Ask Larry

Calculating Retirement Benefits

Should Social Security Recalculate My Benefit Rate If I Earn More Than I Did In One Of My Previous Highest 35 Years Of Earnings?


I have a question regarding working after reaching FRA while collecting social security benefits regarding whether benefits increase due to higher current earnings than in the 35 best years used to calculate benefits in 2020.

Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 14:10

Can I Improve My Situation By Giving Myself A Salary?

I am 74 ( born 1947) and have not contributed certain years therefore have gaps, maybe 7 or 8 years where i made no contribution to social security
i am still working part time and can give myself a salary and pay into social security
My understanding is that i still can improve my situation ( i get only $1370 a month ) by filling the years of no contribution.
My accountant doesn't think so, thinks it is a waste to contribute after 70.
What is your understanding?

Friday, June 17, 2022 - 13:04

Can You Help Me Understand If Working At A Lower Salary For The Next Five Years Will Significantly Reduce My Benefit Amount?

I was born in 1963. I have in 35 years of work. I have worked for a corporation for 29 years, but have retired from the company and will work for a school system for the next 5-7 years. My salary in 2022 is roughly 4 times what it will be for the next 5 years. People keep telling me that having the lower salary will lower my social security benefit. Some say that my benefit will only be based on the last 5 years. I don't understand why if I already have in 35 years. The ssa site calculator does show my benefit going down by $65/mth.

Sunday, June 5, 2022 - 12:31

What Percentage Reduction Would Be Applied To My Benefit If I File Now?

Larry answered "Just to clarify, though, benefits withheld due to the earnings test or FWT are not returned to the beneficiary. Instead, the person's benefit rate is adjusted as explained above to remove part or all of the reduction for age that was originally applied to their benefit rate"

This looks like it could be a strategy to evaluate. I assume your software can run this 'what if' scenario for all of this?

Tuesday, December 28, 2021 - 07:57

How Can I Trust SSA To Calculate My Benefit Rate Correctly If My Online Estimates Appear To Be Wrong?

I am 67 yrs 9 months old with a Full Retirement Age of 66. I haven't started taking my SSA benefits yet and am confused by's benefit estimates and calculator. Prior to reaching FRA, they showed the benefit increasing monthly if filing is delayed. After reaching FRA, they show the benefit increasing only once annually. This is true for the social security pdf statements, the online estimator, and the anypia calculator. I've verified with friends who found the same result. I may want or need to start my benefits sometime next year.

Saturday, December 11, 2021 - 17:12

How Can I Determine When My Monthly Benefit Rate Would Reach $2,000?

Hello. In reference to your answer to the previous question, I have another one for you. I am 64 and 8 months (born 1957). If I started to collect Social Security today I would receive $1741. I want to start collecting when I get to $2000. How do I figure at what age (yr/mo) that would be? The sliding scale on the SSA site does not include the 5.9% increase at this time as it is prior to it going into effect. Thanks in advance.

Friday, November 19, 2021 - 18:16
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.