Kiplinger Today

Social Security

3 Simple Steps to Estimate Your Social Security Benefits


Step 1

Go to "Estimate your retirement benefits" at (To use the tool, you must not be currently receiving benefits or waiting for your application to be processed, nor can you be 62 or older and receiving benefits on another person's record.)

See Also: Social Security Special Report

Step 2

Type in your full name, Social Security number and date of birth; the state where you were born; and your mother's maiden name. Hit "submit." Then fill in last year's wages or net self-employment income. Hit "submit" again, and let the Retirement Estimator calculate your benefits based on your actual earnings history.

Step 3

Check the estimates for your reduced benefits at age 62, your full benefits at your normal retirement age and your maximum benefits at age 70. You can also tweak the estimates by changing your stop-work age and future earnings.

The payoff

You'll have a handle on your base income in retirement.

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