how to calculate your SS benefit if you retire way before SS eligibility?

Hi all, great site. I've been reading many posts and there seem t be very knowledgable people here. I'm starting to think about retirement and am confused about something. How would the following Social Security payment amount be figured out? Let's say I retire at 55 and I would like to start collecting at 62, so ... would my SS amount be based on the 100k salary I was making before I retired or is it going to be based on the 50k a year I've been living on since retiring? Thanks in advance.

0 Kudos
Social Butterfly

You need to visit the Social Securuty web site as mentioned in the prior post to create an account.


Have you paid into Social Security all your life? How many credits do you have? 


If you can't find what you want on the SS site then I suggest you visit your closest local SS office.


Hello Joseph; I’d like to help you, but I’m not sure where to start.  Maybe if I share my particulars, within the rules of Social Security, that may help you.


So, I contributed to the Social Security system for 45 years - 1970 through 2015.  I was born in 1954.  That means my full retirement age (FRA) is 66.  I could have taken my benefit at 62.  I didn’t.


You’re monthly benefit is always based on the highest 35 years of earnings.  That sounds easy, but we’re talking about a government program.  You’re annual earnings are multiplied by a factor.  That product then ranks your 35 highest years.  After that, there are still a number of calculations needed to get to your FRA monthly benefit amount.  Once you know that amount, multiply it by 0.75 to determine your monthly benefit amount at age 62.


Now, the simple question I have for you is are these 50k a year the result of work?  If not, then that will not become part of the equation.  So your benefit will be calculated based, in part, on the 100k salary you made before you retired.


I strongly suggest that you get a user account on the SSA website.  I did and was able to work through these steps.  Hope this helps.  Let me know if you have other questions.



Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

NEW: AARP Games Tournament Tuesdays! Achieve a top score in Right Again! Trivia and you could win up to $300 in prizes! Learn More.

AARP Games Tournament Tuesdays

More From AARP