How Can I Find Out What My Own Benefit Rate Would Be Now?

Mar 11 2018 - 11:02am

I am 68 and still working full-time. At MY own full retirement age, I began receiving SS benefits against my ex-husband's account. (We had been married 13 years.) I was advised by the SSA representative to receive ex-spouse benefits from his account until I turned 70, at which time I would stop receiving his benefit and begin to collect my own benefit. Well, surprisingly, he died in December 2017 and I am now receiving survivor benefits that equal almost twice what I was receiving as his ex-spouse (but are still less than what my own benefit was projected to be when I was 65/66.

I am curious to know what my OWN benefit will be in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Unfortunately, my benefit letter no longer projects that amount because I am already receiving benefits. The big reason I'm asking is because I would really like to retire, but also need to maximize my SSA benefit. How do I get this information? Would the info on the letter I received at age 65 or 66 still be reasonably valid/correct?
Thanks so much, Janice

Hi Janice,

If you received an official statement from Social Security when you were nearing age 66 telling you your estimated retirement benefit rate, it should have been roughly accurate based on your earnings up to that time. Your benefit rate could be higher now though due to your recent earnings, and it would certainly be higher due to the delayed retirement credits that you've earned since then.

Our software should be able to tell you how much that your retirement benefit rate would be now, although it sounds like your best strategy would be to wait until age 70 before claiming benefits on your own record even if you were to stop working before then.

Best, Jerry