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by SGM » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:48 am

I no longer have a need for a SS calculator because I have recently applied for my delayed to age 70 payments. Since I am interested in the monthly and yearly income SS throws off along with my other income streams those numbers were most valuable to me in planning when I retired 4 years ago. I have an approximate idea what my spouse will get at age 70 when she switches over from her spousal benefit to her age 70 benefit later on. I will run your calculator again see if it gives me numbers close to what I expect.

Thanks for your good work Mike.

User avatar
Leif
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Leif » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:34 am

Still not working for Safari (perhaps due to the lack of Java support in Safari?). But not a problem for me. I use Chrome.

For WEP calculations don't you need to know the number of years of Substantial Earnings? It appears you are assuming 30+ years of substantial earnings (no WEP effects). But that may not be the case. For us it is not the case.

It would be nice to know the monthly benefits, as listed for the recommended strategy, for the alternate strategy as well, instead of just the overall difference from the recommended strategy.
Last edited by Leif on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:20 am, edited 4 times in total.
Investors should diversify across many asset-classes so that whatever happens, we will not have all our investments in underperforming asset classes and thereby fail to meet our goals-Taylor Larimore

GeraniumLover
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by GeraniumLover » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:38 am

I ran it on Chrome. My wife and I are both in our 50s and still working. For some reason, the monthly and NPV amounts do no change to reflect changes in our stop work dates. Also gives the same numbers if we indicate we are no longer working...

User avatar
TimeRunner
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by TimeRunner » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:01 am

MaxiFi planner advises wife and I to both wait until age 70 to claim SS. Open SS calculator advises me to wait until 70 and wife to claim at 62. I think MaxiFi planner is looking at overall assets and deciding that we have enough to cover the gap between retirement and SS, therefore waiting until 70 optimizes longevity benefits, whereas OSS optimizes overall lifetime "payback" based on mortality tables without looking at other assets. Do I have that correct?
“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” - George Orwell, 1984

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am

Regarding bug reports, I need all the inputs provided please (month/year of birth, PIAs, etc.).
Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:34 am
For WEP calculations don't you need to know the number of years of Substantial Earnings?
If the input PIA is the user's true PIA (i.e., already accounting for WEP), there's no need for further WEP-related adjustments.
Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:34 am
It would be nice to know the month benefits, as listed for the recommended strategy, for the alternate strategy as well, instead of just the overall difference from the recommended strategy.
Yes, I agree this would be useful. It's on the "to do" list above. It's going to be a fair bit more challenging though, given how the calculator is currently coded.
GeraniumLover wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:38 am
I ran it on Chrome. My wife and I are both in our 50s and still working. For some reason, the monthly and NPV amounts do no change to reflect changes in our stop work dates. Also gives the same numbers if we indicate we are no longer working...
This likely makes sense. Again, would need relevant inputs to say either way.
Last edited by ObliviousInvestor on Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:11 am

TimeRunner wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:01 am
MaxiFi planner advises wife and I to both wait until age 70 to claim SS. Open SS calculator advises me to wait until 70 and wife to claim at 62. I think MaxiFi planner is looking at overall assets and deciding that we have enough to cover the gap between retirement and SS, therefore waiting until 70 optimizes longevity benefits, whereas OSS optimizes overall lifetime "payback" based on mortality tables without looking at other assets. Do I have that correct?
I don't know what MaxiFi is doing, as I'm not familiar with it.

Open SS maximizes expected present value. That is, it maximizes expected benefits received, after accounting for the fact that benefits received later are worth less than benefits received earlier.

Or, a different way to explain what it's doing is, it maximizes expected benefits received, after accounting for the fact that benefits received early can be invested.

Or, yet another way to explain what it's doing (these are all just rephrasings of the same concept) is that it maximizes expected benefits received, after accounting for the fact that when you spend down assets to delay Social Security, you also give up the return on assets that you're spending down.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:16 am

Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:34 am
Still not working for Safari (perhaps due to the lack of Java support in Safari?). But not a problem for me. I use Chrome.
Hmm. I have your DoB inputs via PM. Did you change anything else other than those and the PIA inputs? Also, when you say it's not working, what exactly is happening? Do you get the "calculating..." message?

If I use default $1,000 PIA inputs and the DoBs you provided a while back, it runs for me in Safari in about 6.5 seconds.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
Leif
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Leif » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:26 am

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:16 am
Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:34 am
Still not working for Safari (perhaps due to the lack of Java support in Safari?). But not a problem for me. I use Chrome.
Hmm. I have your DoB inputs via PM. Did you change anything else other than those and the PIA inputs? Also, when you say it's not working, what exactly is happening? Do you get the "calculating..." message?

If I use default $1,000 PIA inputs and the DoBs you provided a while back, it runs for me in Safari in about 6.5 seconds.
Not working for me means spinning wheel forever.

Maybe my old Safari version (9.1.3).
Investors should diversify across many asset-classes so that whatever happens, we will not have all our investments in underperforming asset classes and thereby fail to meet our goals-Taylor Larimore

User avatar
Leif
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Leif » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:40 am

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am
If the input PIA is the user's true PIA (i.e., already accounting for WEP), there's no need for further WEP-related adjustments.
I don't recall a "true PIA" on the SS statement.
Investors should diversify across many asset-classes so that whatever happens, we will not have all our investments in underperforming asset classes and thereby fail to meet our goals-Taylor Larimore

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:45 am

Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:40 am
ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am
If the input PIA is the user's true PIA (i.e., already accounting for WEP), there's no need for further WEP-related adjustments.
I don't recall a "true PIA" on the SS statement.
Indeed. The benefit estimate on statements is often not a person's real PIA. In addition to making specific assumptions about future earnings, it also generally does not reflect WEP, because the SSA often does not know about a person's non-covered pension. In such cases you can contact the SSA, informing them of information they might not yet have, to have them calculate your PIA. (Or use one of their calculators, such as AnyPIA.)
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/anypia.html
Mike Piper, author/blogger

GeraniumLover
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by GeraniumLover » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:59 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:45 am
Leif wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:40 am
ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am
If the input PIA is the user's true PIA (i.e., already accounting for WEP), there's no need for further WEP-related adjustments.
I don't recall a "true PIA" on the SS statement.
Indeed. The benefit estimate on statements is often not a person's real PIA. In addition to making specific assumptions about future earnings, it also generally does not reflect WEP, because the SSA often does not know about a person's non-covered pension. In such cases you can contact the SSA, informing them of information they might not yet have, to have them calculate your PIA. (Or use one of their calculators, such as AnyPIA.)
https://www.ssa.gov/oact/anypia/anypia.html
I think this is my problem. When prompted for PIAs, I entered the full retirement age #s from the SS benefit report. But these assume continued earnings at present level through full retirement age. I don't know how this tool is meant to work when early retirement is involved.

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 5141
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by FiveK » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:17 pm

GeraniumLover wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:59 pm
I entered the full retirement age #s from the SS benefit report. But these assume continued earnings at present level through full retirement age.
The anypia program linked previously can use whatever earnings you enter, and use $0 for those years you do not enter.

Spreadsheet programs such as the 'SocialSecurity' tab in the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet also make it clear what specific earnings are used.

WEP adjustments are a different topic.

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 7883
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by tfb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:25 pm

GeraniumLover wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:59 pm
I think this is my problem. When prompted for PIAs, I entered the full retirement age #s from the SS benefit report. But these assume continued earnings at present level through full retirement age. I don't know how this tool is meant to work when early retirement is involved.
You can project your PIA using this other online tool:

https://socialsecurity.tools/

You copy and paste the earnings records from SSA. Then you say how many more years you will work earning how much.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

GeraniumLover
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by GeraniumLover » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:39 pm

tfb wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:25 pm
GeraniumLover wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:59 pm
I think this is my problem. When prompted for PIAs, I entered the full retirement age #s from the SS benefit report. But these assume continued earnings at present level through full retirement age. I don't know how this tool is meant to work when early retirement is involved.
You can project your PIA using this other online tool:

https://socialsecurity.tools/

You copy and paste the earnings records from SSA. Then you say how many more years you will work earning how much.
Then why does Open Social Security ask about when you are going to retire and future earnings?

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 7883
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by tfb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:52 pm

GeraniumLover wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:39 pm
Then why does Open Social Security ask about when you are going to retire and future earnings?
It's for the earnings test, in case you claim while you are working.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by neurosphere » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:16 pm

GeraniumLover wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:59 pm

I think this is my problem. When prompted for PIAs, I entered the full retirement age #s from the SS benefit report. But these assume continued earnings at present level through full retirement age. I don't know how this tool is meant to work when early retirement is involved.
Just to be super-precise, the SS estimates take ANY earnings from the past two years, and project that forward. So if you had no reported earnings last year,but earnings the year before that, they'll take the "year before" earnings and use that number as your future earnings through full retirement age.

It's confusing, but if you didn't work last year they'll go back one more year to grab your earnings.
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".

BarbK
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:27 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by BarbK » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:31 pm

Thanks for all your hard work on this. I bought the digital version of the book today.

Ages 65 (me, lower earner but still much higher than spousal), him (61). Both retired early (50, 58 respectively).

I only tried one other SS calculator and it had said for both to start SS when we turned 70. Too bad I can't find it anymore.

Yours was a real eye opener as it suggested he start SS at 62 + 1 month and I file spousal benefits at 66 and 2 months.
Then file my own at 70. This was intriguing b/c everything I ever read said the higher earner should file at 70.

I tested all different age of deaths and even when age of death was 88 it recommended he file at 62. The difference between the recommended an an alternative varied from $6K to over $30K.


Still not sure about the discount rate (hopefully the book will explain further, but I do understand the NPV of $). Where I'm somewhat confused is if it is necessary b/c the $ not taken to live on from our investments will compensate for it so isn't it a wash?

User avatar
tfb
Posts: 7883
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by tfb » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:21 am

BarbK wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:31 pm
Yours was a real eye opener as it suggested he start SS at 62 + 1 month and I file spousal benefits at 66 and 2 months.
Then file my own at 70. This was intriguing b/c everything I ever read said the higher earner should file at 70.
That's because you have a unique opportunity to file a restricted application for spousal. If you shift your birth years by one year (make you 64, him 60), you will see the recommendation change to having the higher earner wait until 70.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:15 am

BarbK wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:31 pm
Still not sure about the discount rate (hopefully the book will explain further, but I do understand the NPV of $). Where I'm somewhat confused is if it is necessary b/c the $ not taken to live on from our investments will compensate for it so isn't it a wash?
The discount rate is necessary because if you claim Social Security early, either:
1) You can invest the money that you receive, or
2) You spend the money you receive, which allows you to keep more of your portfolio invested.

So when Social Security is claimed later, we have to adjust for that missed opportunity.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
Rob54keep
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:06 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Rob54keep » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:20 am

Was there a projected COLA included? Perhaps this was already mentioned somewhere in this thread.

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:45 am

Rob54keep wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:20 am
Was there a projected COLA included? Perhaps this was already mentioned somewhere in this thread.
No assumption is made as to inflation. Instead, all of the math is done in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

dkarst
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:47 am

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by dkarst » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:40 pm

BarbK wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:31 pm
Thanks for all your hard work on this. I bought the digital version of the book today.

Ages 65 (me, lower earner but still much higher than spousal), him (61). Both retired early (50, 58 respectively).

I only tried one other SS calculator and it had said for both to start SS when we turned 70. Too bad I can't find it anymore.

Yours was a real eye opener as it suggested he start SS at 62 + 1 month and I file spousal benefits at 66 and 2 months.
Then file my own at 70. This was intriguing b/c everything I ever read said the higher earner should file at 70.

I tested all different age of deaths and even when age of death was 88 it recommended he file at 62. The difference between the recommended an an alternative varied from $6K to over $30K.


Still not sure about the discount rate (hopefully the book will explain further, but I do understand the NPV of $). Where I'm somewhat confused is if it is necessary b/c the $ not taken to live on from our investments will compensate for it so isn't it a wash?
We have similar age/earnings situation. If I run the advanced options and push my spouses "age at death" up quite a ways (95+), it will revert to the case to hold off so you can assume the higher earners age 70 benefit.

JoeRetire
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:11 pm

TimeRunner wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:01 am
MaxiFi planner advises wife and I to both wait until age 70 to claim SS. Open SS calculator advises me to wait until 70 and wife to claim at 62.
Doesn't MaxFi require you to enter an age of death, rather than using tables as Open Social Security does by default?

Try using the new age of death feature in the most current version of Open Social Security and see if it more closely matches the MaxFi results.

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by neurosphere » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:17 am

Not sure if this has been addressed already.

[Edit, I think I'm wrong. It's just that the calculator is calling the first benefit for someone with an april 1st birthday as "starting" in april and calling it "age 62 and one month". Which is correct in SS terms, but confusing in real life terms. Otherwise I think the calculator is ok! Sorry for the confusion. :D ]

It doesn't seem the calculator is taking into account the filing differences and reductions which come with first- and second-of-the-month birthdays?

If one has a first/second birthday, one can receive a benefit for the month they turn 62 (i.e. their birth month). But otherwise a benefit for those born the third of the month or later will start the next month. E.g. An April 3rd birthday results in the first check payable for the month of May?

Also, the early filing reductions are different depending on whether is born on the first or second, if I understand things correctly. An April 2nd birthday filing for age 62 results an a "full" reduction of 60 months (for FRA=67), while an April 1st birthday get treated as if they filed 59 months early?

Not sure I have the details exact, but...
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".

tibbitts
Posts: 7809
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:32 am

I feel that all the calculators should default to current law with projections for payout reductions, but also include demographic projections after that which may restore some funding without any changes to the law. In reality I'm sure changes to the law will be made but if I had to guess the net results for a typical Boglehead will be as bad or worse than the reductions that will be required under the current law, so that's as good a starting point as any. Certainly the current payout projections without any adjustments have probably the lowest probability of happening.

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:18 pm

neurosphere wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:17 am
[Edit, I think I'm wrong. It's just that the calculator is calling the first benefit for someone with an april 1st birthday as "starting" in april and calling it "age 62 and one month". Which is correct in SS terms, but confusing in real life terms. Otherwise I think the calculator is ok! Sorry for the confusion. :D ]
Hmm. Yes, I see why that would be confusing. But yes, as you noted, it is taking 1st/2nd of month birthdays into account as necessary. (Essentially the very first thing the calculator does is convert the user's actual birthday into a "Social Security birthday," which it then uses for the rest of the calculations.)

I'll see if I can come up with something to address the not-intuitive nature of referring to filing in April as filing at "X years and 1 month" for somebody born April 1st.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
Leif
Posts: 2445
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:15 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by Leif » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:19 am

FYI - Just saw Open Social Security calculator highlighted in an article in MarketWatch.
MarketWatch wrote:The two free calculators pretty much agree in all these relatively straightforward cases. I like the “compare alternative” feature in Open Social Security. We see in one case a difference of five years in the claiming timing makes little difference in total lifetime benefits. So as long as you go toward the right direction, you don’t have to be very exact in the actual timing.
Opinion: I tested 2 free Social Security retirement calculators, and here’s what I found
Investors should diversify across many asset-classes so that whatever happens, we will not have all our investments in underperforming asset classes and thereby fail to meet our goals-Taylor Larimore

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:57 am

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:45 am
Rob54keep wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:20 am
Was there a projected COLA included? Perhaps this was already mentioned somewhere in this thread.
No assumption is made as to inflation. Instead, all of the math is done in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
Of course (as I'm sometimes accused of harping on, lol) if SS projections are accurate such that wage growth outpaces CPI (as it has historically), not accounting for future CPI and wage changes will result in a benefit that is less than the actual benefit. For younger workers, this difference can be significant.

E.g. Suppose a person born in 1972 who currently has earnings which will result in a PIA of 2000 at age 60 (assuming zero inflation/wage growth and no additional earnings). Using reasonable assumptions for average CPI and wage growth (2.6% and 3.8% respectively) between now and age 60 results in a PIA of 2400 (in today's dollars). Btw, the 2.6 and 3.8% values are the SS trustees "intermediate assumptions".

[Edit to add, note of course that all of the online SS calculators including the green benefit statements all assume no future changes to CPI and national average wage growth.]
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:38 am

neurosphere wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:57 am
ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:45 am
Rob54keep wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:20 am
Was there a projected COLA included? Perhaps this was already mentioned somewhere in this thread.
No assumption is made as to inflation. Instead, all of the math is done in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
Of course (as I'm sometimes accused of harping on, lol) if SS projections are accurate such that wage growth outpaces CPI (as it has historically), not accounting for future CPI and wage changes will result in a benefit that is less than the actual benefit. For younger workers, this difference can be significant.

E.g. Suppose a person born in 1972 who currently has earnings which will result in a PIA of 2000 at age 60 (assuming zero inflation/wage growth and no additional earnings). Using reasonable assumptions for average CPI and wage growth (2.6% and 3.8% respectively) between now and age 60 results in a PIA of 2400 (in today's dollars). Btw, the 2.6 and 3.8% values are the SS trustees "intermediate assumptions".

[Edit to add, note of course that all of the online SS calculators including the green benefit statements all assume no future changes to CPI and national average wage growth.]
The calculator relies on the user to provide their PIA, so any NAWI indexing up to age 60 is essentially in the user's hands (i.e., must be done prior to using the calculator).

Depending on what input they provide, yes, the PV output may be off-target (in today's dollars). Fortunately, any such off-target-ness would be proportional from one strategy to another, so it shouldn't throw off the most important part of the output (i.e., the suggested strategy).

One possible exception to the above paragraph would occur when the couple is of significantly different ages, such that one spouse's PIA may be understated by x% whereas the other spouse's could be understated by, for example, x+4%.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:38 am

Leif wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:19 am
FYI - Just saw Open Social Security calculator highlighted in an article in MarketWatch.
MarketWatch wrote:The two free calculators pretty much agree in all these relatively straightforward cases. I like the “compare alternative” feature in Open Social Security. We see in one case a difference of five years in the claiming timing makes little difference in total lifetime benefits. So as long as you go toward the right direction, you don’t have to be very exact in the actual timing.
Opinion: I tested 2 free Social Security retirement calculators, and here’s what I found
Thank you for pointing this out.

The article was actually written by a Boglehead contributor here (TFB), who blogs at:
https://thefinancebuff.com/
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:52 am

ObliviousInvestor wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:38 am
The calculator relies on the user to provide their PIA, so any NAWI indexing up to age 60 is essentially in the user's hands (i.e., must be done prior to using the calculator).

Depending on what input they provide, yes, the PV output may be off-target (in today's dollars). Fortunately, any such off-target-ness would be proportional from one strategy to another, so it shouldn't throw off the most important part of the output (i.e., the suggested strategy).

One possible exception to the above paragraph would occur when the couple is of significantly different ages, such that one spouse's PIA may be understated by x% whereas the other spouse's could be understated by, for example, x+4%.
Agreed. The PIA calculation is where the source of error enters into a claiming strategy. But the qualitative claiming strategy should be the same. And you are correct that non-zero assumptions for wage growth have (I think) different percentage affects on earners of different ages (and/or perhaps when those earnings were actually earned).

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 46764
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:25 pm

Is this calculator ready for "release" (no more bugs)?

FYI - We have a different on-going effort here: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:52 pm

Yes, the calculator is definitely ready for release in my opinion.

There are still features that I plan to add over time (and which I've been working on -- still roughly 30 hours/week since this thread went up). But the calculator does what it says it does.

For anybody curious on recent developments, I've been working on the functionality for voluntary suspension, because that's necessary for disability-related scenarios. But the additional complexity (of having additional variables -- begin-suspension-date and end-suspension-date -- that have to be iterated) required a whole lot of refactoring to simplify, as well as creating many tests (so I know immediately if I break anything).

So, it's coming along. But it's slow-going.
Mike Piper, author/blogger

User avatar
ObliviousInvestor
Posts: 3315
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:32 am
Contact:

Re: "Open Social Security" calculator: feature requests, bug reports, etc

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:14 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:25 pm
FYI - We have a different on-going effort here: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits.
Yep, I think SocialSecurity.tools is the bee's knees. There's a reason I link to it from the homepage of Open Social Security. :)
Mike Piper, author/blogger

Post Reply