Would Your Software Help Me?

Apr 25 2019 - 9:39am

I turned 70 on March 26 and have an appointment at SS Monday, April 29 to apply for benefits.
I've read your book and found it invaluable. And happy to get the software if you think it will help. My question is very specific to my financial history. The problem is that SS estimates of my benefit decreased this year from what had been estimated in past annual notices they sent me. I called SS but customer service came up with an even lower monthly benefit. I can't imagine why this is happening.
I have worked since 1971. In all but two years I had the maximum taxable earnings. In those two years in the 1990s I fell short by about $3000 and $4500.
This year I retired in January and got a buyout, which equaled about 2/3 of my salary. So in 2019 I will again fall short of maximum taxable earnings. But that is because I retired.
In my 2019 notice from Social Security, dated Jan. 14, when I was 69 years (plus 9 months), the benefit estimate was $3,724 a month at current age. It estimated $3762 at age 70, just $38 higher. Given that it's supposed to grow nearly 8% that appeared quite low.
I called SS and customer service provided even lower estimates, $3457 at 69 and $3680 at 70.
I don't know what to argue for when I go in to apply on Monday. Or why the estimates I received in past years were so inaccurate.
Can you help? Would the software help?
Also, my husband was born in January, 1952. I believe once I start collecting he can apply for spousal benefits and allow his full SS to grow. He is still working full time. Is that correct?

Hoping you can help before the April 29 appointment.. Thanks in advance.
Best,
Sandy

Hi Sandy,

Our software could definitely calculate your correct benefit rate so that you'd know which of the estimates you've been given is the most accurate. Your primary insurance amount (PIA) will be calculated using an average of your highest 35 years of wage indexed earnings, and your benefit rate should be 32% higher than that figure if you don't start drawing your benefits until effective with the month you reach age 70.

And yes, since your husband was born prior to January 2 1954 and as long as he hasn't yet filed for his Social Security benefits, he can file just for spousal benefits when you start drawing your benefits and allow his own benefit rate to grow until age 70. You and your husband should strongly consider using our software to determine your optimal strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry