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Hi, I'm new to this board. It was suggested I try here for answers to a SS question.
I have tried several SS benefit calculators in an effort to get an idea of future benefits. The results look OK but; they all ask the same question "what age will you retire". The choices are 62, 66, or 70. I always put 62 because thats when I want the benefit, but I plan to quit or reduce earnings at 55. Will the 7 years of reduced earning effect the benefit I am seeing from the calculators? Does anyone know of any links that might be helpful?

Thanks, mntman
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This is a belated reply to your post, as I just found this board. However, in case you are interested, the best place to go for info is the Social Security website itself. It has a free calculator you can download that will provide you with the anwers you want.

In answer to your question of stopping work prior to age 62, the answer is yes, it may affect your benefits. Under the current system, you get a 5 year gimme in determining your avg wages for the formula. In addition, you get credit for any years of disability. So, if you stop work at age 55, and have worked all previous counted years, then you would have 2 years of $0 wages reported in the formula. Confused yet?

Anyway, the reduction will not likely be noticable. I would suggest downloading the free software and entering your information into it. By the way, you may want to review the Social Security estimate that was sent to you last year (2000) by the SSA. It should have listed your reported earnings.

Best of luck to you.

M Grabhorn, CFP
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Nice to see good, sound advice on here! Good of you to help out. Too many people ask advice from friends or whoever, instead of going to the source.

We recently started our SS benefits (at age 62) and another little-known fact is that a spouse may be able to get a LOT more on her SS when she applies by applying as the SPOUSE of a partner who is getting a nice amount than she might have gotten on her own, if she never earned many benefits.

For example, my wife only worked part time for many years and was thus eligible for a tiny $260/month on her own; as my spouse, she is getting about $640/month -- about half of mine! Add that to mine and it's a pretty decent monthly payment.

Retired Vermonter
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