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Opv1419 asks,

My wife and I both retired five years ago, and we still have a few years to go before we reach 62. I know the formula for calculating SS benefits is a bit complex, but I don't see how the above referenced figure on the statement (for age 62) could be accurate, as it continues to go up with each year's statement, even though each year since we retired adds another year of $0 annual income to the formula. I don't understand how the estimated benefit is going up while the average earnings has been going down for five years, and will continue to decline until we reach 62.

Any thoughts or speculation?

Your Social Security benefit is not based on "average earnings" but rather your "highest 35 years of earnings", even if some of those 35 years have $0 income. Adding in extra years of $0 doesn't reduce your benefit by diluting what you've already earned.

Also, your Social Security benefit is indexed for inflation, so even if your aren't paying FICA on additional earnings, your benefit is still growing with inflation.

If the earnings history listed on your SS statement is correct, the estimated monthly benefit is pretty close to what you'll actually receive.

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