Ask Larry

Calculating Retirement Benefits

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

Wouldn't I Multiply My Prior Year Rate By 1.08 To Calculate My Benefit Rate If I Delay My Benefits Between FRA And Age 70?

I am currently 62. Per my benefit matrix, the annual increase of my benefits is not quite 1.08% of the prior year during my post FRA (to age 70) years. I thought the amount went up by 8 % every year so should it not be 1.08 times the prior year amount?

Friday, October 29, 2021 - 07:36

Will My SS Benefit Be Reduced If I Don't Go Back To Work?

Hi Larry! Just finished your revised book. Love how you readers can get a clearer understanding of SSA rules from you, vs them. Sad on the one hand--but so very helpful!!

I am retired and cannot earn more than the annual earnings limit until I'm over 62 (for internal pensioner rules with my ex-employer; I receive a monthly SS supplement as part of my pension until age 62 and I'll lose that if I earn more than the SSA's annual earning limit till I hit 63).

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 18:05

Is It Correct That Earnings After Age 70 Won't Change My SSA Payment?

I am 70 started collecting SS benefits January of this 2021. I believe I have 29 years of substantial earnings. and the SSA is using a factor .85 rather than .9 for the first 996 of earnings.. I have a possible employment opportunity starting in 2021 that would result in substantial earnings for the year (certainly for 2022) Person who answered the phone at SSA claims any earnings after I am 70 won't change my SSA payment. Is this correct?

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 17:25
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