Ask Larry

Why Is There Such A Big Difference Between My Online Estimate And What I Was Told By Social Security?

I'm think about retiring in early 2022. My current online month Social Security benefit is about $500 less than what a Social Security agent told me to expect when I spoke to them in July. Why is there such a difference? Also, my salary this year will be much higher than the last few years. Does Social Security factor that in when computing estimates?
Thank you.

Hi. I can't think of a good explanation for that big of a benefit variation unless it has to do with the date you start drawing. You don't mention your age, but it's possible for a person's monthly benefit rate to be more than $1500 more if they wait until age 70 to start drawing as opposed to starting at age 62.

And yes, it's possible to increase your Social Security retirement benefit rate even after you start drawing your benefits if you continue to work and pay into Social Security. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings, so additional years of earnings can increase a person's benefit rate if they're higher than one or more of the 35 years currently being used to calculate the person's benefit rate.

It sounds like you should strongly consider using our software ( to get an accurate benefit estimate and to fully analyze the filing options available to you in order to determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Nov 11 2021 - 2:17pm
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.