How Maximize My Social Security Works

What you get with Maximize My Social Security

Making the right Social Security decisions can mean tens to hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in lifetime benefits. But doing so on your own is virtually impossible. Why? Because Social Security is incredibly complex. It has thousands of basic rules and hundreds of thousands of rules to "explain" those rules.

Maximize My Social Security handles the complexity.

Maximize My Social Security considers all your collection strategies, which can number from one hundred to one hundred thousand depending on your situation. Regardless, its expert algorithms find the strategy with the highest lifetime benefits in seconds.

Compare different What-If scenarios

Maximize My Social Security lets you compare your own What-If claiming strategies (as many as you'd like) to our maximized solution.

Consider different key inputs

Your maximized strategy depends on key inputs, such as your maximum age(s) of death and the rate of return you can safely earn on your investments. Maximize My Social Security lets you vary these inputs and see the impact on your optimal strategy.

When Social Security mis-estimates your benefits

Social Security's benefit estimates assumes zero inflation and zero economy-wide wage growth. If you're working, they assume you'll continue to do so through full retirement age. As a consequence, Social Security's benefits estimates can be far too low or far too high, leading to the wrong decisions. Our tool fixes Social Security's benefit estimates as needed.

Maximize My Social Security considers 11 different Social Security benefits

  • Retirement Insurance Benefits
  • Spouse's Insurance Benefits
  • Divorced Spouse's Insurance Benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
  • Child In-Care Spouse's Insurance Benefits
  • Widow(er)'s Insurance Benefits
  • Divorced Widow(er)'s Insurance Benefits
  • Child's Insurance Benefits
  • Childhood Disability Benefits
  • Surviving Child's Insurance Benefits
  • Father's and Mother's Insurance Benefits

What We Offer That Others Don’t

Many Social Security calculators, commercial as well as free, make quick and dirty (wrong) calculations, undervalue your future benefits, or ignore particular circumstances (e.g., your child is disabled). Whatever their mistake, you end up paying the price in lower lifetime benefits.

Maximize My Social Security doesn't cut corners. It collects precisely the right inputs and its advanced algorithms make precisely the right calculations. Our program handles all the tricky problems, considers all your benefits, and accounts for all your circumstances.

The program goes far beyond any calculations that Social Security itself can make. For privacy, data availability and other reasons, Social Security's calculators can't determine the benefit-claiming strategy that will maximize your household's lifetime benefits.

Considers All Potential Social Security Filing Strategies

  • Delaying retirement to receive higher benefits
  • Work longer, earning more to increase benefit
  • Sequence and time spousal and retirement benefits for grandfather under prior law.
  • File/Suspend/Reinstate retirement benefits
  • Early retirement to activate child or disabled-child benefits and child-in-care spousal benefits
  • Start widow(er) benefit before full retirement when deceased spouse took retirement benefits early
  • Take retirement benefits before taking non-covered pension to delay activation of Windfall Elimination Provision
  • Delay retirement benefits to raise widow(er) benefits for surviving spouse or ex spouse.

Incorporates all major Social Security Benefits rules and provisions

  • New Social Security law and grandfathering rules
  • Early benefit reductions
  • Delayed retirement credits
  • The earnings test
  • Adjustment of the reduction factor
  • Re-computation of benefits
  • Family maximum
  • Option to suspend and reinstate retirement benefits
  • Combined family maximum
  • Disabled family benefit maximum
  • RIB LIM on widow(er) benefits when the deceased spouse was entitled to reduced RIB
  • Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
  • Government Pension Offset (GPO)
  • Restricted application and deeming rules
  • Alternate widow(er)'s benefits when the deceased spouse died before age 62

What we provide

Our reports tell you precisely how to maximize your lifetime benefits and the dollar gain from doing so. You can compare, on a lifetime as well as annual basis, the maximal lifetime benefit collection strategy with all other feasible strategies you wish to consider. We also break down our household benefit reports into separate reports for each spouse/partner.

Presenting your total lifetime benefits as a discounted present value

Total lifetime benefits are the discounted present value (the value in the present) of all your future benefits. Discounting means "to make less of." Discounting is essential for adding together future benefits from different years since a dollar received in, say, 20 years, is not as valuable as a dollar received today. It also has a different value in the present of a dollar received, say, in 25 years.

Maximum age of life, not life expectancy

We plan for you to live to your maximum age of life for the simple reason that you might. Our default assumption, which users can change, is a maximum age of life of 100. Other programs focus on your life expectancy. That's dangerous. There is no guarantee you will die on time, i.e., when you're expected to die. The big risk with old age is living on and one. This seems like good news. Financially it's not. The longer you, live the more you need to pay for food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, transportation, etc. Social Security hedges that risk by paying you benefits as long as you are breathing. This insurance is of great value. Ignoring it, i.e., not considering potential benefits beyond your life expectancy, will lead you to take benefits sooner than you should.

The information we request

To tailor our recommendations to your precise situation, we collect some or all of the following data:

  • birthdate
  • marital status
  • marital history
  • children’s information, including disability status
  • non-covered pensions
  • which spouse will file and suspend at full retirement age
  • the amount of your retirement benefit if you’re currently collecting Social Security retirement benefits
  • the dates you would like to begin receiving retirement, spouse’s, and survivor’s benefits
  • your past covered earnings
  • your PIA estimate provided by Social Security or your current retirement benefit if we don’t already have it (we need one of these if you want to infer past covered earnings)
  • current and future covered earnings (both of which disallow inferring past covered
  • assumptions about inflation, nominal rate of return, maximum age of life, and any future changes to benefit rates

Individual household and professional licenses

The individual household subscription is $40 per year and the professional subscription is $250 per year. (Note, we don't renew your yearly subscriptions automatically.)

Use our program to do full lifetime financial planning

Our comprehensive lifetime financial planning tool, MaxiFi at, provides a full lifetime plan for how much to spend, save, and insure each year. MaxiFi calculates what you can spend on an ongoing basis. In its lifetime budgeting, Maxifi takes full account of Social Security as well as all your other economic resources and fixed expenses, like taxes and mortgage payments. MaxiFi also optimizes over Social Security benefit collect strategies, retirement account contribution and withdraw dates, and a host of other decisions.

We recommend you purchase Maximize My Social Security or go for MaxiFi's full lifetime financial planning. Both programs are designed to help you find safe ways to raise your household's sustainable living standard.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.
$40 Annual Household License
$250 Annual Financial Advisor License