I am 68 (birthday in November) and plan to delay taking my social security benefit until age 70. I will continue working at least through the end of 2018. I know my projected monthly benefit as of age 70, based on salary through 2017, per a call with Social Security this morning. I’m interested in a reprojection of my monthly benefit at age 70, based on including projected 2018 salary. Should I use your Maximize My Social Security software to enter my projected 2018 salary, in order to do this projection? Or can Social Security do this projection for me?
I talked to one Social Security agent who said the software at her office projected no difference in benefit at 70 on entering my projected 2018 salary (from the calculation based in salary through 2017), even though my 2018 is projected to be my best earnings year to date. I wonder if this is because their software only deals with actual earnings; she was not sure. Thanks for any suggestions you may have on projecting my benefit at age 70 based on including my projected 2018 salary.
You may be able to get a calculation like you're seeking from Social Security if you're fortunate enough to be able to speak with a well trained representative, but you could definitely get one using the Social Security benefit calculator in our maximization software. You can also use the software to compare and confirm your optimal filing strategy.
Even if 2018 is your highest earnings year in actual dollars, though, your 2018 earnings won't increase your benefit rate unless the amount of your earnings is higher than one or more of your previous highest 35 years of indexed earnings. Indexed earnings are the amount credited after adjustment to account for changes in average annual wages over the years. The indexing process is explained in this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070-1954.pdf. I don't know if that's why the Social Security representative's estimate of your benefit rate didn't change with your 2018 projected earnings, but it may be a possible explanation.