SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:36 am

Hi Bogleheads,

Last year I built a website to help folks understand their social security benefits, found at:

SocialSecurity.tools

It has been posted a few times in this forum in response to social security questions, but today I wanted to let people know about a major update that’s now available.

The tool today has added support for calculating social security spousal retirement benefits. It can show you the effect of choosing different filing dates for both a primary earner and their spouse at the same time, for example:

Image

As always, it is entirely free: no ads, no requests for money, no collection of user information, and no marketing of any kind. And it will stay that way. The report is generated entirely in JavaScript, so any information you enter into it is never sent to the server or even leaves your own personal computer. It is open-source as well.

If you find it useful, let me know. If you have any suggestions or spot bugs, also let me know. Feel free to share with anyone you think it may help.
Last edited by gregable on Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aristotelian
Posts: 4684
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by aristotelian » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:23 am

Awesome. I have not tried the update yet but can attest this is an excellent tool. Thank you for making this available.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:47 pm

Thanks! The feedback from the community is one of the driving reasons to continue developing it.

47Percent
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:59 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by 47Percent » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:46 pm

gregable wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:47 pm
Thanks! The feedback from the community is one of the driving reasons to continue developing it.
I find it hard to believe that you have only 8 posts to your name?! What's the story?

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:20 pm

I'm not sure what you mean. I'm not a regular poster on BH, but I mean the community more widely. Emails, threads here and elsewhere, contributions on GitHub, etc.

User avatar
munemaker
Posts: 3463
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by munemaker » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:54 pm

gregable wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:36 am

The tool today has added support for calculating social security spousal retirement benefits. It can show you the effect of choosing different filing dates for both a primary earner and their spouse at the same time.

...If you have any suggestions or spot bugs, also let me know.
Very impressive. I never have looked at my inflation adjusted earnings and they were not what I thought. Then I realized 401k (and I think employee cost of employer health insurance, and maybe flex) are not included in taxable income. Then it all made sense.

There does seem to be an error in my case. I was born on a date where I can still restrict my application and claim spousal on my wife's record (and she can subsequently claim spousal on my record). Nevertheless, I received the statement:
MunEMaker has the higher Primary Insurance Amount, which means that MunEMaker is not eligible for any spousal benefits. This is because the benefit one receives is always the larger of the personal or spousal benefit. Because MunEMkaer's own benefit is larger than MunEMaker's spousal benefit, MunEMaker does not get any spousal benefit.
I believe this statement is false and in error.

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:37 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:23 am
Awesome. I have not tried the update yet but can attest this is an excellent tool. Thank you for making this available.
I encourage you to check out the update, and if not married, to invent a spouse with earnings. :D Gregable has created a very nice way to visualize how personal and spousal benefits change with respect to filing age.

Silk McCue
Posts: 1127
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:11 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:17 pm

Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:00 pm

munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:54 pm
Very impressive. I never have looked at my inflation adjusted earnings and they were not what I thought. Then I realized 401k (and I think employee cost of employer health insurance, and maybe flex) are not included in taxable income. Then it all made sense.
I'm not entirely sure which parts are payroll taxable, but that sounds about right. This tool just assumes ssa.gov's earnings record is correct and goes from there. If the earnings record has issues, there is no way to adjust it here, but then again you'd want to adjust with the SSA anyway.
munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:54 pm

There does seem to be an error in my case. I was born on a date where I can still restrict my application and claim spousal on my wife's record (and she can subsequently claim spousal on my record). Nevertheless, I received the statement:
MunEMaker has the higher Primary Insurance Amount, which means that MunEMaker is not eligible for any spousal benefits. This is because the benefit one receives is always the larger of the personal or spousal benefit. Because MunEMkaer's own benefit is larger than MunEMaker's spousal benefit, MunEMaker does not get any spousal benefit.
I believe this statement is false and in error.
Agreed, thanks for spotting. I filed a bug against myself just now to adjust for this: https://github.com/Gregable/social-secu ... /issues/87

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:03 pm

neurosphere wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:37 pm
I encourage you to check out the update, and if not married, to invent a spouse with earnings. :D Gregable has created a very nice way to visualize how personal and spousal benefits change with respect to filing age.
Thanks. Also, major props to neurosphere for helping me with this update. He has been filing detailed bugs, correcting my misunderstandings, and generally going through the tool with a fine toothed comb to help get it to where it is.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:35 pm

FYI - In accordance with the forum guidelines, gregable has requested and received permission to start a topic discussing his tool.

See: No Solicitation
- Members may link to relevant pages on their personal websites or blogs in replies on a topic started by another member.

Authors, software developers, or others looking for feedback should contact bhadmin@bogleheads.org for approval before posting.
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
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:59 pm

A few observations:

- The UI works in responsive mode. When viewing the demo data as a mobile device (Chrome Inspect with a mobile emulator), The left-side menu bar that was present in the desktop view disappears. I don't see any equivalent navigation menu in mobile view.

- In "Get Started" and "Try the Demo", the "Home" button in the page header does not work - you can't get back to Home.

- In "Get Started", I recommend adding a link to averagepaste.txt · GitHub and use that as an example text file. It's a good end-to-end working demo. You can also copy the text file into a spreadsheet and go from there.

For example, under:
Try out some demo data instead:

If you aren't ready to take a look at your own Social Security data, you can first play with some fictional account data.

Copy and paste this example file into the text area to get an idea of how the calculator works. The "#" symbols are comments to document your information.

Here are three scenarios you can try...
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.

GuyInFL
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:43 pm

Very nice. The numbers were consistent with other spreadsheets I've used. I liked the clear explanations. I tried to print to a file using Firefox and CutePDF and some of the nice graphics didnt print nicely. That could just be CutePDF.
Recommend having the spouse birthday 'matrix' go away after the date is selected.

boglesmind
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by boglesmind » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:55 pm

Tested it and found that the calculations match www.ssa.gov numbers for self and spouse. The detailed explanation is excellent. Kudos to the author and all those who helped!

Feature request: Since SSA gov website lags 6 months to a year in updating last year earnings, let the user input the last year and subsequent years' earnings until retirement.
GuyInFL wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:43 pm
I tried to print to a file using Firefox and CutePDF and some of the nice graphics didn't print nicely. That could just be CutePDF.
Prints fine using Chrome's built-in PDF writer.

Boglesmind.

GuyInFL
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by GuyInFL » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:19 pm

Feature request: Since SSA gov website lags 6 months to a year in updating last year earnings, let the user input the last year and subsequent years' earnings until retirement.
I was able to paste earnings from a spreadsheet into the site.

Thanks for the pdf tip on Chrome
Last edited by GuyInFL on Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

palaheel
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:35 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by palaheel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:00 pm

This, combined with the Open Social Security calculator, are the most understandable tools I've seen. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Markets crash. Markets recover. Inflation takes your money FOREVER.

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 5581
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by FiveK » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:47 pm

Very nice tool!

In the Demo Data for "Retiree born on July 1st 1950, who earned roughly the average US wage for most of their career" one finds:
After attaining age 62, your primary insurance amount will increase annually in proportion to the consumer price index (CPI-W), a measure of inflation. This will continue every year, even after beginning to collect your benefit. These adjustments are called Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). Here are the adjustments in past years which affect your current Primary Insurance Amount.

2012: 1,533.50 increased by 1.7% = 1,559.50
Trying to understand how this works. Isn't the 1.7% COLA announced in 2012 applied to benefits starting in 2013?

E.g., for the most recent COLA, Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information | Social Security Administration notes the 2% COLA announced for 2017 (see Automatic Determinations in Recent Years) applies to benefits starting in 2018.

That would mean the following table should have all years increased by one:
2012: 1,533.50 increased by 1.7% = 1,559.50
2013: 1,559.50 increased by 1.5% = 1,582.80
2014: 1,582.80 increased by 1.7% = 1,609.70
2015: 1,609.70 increased by 0.0% = 1,609.70
2016: 1,609.70 increased by 0.3% = 1,614.50
2017: 1,614.50 increased by 2.0% = 1,646.70
But maybe not...?

bob60014
Posts: 633
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by bob60014 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:08 am

Tested it on my Samsung Tab 3 and it works great. As others have said the detailed explanation is clear and informative. I love having more tools in the toolbox! Thanks

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:51 am

FiveK wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:47 pm
That would mean the following table should have all years increased by one:
2012: 1,533.50 increased by 1.7% = 1,559.50
2013: 1,559.50 increased by 1.5% = 1,582.80
2014: 1,582.80 increased by 1.7% = 1,609.70
2015: 1,609.70 increased by 0.0% = 1,609.70
2016: 1,609.70 increased by 0.3% = 1,614.50
2017: 1,614.50 increased by 2.0% = 1,646.70
But maybe not...?
FiveK, you are correct.

See the table at the end of this page for confirmation: https://www.ssa.gov/cola/

pdbaaxk
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by pdbaaxk » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:25 am

gregable,
Very nice tool!
Do you cover a scenario where Self and Spouse were born before 01/1954, Self starts benefits at 70 and then spouse at age 66 can start collecting 50% of Self's benefits and switch to his/her benefits at 70?

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:33 am

FiveK wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:47 pm
Trying to understand how this works. Isn't the 1.7% COLA announced in 2012 applied to benefits starting in 2013?...

But maybe not...?
Here's just a small clarification suggested by sscritic (in order to ensure language is precise).

The benefit which is RECEIVED in January is the DECEMBER benefit. So officially, the COLAs announced in the fall of one year, are first applied to the December benefit, which is received in January.

For example, the SSA says this on https://www.ssa.gov/cola/ "After 1982, COLAs have been effective with benefits payable for December (received by beneficiaries in January)." Also "The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to...beneficiaries in January 2018" which is FOR the December 2017 benefit.

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:41 am

pdbaaxk wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:25 am
gregable,
Very nice tool!
Do you cover a scenario where Self and Spouse were born before 01/1954, Self starts benefits at 70 and then spouse at age 66 can start collecting 50% of Self's benefits and switch to his/her benefits at 70?
That's the situation referred to in this post above, I believe.

And no, the calculator does not (yet?) account for those who still have the option to select either spousal benefits or personal benefits.

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:45 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:59 pm
- In "Get Started", I recommend adding a link to averagepaste.txt · GitHub and use that as an example text file. It's a good end-to-end working demo. You can also copy the text file into a spreadsheet and go from there.
I also like the idea for an end-to-end demo, good suggestion. It's cumbersome to cut/paste on a cell phone though, so it would still be nice to have an easy way to kick the tires which does not require that step.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:15 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:59 pm
A few observations:

- The UI works in responsive mode. When viewing the demo data as a mobile device (Chrome Inspect with a mobile emulator), The left-side menu bar that was present in the desktop view disappears. I don't see any equivalent navigation menu in mobile view.
The side nav bar disappears on narrower screens in favor of the main content, intentionally. You can still scroll through everything. The mobile experience could definitely use some more work. Though entering earnings data on mobile devices is going to be hard to impossible I for most people I imagine. I have an issue to follow up with improvements in this area here: https://github.com/Gregable/social-secu ... /issues/68
LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:59 pm

- In "Get Started" and "Try the Demo", the "Home" button in the page header does not work - you can't get back to Home.
Good point. Conceptually you are already on the home page, but I understand that isn't an obvious point. Added an issue here: https://github.com/Gregable/social-secu ... /issues/88
LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:59 pm

- In "Get Started", I recommend adding a link to averagepaste.txt · GitHub and use that as an example text file. It's a good end-to-end working demo. You can also copy the text file into a spreadsheet and go from there.

For example, under:
Try out some demo data instead:

If you aren't ready to take a look at your own Social Security data, you can first play with some fictional account data.

Copy and paste this example file into the text area to get an idea of how the calculator works. The "#" symbols are comments to document your information.

Here are three scenarios you can try...
I'm not sure I agree with this. I think for a few people, being able to inspect the tool in that way would be useful, but for most, clicking a button is simpler. Providing both feels like it's adding too many options / clutter and may confuse some users.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:28 pm

^^^ OK, it was just a suggestion. How about making the demo table data more "copy friendly"?

When I swipe, copy the "Retiree born in 1950" demo data, hit the "back" button, and paste into the text area, the copied table is broken. It's why I asked for a clean data set - I couldn't copy the demo data.
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
corn18
Posts: 978
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:24 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by corn18 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:53 pm

Me like! Best tool on the web. Thanks for the hard work! Put up a PayPal donation button so we can send you some love.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:39 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:28 pm
^^^ OK, it was just a suggestion. How about making the demo table data more "copy friendly"?

When I swipe, copy the "Retiree born in 1950" demo data, hit the "back" button, and paste into the text area, the copied table is broken. It's why I asked for a clean data set - I couldn't copy the demo data.
That seems quite doable without making things more complicated to use. I'll make that happen. There have been requests for other paste formats as well, such as the file format AnyPIA uses, so this will fit nicely with that work.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:42 pm

corn18 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:53 pm
Me like! Best tool on the web. Thanks for the hard work! Put up a PayPal donation button so we can send you some love.
I don't need it. Costs only a few dollars a year to run. Thanks for the thought, but find a charity you like instead. 😀

bob60014
Posts: 633
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by bob60014 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:59 pm

gregable wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:42 pm
corn18 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:53 pm
Me like! Best tool on the web. Thanks for the hard work! Put up a PayPal donation button so we can send you some love.
I don't need it. Costs only a few dollars a year to run. Thanks for the thought, but find a charity you like instead. 😀
I like it even more!

User avatar
House Blend
Posts: 4492
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 1:02 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by House Blend » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 pm

Nice tool.

Maybe consider another paragraph at the bottom of the page that contains the box for pasting in one's earnings record. I'd like to see a mention of the option to simply paste in plain text.

I was happy once I realized I could just use something like this:

Code: Select all

2013  $48,888  $48,888
2012  $47,888  $47,888
2011  $46,888  $46,888
2010  $45,888  $45,888
2009  $44,888  $44,888
2008  $43,888  $43,888
A side comment: As far as I know, one's medicare earnings have absolutely no effect on your SS benefit. (If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. Of course medicare earnings definitely affect how much medicare tax you pay on your wages.)

In any case, I would have been even happier if I could have pasted in something like this

Code: Select all

2013  $48,888  
2012  $47,888  
2011  $46,888
2010  $45,888
2009  $44,888
2008  $43,888
but the app does not grok this.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:32 pm

This thread is now in the wiki: Social Security: member contributions - We now have a section for calculators.
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.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:20 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:28 pm
How about making the demo table data more "copy friendly"?
House Blend wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 pm
I would have been even happier if I could have pasted in something like this
You should now be able to paste the tool's own tables into it's input box, as well as simple two-column data ala:

Code: Select all

2000 $1,000
2001 $1,001
2002 $1,002
...
The dollar signs / commas are optional and the parse routine does it's best to try to handle differences in whitespace.

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 5581
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by FiveK » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:13 am

Pasting two columns from Excel, with year in the first and SS earnings in the second, does not work.

Pasting three columns from Excel, with year in the first, SS earnings in the second, and something else in the third, does work.

Tried it with a couple of spreadsheets, including the 'SocialSecurity' tab from the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet. Use https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45krB ... sp=sharing to access that directly.

MikeG62
Posts: 1110
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by MikeG62 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:39 pm

gregable wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:47 pm
Thanks! The feedback from the community is one of the driving reasons to continue developing it.
I spent a while playing with your tool and the results were almost spot on the model I developed in excel to do the same thing (which took me quite a while to develop BTW). Bravo to you for developing such a robust tool.

It provides the output in a much easier to understand format than my excel spreadsheet too. I especially like the ability to play with our individual retirement dates to optimize the outcome. It was good to see that your tool validates the conclusion I had already come to.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:18 pm

I am able to copy-n-paste data from the demo tables now, thanks.

===========
I have also revised the wiki description: Social Security: member contributions
wiki wrote:A free and open-source calculator which estimates your future benefits from your earnings record.
Consider revising your About: page, as the description could be improved. Also, there's a typo: "earning's" should be "earnings".

A suggestion (accept / reject / modify):
This site provides individuals with an estimate of their future Social Security retirement benefits. The benefits are based on the the earnings record provided by Social Security. A detailed report is created from this data.
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
tfb
Posts: 7947
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by tfb » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:32 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:32 pm
This thread is now in the wiki: Social Security: member contributions - We now have a section for calculators.
Some calculators/tools listed on the wiki page below are no longer available or inferior to SocialSecurity.tools and Open Social Security.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Tools_a ... ther_tools

The AARP calculator doesn't do much. SSAnalyze is gone. T. Rowe Price calculator is gone. I suggest consolidate the two pages and/or remove and replace the defunct tools with new ones.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:59 pm

You're right, that page needed an overhaul. Thanks, I have removed the "other" section and revised the description in Tools and calculators (Social Security) to point to the member contribution page.

Social Security: member contributions has been updated. No member content was lost - it's now in this page. The entries are sorted alphabetically.

To keep this discussion focused, further comments can be posted in Suggestions for the Wiki, start a new thread, or provide comments on the feedback form at the bottom of every wiki page (no login required).
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
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:07 pm

For those paranoid about entering personal data on a website, this tool is for you. If you have a desktop PC configured as a server (like me :wink:), there's no need to go any further. The tool runs just fine.

Instructions for using python's SimpleHTTPServer as a local server are documented at the bottom of the GitHub page here. I haven't tried this myself.
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.

GuyInFL
Posts: 108
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by GuyInFL » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:01 pm

Have you thought about adding a line on the graph that shows survivor benefits, based on when the spouse chooses to start social security?

User avatar
neurosphere
Posts: 2952
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by neurosphere » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:20 pm

GuyInFL wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:01 pm
Have you thought about adding a line on the graph that shows survivor benefits, based on when the spouse chooses to start social security?
Gregable and I discussed this, and how best to do the visualization for survivor benefits. There are a few options which we think might work. I think gregable is going to consider survivor benefits in another upgrade.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:19 pm

House Blend wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:18 pm
Maybe consider another paragraph at the bottom of the page that contains the box for pasting in one's earnings record. I'd like to see a mention of the option to simply paste in plain text.
Several people have asked for this, so I suppose my theory that it would be a distraction is false. I added a small amount of text with a very simple example to copy.
FiveK wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:13 am
Pasting two columns from Excel, with year in the first and SS earnings in the second, does not work.

Pasting three columns from Excel, with year in the first, SS earnings in the second, and something else in the third, does work.

Tried it with a couple of spreadsheets, including the 'SocialSecurity' tab from the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet. Use https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45krB ... sp=sharing to access that directly.
I don't have a copy of Excel to try this with, but I tried copying fields out of a Google spreadsheets and it seems to work. What I'd need to debug would be a text format copy of what you tried pasting into the tool, or at least the first 2 lines or so. You can modify the actual numbers, it's the format that matters.
LadyGeek wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:18 pm
Consider revising your About: page, as the description could be improved. Also, there's a typo: "earning's" should be "earnings".
Done, thanks for the recommendations.

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 5581
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by FiveK » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:11 pm

gregable wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:19 pm
FiveK wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:13 am
Pasting two columns from Excel, with year in the first and SS earnings in the second, does not work.

Pasting three columns from Excel, with year in the first, SS earnings in the second, and something else in the third, does work.

Tried it with a couple of spreadsheets, including the 'SocialSecurity' tab from the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet. Use https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45krB ... sp=sharing to access that directly.
I don't have a copy of Excel to try this with, but I tried copying fields out of a Google spreadsheets and it seems to work. What I'd need to debug would be a text format copy of what you tried pasting into the tool, or at least the first 2 lines or so. You can modify the actual numbers, it's the format that matters.
Just tried opening that spreadsheet with Excel, LibreOffice, and Google Sheets.

In all three cases, copying two columns (year and SS earnings) does not work, while copying three columns does.

As an aside, other than anypia.exe itself, that spreadsheet has provided the closest numbers to anypia of various tools for our situation. Using it with the Demo Data for "Retiree born on July 1st 1950, who earned roughly the average US wage for most of their career" was how I noticed the one year offset in COLAs noted previously. Haven't done an exhaustive validation though.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:33 pm

FiveK wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:11 pm
gregable wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:19 pm
FiveK wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:13 am
Pasting two columns from Excel, with year in the first and SS earnings in the second, does not work.

Pasting three columns from Excel, with year in the first, SS earnings in the second, and something else in the third, does work.

Tried it with a couple of spreadsheets, including the 'SocialSecurity' tab from the personal finance toolbox spreadsheet. Use https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45krB ... sp=sharing to access that directly.
I don't have a copy of Excel to try this with, but I tried copying fields out of a Google spreadsheets and it seems to work. What I'd need to debug would be a text format copy of what you tried pasting into the tool, or at least the first 2 lines or so. You can modify the actual numbers, it's the format that matters.
Just tried opening that spreadsheet with Excel, LibreOffice, and Google Sheets.

In all three cases, copying two columns (year and SS earnings) does not work, while copying three columns does.

As an aside, other than anypia.exe itself, that spreadsheet has provided the closest numbers to anypia of various tools for our situation. Using it with the Demo Data for "Retiree born on July 1st 1950, who earned roughly the average US wage for most of their career" was how I noticed the one year offset in COLAs noted previously. Haven't done an exhaustive validation though.
We may be copying different contents then. If I copy the cells A20:B96 in the SocialSecurity tab, using Google Sheets, pasting works fine.

I still need to revisit the COLA offset too. Thanks for commenting, and I'm sorry I haven't gotten to that one yet.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48024
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:52 pm

^^^ I downloaded the spreadsheet Copy of CashFlow.xls into LibreOffice Calc (Linux). The problem is with the blank cells, not the range. Three columns work as long as the cells have data. Blank cells corrupt the table output.

My guess is that copy-n-paste operations are passing different representations of blank cells (chars) when copied from a spreadsheet vs. Google.
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
FiveK
Posts: 5581
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by FiveK » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:56 pm

gregable wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:33 pm
We may be copying different contents then. If I copy the cells A20:B96 in the SocialSecurity tab, using Google Sheets, pasting works fine.
Good diagnosis! Yes, we were copying different cells. Using A20:B96 works from Excel also.

What doesn't work is A39:B73 (only the years with non-zero entries). No idea why.

AlmstRtrd
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:57 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by AlmstRtrd » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:46 pm

gregable,

Many thanks for developing and sharing this!!!

My wife got a late start with working in this country as she immigrated from China and only has earnings since the early 2000s. I always knew that the SSA numbers that assume certain wages for a certain number of additional years were misleading in her case (because she has a physical job and likely won't be able to have significant earnings all the way up to FRA). Anyway, your tool really helped us get a good handle on her realistic numbers.

And after running our scenario it's pretty clear that our planned strategy of claiming within a few months of each other in late 2028/early 2029 is also likely the best strategy. Again, many thanks!

panine
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:32 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by panine » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:55 pm

thanks, good guy gregable! awesome that you share this. will help my wife and me a lot! :happy

Murgatroyd
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by Murgatroyd » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:35 pm

gregable, thank you. A small thing I discovered. The imported ss data must have dollar signs on all column 2 & 3 data to work. I had a preexisting file of my info dropped to a spreadsheet that for some reason did not have the signs. As soon as I put them in your tool works.

gregable
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:02 am

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by gregable » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:03 pm

Murgatroyd wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:35 pm
gregable, thank you. A small thing I discovered. The imported ss data must have dollar signs on all column 2 & 3 data to work. I had a preexisting file of my info dropped to a spreadsheet that for some reason did not have the signs. As soon as I put them in your tool works.
Hm, I can't reproduce your observation. The code removes all '$' and ',' characters from the numerical columns before trying to parse them, so they are neither required nor a problem. I just tried this myself and it works fine. For example, with the input:

Code: Select all

2000 10000 10000
2001 15000 15000

Murgatroyd
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: SocialSecurity.tools updated to include spousal benefits

Post by Murgatroyd » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:24 pm

gregable wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:03 pm
Murgatroyd wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:35 pm
gregable, thank you. A small thing I discovered. The imported ss data must have dollar signs on all column 2 & 3 data to work. I had a preexisting file of my info dropped to a spreadsheet that for some reason did not have the signs. As soon as I put them in your tool works.
Hm, I can't reproduce your observation. The code removes all '$' and ',' characters from the numerical columns before trying to parse them, so they are neither required nor a problem. I just tried this myself and it works fine. For example, with the input:

Code: Select all

2000 10000 10000
2001 15000 15000
Could be because my data came from an Open Office spreadsheet? It can be quirky.

Post Reply