ssa.gov COLA

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Tom_T
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ssa.gov COLA

Post by Tom_T »

I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
jebmke
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by jebmke »

Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
I don't know what they do for estimates. For recipients, the data is now available (I'm pretty sure - I got an email from them saying my latest statement was available but really haven't bothered to look for it -- it will be what it will be). Easy enough to calculate X*1.032
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Tom_T
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Tom_T »

jebmke wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:02 am
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
I don't know what they do for estimates. For recipients, the data is now available (I'm pretty sure - I got an email from them saying my latest statement was available but really haven't bothered to look for it -- it will be what it will be). Easy enough to calculate X*1.032
Oh, I can do the calculation, but I shouldn't if the estimates already include it. I vaguely recall that the site doesn't get updated until January, but I can't say for certain.
notBobToo
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by notBobToo »

I got the View Your New Benefit Amount Using Your my Social Security Account e-mail about two weeks ago. It states that starting in December, I will be able to view and save my COLA notice. Also notes that benefit amounts will not be available before December.
ehh
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by ehh »

notBobToo wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:48 am I got the View Your New Benefit Amount Using Your my Social Security Account e-mail about two weeks ago. It states that starting in December, I will be able to view and save my COLA notice. Also notes that benefit amounts will not be available before December.
The Email subject is "View Your New Benefit Amount Using Your my Social Security Account".

Well down in the text of the Email it states "Starting in early December, you will be able to securely view and save your Social Security COLA notice online via the Message Center inside my Social Security.".

The subject line is a bit misleading. Or, at least, incomplete.

I suppose they sent this Email 6 or 7 weeks before the data is available in an attempt to minimize the number of phone calls they receive asking where the notice is.
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David Jay
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by David Jay »

Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
Estimates do not change until January, then the January COLA is included. January '24 "file now" number will also include all the 2023 delayed credits for those over FRA (they do not update these each month through the year, only in January).

[edit] not necessarily in the first few days of January, see comments below.
Last edited by David Jay on Wed Oct 25, 2023 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Shackleton
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Shackleton »

David Jay wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 10:10 am
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
Estimates do not change until January, then the January COLA is included. January '24 "file now" number will also include all the 2023 delayed credits for those over FRA (they do not update these each month through the year, only in January).
And just to further confirm, when I looked at my estimate yesterday it was the same as my estimate from June 2023, so the numbers shown for estimated SSA amounts have not been increased to account for the 3.2% COLA.
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Tom_T
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Tom_T »

You've confirmed my suspicions, thanks!
dcabler
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by dcabler »

Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 11:05 am You've confirmed my suspicions, thanks!
In the past, I've seen estimated updates for those not yet taking SS show up in March each year.

Cheers.
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by smitcat »

dcabler wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 1:36 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 11:05 am You've confirmed my suspicions, thanks!
In the past, I've seen estimated updates for those not yet taking SS show up in March each year.

Cheers.
In 2023 ours was updated on or before Jan 16th.
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Eagle33
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Eagle33 »

If you are planning to claim, you should call and confirm amount with SSA. If planning, then wait until mid January for their systems to update. If you are already receiving SS, then you should receive correspondence from SSA telling your the increased payment amount.
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iceport
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by iceport »

Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
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Tom_T
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Tom_T »

iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)
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iceport
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by iceport »

Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)
I haven't claimed yet.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
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iceport
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by iceport »

Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)

FYI, I just logged into the ssa.gov site (on November 18) and my SS estimate has already been revised. I haven't claimed yet, still in the planning stage.

Also, the estimated benefit at FRA has increased 5.3% compared to last year at this time.

I'd be interested to know if your revised estimate is available, and if the increase is the same as mine.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
Exchme
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Exchme »

iceport wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:41 am
Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)

FYI, I just logged into the ssa.gov site (on November 18) and my SS estimate has already been revised. I haven't claimed yet, still in the planning stage.

Also, the estimated benefit at FRA has increased 5.3% compared to last year at this time.
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
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Tom_T
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Tom_T »

iceport wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:41 am
Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)

FYI, I just logged into the ssa.gov site (on November 18) and my SS estimate has already been revised. I haven't claimed yet, still in the planning stage.

Also, the estimated benefit at FRA has increased 5.3% compared to last year at this time.

I'd be interested to know if your revised estimate is available, and if the increase is the same as mine.
Yes - the site now reflects the most recent COLA. My increase isn't 5.3%, but poster Exchme explains why.
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iceport
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by iceport »

Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
Thanks! I turn 62 next year.
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iceport
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by iceport »

Tom_T wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:59 am
iceport wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:41 am
Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)

FYI, I just logged into the ssa.gov site (on November 18) and my SS estimate has already been revised. I haven't claimed yet, still in the planning stage.

Also, the estimated benefit at FRA has increased 5.3% compared to last year at this time.

I'd be interested to know if your revised estimate is available, and if the increase is the same as mine.
Yes - the site now reflects the most recent COLA. My increase isn't 5.3%, but poster Exchme explains why.
:thumbsup :beer
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” |—| "In finance, if you’re certain of anything, you’re out of your mind." ─William Bernstein
smitcat
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by smitcat »

Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
iceport wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:41 am
Tom_T wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:30 pm
iceport wrote: Thu Oct 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Tom_T wrote: Wed Oct 25, 2023 8:58 am I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't find it. Does ssa.gov currently show estimates that include the 3.2% COLA, or does that normally happen in January? I'm thinking January, but I'd like to confirm.
This seems to differ from others' experiences, but last year the COLA for my ssa.gov SS estimate showed up when I checked on November 19, 2022.
There may be a difference between people already getting benefits (they get a heads-up) and people who haven't claimed and are just doing planning for the future (me.)

FYI, I just logged into the ssa.gov site (on November 18) and my SS estimate has already been revised. I haven't claimed yet, still in the planning stage.

Also, the estimated benefit at FRA has increased 5.3% compared to last year at this time.
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
Exactly what you posted here - ours was updated on 11/17/23 via an email notification from SSA.Gov.
careerdata
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by careerdata »

Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
I did not know the wage index updates occurred this time of year so I greatly appreciate the clarification on timing. I turn 59 next year and I only just started to focus more on my social security earnings and projections about five years ago. My wife is 13 years younger than me and she was focused on raising our two kids for most of our marriage to date so I'm trying to get my age 70 number as high as possible, and trying to build a plan so we can delay starting my social security benefit until age 70.

Do you know when the payroll earnings from employment for the prior calendar year normally get updated on the ssa.gov site? I have been going out there in March each year and they have been updated but is it sooner than that most years?

Regards,

Joe
Exchme
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Exchme »

careerdata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:22 pm
Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
I did not know the wage index updates occurred this time of year so I greatly appreciate the clarification on timing. I turn 59 next year and I only just started to focus more on my social security earnings and projections about five years ago. My wife is 13 years younger than me and she was focused on raising our two kids for most of our marriage to date so I'm trying to get my age 70 number as high as possible, and trying to build a plan so we can delay starting my social security benefit until age 70.

Do you know when the payroll earnings from employment for the prior calendar year normally get updated on the ssa.gov site? I have been going out there in March each year and they have been updated but is it sooner than that most years?

Regards,

Joe
I don't know how early they get the data from your employer. If you have multiple employers or were self-employed, they might not have it all squared away until a few months after you file your tax return. So I'd consider myself lucky to see the data in March!

You might be surprised at how little your benefit changes by adding some higher earning years. Your old wages up through age 60 are adjusted up by the average wage index, so those early years count for more than you might think. For instance, the average wage index has increased by a factor 5 since 1982, so each $ that year is worth $5 of earnings in the current year. That early weighting beats inflation, which has only been about a factor of 3 since then. Also, if you are a high earner now, only the portion that you pay SS taxes on counts, in 2024, that will be $168,600.

Next, the top 35 years of indexed earnings are used and the monthly average is computed. The benefit formula depends on the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA, the monthly benefit at full retirement age), which is found from your AIME by using a formula with so called "bend points". The formula doesn't give you much for increases in AIME.

For 2024, your PIA would be:
90% of the first $1174 of AIME
+32% of the amount AIME that is above $1174 and below $7078
+15% of the amount above $7078

Since $7078/mo is a bit less than $85,000/yr, you could have a lot of gaps and still have more than that for your AIME. If you make $168,600 or more in 2024 and one of your top 35 years of earnings was zero earnings, that extra year increases the AIME by $401 (420 months in 35 years). If you are above $7078 for the AIME, your PIA increases by 15% of $401 = $60. Your age 70 monthly benefit goes up by 24% more than that, so about $75. That's not going to make too much change in your lifestyle!
careerdata
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by careerdata »

Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 8:50 pm
careerdata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:22 pm
Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
I did not know the wage index updates occurred this time of year so I greatly appreciate the clarification on timing. I turn 59 next year and I only just started to focus more on my social security earnings and projections about five years ago. My wife is 13 years younger than me and she was focused on raising our two kids for most of our marriage to date so I'm trying to get my age 70 number as high as possible, and trying to build a plan so we can delay starting my social security benefit until age 70.

Do you know when the payroll earnings from employment for the prior calendar year normally get updated on the ssa.gov site? I have been going out there in March each year and they have been updated but is it sooner than that most years?

Regards,

Joe
I don't know how early they get the data from your employer. If you have multiple employers or were self-employed, they might not have it all squared away until a few months after you file your tax return. So I'd consider myself lucky to see the data in March!

You might be surprised at how little your benefit changes by adding some higher earning years. Your old wages up through age 60 are adjusted up by the average wage index, so those early years count for more than you might think. For instance, the average wage index has increased by a factor 5 since 1982, so each $ that year is worth $5 of earnings in the current year. That early weighting beats inflation, which has only been about a factor of 3 since then. Also, if you are a high earner now, only the portion that you pay SS taxes on counts, in 2024, that will be $168,600.

Next, the top 35 years of indexed earnings are used and the monthly average is computed. The benefit formula depends on the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA, the monthly benefit at full retirement age), which is found from your AIME by using a formula with so called "bend points". The formula doesn't give you much for increases in AIME.

For 2024, your PIA would be:
90% of the first $1174 of AIME
+32% of the amount AIME that is above $1174 and below $7078
+15% of the amount above $7078

Since $7078/mo is a bit less than $85,000/yr, you could have a lot of gaps and still have more than that for your AIME. If you make $168,600 or more in 2024 and one of your top 35 years of earnings was zero earnings, that extra year increases the AIME by $401 (420 months in 35 years). If you are above $7078 for the AIME, your PIA increases by 15% of $401 = $60. Your age 70 monthly benefit goes up by 24% more than that, so about $75. That's not going to make too much change in your lifestyle!
Thank you so much for this wonderful reply! I ran a report on the ssa.tools calculator site last June but I did not have time to really dig into the details then. It looks like my monthly average indexed earnings through 2022 was $10,136. It appears I do not have any $0 years anymore in the top 35, but I do have 5 very low ones while still in school and then getting my first two jobs out of school. This is the lowest indexed year of the top 35 per that ssa.tools report:

Year = 1987
Age = 22
Taxed Earnings = $1,018
Multiplier = 3.29
Indexed Earnings = $3,347

I don't know if this is the correct way to measure the number of maxed earnings years, but of the top 35 from the ssa.gov site I am counting 24 years through 2022 where my taxed Medicare earnings were higher than my taxed Social Security earnings. So maybe I can still replace a few of those non-maxed years before I retire at perhaps age 62, or Corporate America no longer has further need of my services, whichever comes first.

So, if I am understanding your comments correctly, if can replace some or most of those five very low earnings years in my 20s with earnings close to or above the current Social Security earnings limit, then I can increase the age 70 amount, but any future gain would be limited due to the 15% calculation applied to earnings above the second bend point. In other words, the extra years of work from now until maybe age 62 would be more valuable to build up liquid funds to offset living costs to get us to age 70 than for it to actually materially increase the age 70 benefit. Most of the age 70 benefit is, effectively, already baked in and I cannot increase it much more than what it is today. Am I thinking this through correctly on how to present it to my wife for further discussions with her?

Regards,

Joe
Exchme
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Re: ssa.gov COLA

Post by Exchme »

careerdata wrote: Sun Nov 19, 2023 1:34 pm
Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 8:50 pm
careerdata wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:22 pm
Exchme wrote: Sat Nov 18, 2023 7:47 am
[Edited]
If you are not yet 62 at Jan 1 2024, your benefits go up by the national average wage index, which is much higher than inflation. The adjustment for Jan 2024 was 5.32% for the AWI vs 3.2% COLA.
I did not know the wage index updates occurred this time of year so I greatly appreciate the clarification on timing. I turn 59 next year and I only just started to focus more on my social security earnings and projections about five years ago. My wife is 13 years younger than me and she was focused on raising our two kids for most of our marriage to date so I'm trying to get my age 70 number as high as possible, and trying to build a plan so we can delay starting my social security benefit until age 70.

Do you know when the payroll earnings from employment for the prior calendar year normally get updated on the ssa.gov site? I have been going out there in March each year and they have been updated but is it sooner than that most years?

Regards,

Joe
I don't know how early they get the data from your employer. If you have multiple employers or were self-employed, they might not have it all squared away until a few months after you file your tax return. So I'd consider myself lucky to see the data in March!

You might be surprised at how little your benefit changes by adding some higher earning years. Your old wages up through age 60 are adjusted up by the average wage index, so those early years count for more than you might think. For instance, the average wage index has increased by a factor 5 since 1982, so each $ that year is worth $5 of earnings in the current year. That early weighting beats inflation, which has only been about a factor of 3 since then. Also, if you are a high earner now, only the portion that you pay SS taxes on counts, in 2024, that will be $168,600.

Next, the top 35 years of indexed earnings are used and the monthly average is computed. The benefit formula depends on the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA, the monthly benefit at full retirement age), which is found from your AIME by using a formula with so called "bend points". The formula doesn't give you much for increases in AIME.

For 2024, your PIA would be:
90% of the first $1174 of AIME
+32% of the amount AIME that is above $1174 and below $7078
+15% of the amount above $7078

Since $7078/mo is a bit less than $85,000/yr, you could have a lot of gaps and still have more than that for your AIME. If you make $168,600 or more in 2024 and one of your top 35 years of earnings was zero earnings, that extra year increases the AIME by $401 (420 months in 35 years). If you are above $7078 for the AIME, your PIA increases by 15% of $401 = $60. Your age 70 monthly benefit goes up by 24% more than that, so about $75. That's not going to make too much change in your lifestyle!
Thank you so much for this wonderful reply! I ran a report on the ssa.tools calculator site last June but I did not have time to really dig into the details then. It looks like my monthly average indexed earnings through 2022 was $10,136. It appears I do not have any $0 years anymore in the top 35, but I do have 5 very low ones while still in school and then getting my first two jobs out of school. This is the lowest indexed year of the top 35 per that ssa.tools report:

Year = 1987
Age = 22
Taxed Earnings = $1,018
Multiplier = 3.29
Indexed Earnings = $3,347

I don't know if this is the correct way to measure the number of maxed earnings years, but of the top 35 from the ssa.gov site I am counting 24 years through 2022 where my taxed Medicare earnings were higher than my taxed Social Security earnings. So maybe I can still replace a few of those non-maxed years before I retire at perhaps age 62, or Corporate America no longer has further need of my services, whichever comes first.

So, if I am understanding your comments correctly, if can replace some or most of those five very low earnings years in my 20s with earnings close to or above the current Social Security earnings limit, then I can increase the age 70 amount, but any future gain would be limited due to the 15% calculation applied to earnings above the second bend point. In other words, the extra years of work from now until maybe age 62 would be more valuable to build up liquid funds to offset living costs to get us to age 70 than for it to actually materially increase the age 70 benefit. Most of the age 70 benefit is, effectively, already baked in and I cannot increase it much more than what it is today. Am I thinking this through correctly on how to present it to my wife for further discussions with her?

Regards,

Joe
Yes, you are above the 2nd bend point, so as you say, your benefit is mostly baked in. The increase is not enough to drive anything in a retirement plan.
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