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This Social Security break even calculator helps answer the question; over your lifetime, which filing age will net you the highest total payments from Social Security?

Just know…the results of this calculation alone cannot be the deciding factor when choosing the best filing age. 

Deciding when to file for Social Security benefits requires the examination of multiple pieces of information. A Social Security break even calculator can help with the decision, but it can never be the sole factor used if you are serious about making a well-rounded decision. 

Before using this calculator, I’d highly encourage you to read my article or watch my video on the right way to use a Social Security break even calculator. 



Filing Ages
Early Filing Age should be before Later Filing Age
Calculate

Your Break Even Age
{{monthlyBreakdown.breakEven.year}} years {{monthlyBreakdown.breakEven.month}} months

  • Early
  • Late
{{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].agey}}Y {{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].ageM}}M {{monthlyBreakdown.chartData.earlyCumulative[i-1].meta.early | currency}} {{monthlyBreakdown.chartData.earlyCumulative[i-1].meta.late | currency}}
Full Retirement age {{fullRetirementAge.years}}Y {{fullRetirementAge.months}}M
Early Retirement starting benefit {{monthlyBreakdown.early.usbMonthly | currency}}
Late Retirement starting benefit {{monthlyBreakdown.late.usbMonthly | currency}}
EarlyLate
i date age PMT Cumulative PMT Cumulative
{{i}}{{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].date | formatDate}}{{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].agey}}y {{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].ageM}}m{{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].thispayment | currency}}{{monthlyBreakdown.early.payments[i-1].cumulative | currency}} {{monthlyBreakdown.late.payments[i-1].thispayment | currency}}{{monthlyBreakdown.late.payments[i-1].cumulative | currency}}

Want to discuss your results? Leave your comments down below! 

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tina
tina
2 months ago

My breakeven point seems the same depite the numbers.. so if I retire at 62 vs FRA.. I am leaning toward early. I will have an annuity, I will still work a few more years so may delay until I leave work.. when I get Medicare 65, I guess I am thinking collect early, set it aside (I do not need it) put it is Roth or whatever.. something low risk,, I figured between 62-67 I can stash away about $70,000 vs zero if I don’t collect and maybe invest in another annuity that I could leave to my daughter… Read more »

DLT
DLT
3 months ago

Overall a good calculator. I think this is a great tool overall. If there was some way to automatically list the full retirement benefit with your birth date that would be helpful. In using this tool everyone is different. My wife and I will be taking SS early. I have a fully funded state pension with health care benefits. That pension for us at at 63 and 4 months is greater than both of our SS payments. My wife will draw the same amount plus COLAS when I pass. To me it makes more sense to take SS and leave… Read more »

Ray
Ray
3 months ago

Thank you, your calculator worked perfectly for me.
Ray

AD555
AD555
3 months ago

A nice feature would be to add spousal benefits to be started at same time as primary insured starts taking benefits. This really changes the breakeven point quite a bit.

Celisa
Celisa
3 months ago

I don’t fully understand the concept of social security and trying to better understand since I am getting close to the age of retirement. What is break even meaning and does social security benefits stop at some point during retirements?

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Warren mangan

Hi Warren…to be clear. This break even calculator is a really small component of the data needed to make this decision. If you have other assets/income, a spouse, a pension, etc. things change. You have to make the decision as part of an overall retirement income plan.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Bobo

Which numbers?

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Had another comment along that same line. I think this is work looking at for sure. Stay tuned!

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Kevin Sproule

Interesting. I’ve actually never thought about using the calculator in that way before. If I understand you, instead of using the calculator to find the break-even point, you’re using it to calculate the total cumulative benefits to a specific age?

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Wilmer Fajardo

Good idea! I’ll add that to the list of things to mull over.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Whittaker

Thanks Don! The issue of the ages should be fixed with the next update. In the future I plan to add components to this calculator and I’ll certainly let you know as it develops.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Teri

Max benefits are age 70

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Adam

Hopefully this calculator (and those to follow) will offer a greater user experience with constructive feedback from my users.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Rose

Thanks for the feedback. The COLA should change your break even slightly. If you resuse it, and still have the same issue, please let me know.

Rose
Rose
3 months ago

Love the calculator. It helps in making the big decision of when to file. Just want to mention my break-even point does not change when I add in different COLA percentages. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Adam
Adam
3 months ago

It’s clunky. Clean it up before releasing. Not impressed

Kirk Bobo
Kirk Bobo
3 months ago

Provide the whole table of numbers not just the abbreviated one. The average cola last 47 years has been 3.68% from 1975-2022.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kirk Bobo
Warren mangan
3 months ago

Devin so if I understand right, if I will live beyond the break even point I should adjust my break even as high as possible for the max Benifits? I feel confident I will live to a similiar age as my grand father and father , it’s all genetic and only 10% more if very healthy. Cheers Warren Also Devin , thank for this , I will trust your calculator , So question …..if you decide to take a later start point for SS what you do for income between now and then is huge. Do you keep working? Do… Read more »

Kevin Sproule
Kevin Sproule
3 months ago

Expanding the ending age beyond 84 year 7 months to 95 years would show the optimistic total dollar difference between filing early and later. Thanks.

Jay
Jay
3 months ago

Can you make it calculate to 100 yrs old. I will live past 83 yrs old and want to know the difference when I’m 90 yrs old.

Teri
Teri
3 months ago

Lots of bugs. First is I can’t set the “Later” age older than 70. The chart from SS said max benefits are at 72. Also, how can you ever break even when SS is half to a third of what you earn on while working?

Wilmer Fajardo
Wilmer Fajardo
3 months ago

It would be nice to see income at full retirement age with monthly income between early and late lines and see how the incomes at early, full and late change at different COLA rates. That gives me an idea if it worth it delaying it by 1 year or 2 years. Just a thought

Don Whittaker
Don Whittaker
3 months ago

Couple comments on my trial run.
1. I wasn’t able to enter Early and Late ages without editing what was there. In other words I couldn’t just overwrite (say replace 70 with 69).
2. Will there be a way to factor in spousal benefits based on the spouses age? My wife is 2 years younger than me and won’t have her own benefit.

So far so good! Can’t wait to follow along as it evolves. Will you send an email blast as changes are rolled out?

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  William

If you are on SSDI, the filing decision has effectively already been made. You should be receiving an amount equivalent to your full retirement age benefit. Things could change if you are married depending on which spouse is receiving SSDI.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken Waters

Thanks Ken…going to adopt these changes and get this sent over to my developer.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ed Siler

Great suggestion. Going to send this to my developer now.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goldstein

You’ll have to find out your full retirement age benefit. The easiest way is to simply subtract .6667% per month that you’ve delayed beyond your full retirement age. If you are unsure about your numbers, just call the SSA and ask them what your current PIA is today.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul Miller

If you are single, the break-even analysis certain becomes more important. The one problem, as noted in my article, this does ask you to answer the impossible question of “how long will I live?” I’d recommend using it as one of your consideration points.

Paul Miller
Paul Miller
3 months ago

With my health declining at this early age and unexpectedly at 62, I decided to look into early retirement. I didn’t plan like I should have all of these years but I want to enjoy some time before I can’t. I had recently found out about these issues and it threw me and I couldn’t concentrate on my sales job. The company has dismissed me because my numbers fell, knowing that I had these problems and understood that my mind wasn’t there , but they had to let me go anyway. Not sure I want to start again somewhere else.… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Paul Miller
Mark Goldstein
Mark Goldstein
3 months ago

Does this calculator work for those of us who are past full retirement age, but haven’t filed yet? The SSA site doesn’t show me what my benefit would have been at full retirement age, just what it is now.

William
William
3 months ago

How does ssdi change things

Ed Siler
Ed Siler
3 months ago

Devin – one simple suggestion. Add the word “Average” before “cola”. People are adjusting it to the projected 8.x% for 2023, which the calculator applies to ALL years & skews the result. High COLA’s won’t last long term, so setting it to 8.x will produce a totally unrealistic break even. Over the last 20 yrs, including the Jan 22 5.9%, the average COLA is 2.2% so that is the most correct figure to use, or maybe 2.5%. Correct? The new calculator is awesome, but like any good tool one must use it properly & making it clear that it’s an… Read more »

Ken Waters
Ken Waters
3 months ago

A couple of technical notes: please adjust the form window for birthdate as it’s too small to hold the full date. Also, allowing direct entry of birthdate rather than going through many, many clicks to jump through the months would be a nice improvement. I sent you a private email of my own similar analysis using a spreadsheet. Thanks for posting the tool—certainly one of a number of important considerations when choosing to apply.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago

Breakeven for me was at about 80.5 years. I chose to take SS earlier this year at 67 as my wife hit FRA and was able to pick up the full Spousal Benefit, Her benefit jumped by over 300/month. I had to assume that this extra income would put the breakeven at some point well into my 80’s.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  John F Larsen

Hi John…sounds like you have a well-thought-out plan.

John F Larsen
John F Larsen
3 months ago

Nice analysis. It’s in line with my own excel computation schedules. My wife is 9 years younger than me, and in good health, so I’m delaying my benefits to ensure maximum benefits for her in later years after my death.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott Rudy

Scott…thanks so much for the feedback. I view this calculator as a good first step in creating Social Security tools that are valuable for consumers. With input like yours, I hope to continue to improve and make these tools much more comprehensive in the future.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  sam

Thanks for the feedback!

I have been made aware of the issue where only mobile devices are showing the table. Hopefully, that will be updated shortly. 🤞

On the COLA, it doesn’t calculate above 10%. I did notice that you can currently manually set it to be higher than that. Something else for the developer to work on.

sam
sam
3 months ago

No matter what I enter into the COLA I get the same results. I have set it at 20%, 0%, 5% and tried with early age as 62 and later age as 70.
On my Android phone cannot set DOB to the exact year (like on laptop) and results appear in graphical format as well as a table which is great, where as on windows laptop using Chrome browser, it shows only in graphical format.

Scott Rudy
Scott Rudy
3 months ago

Great calculator. Always appreciate your knowledge and input. It is always a never ending balance between any calculator’s simplicity and it’s complexity/capability. That said, I believe a critical input is the rate of return of the beneficiary’s other assets. The idea being that if you delay SS to a later age, you must draw down other assets which takes them out of the market (whether checking account, stocks/bonds, etc.) and eliminating that return. This will move the breakeven age. Currently, it looks like the calculator assumes a 0% return on these assets. I don’t think that is realistic for most… Read more »

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  John

Thanks so much for sharing my content! The WEP and GPO can be awful surprises so I’m glad you’ve taken the time to research and learn.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick Larson

Hi Rick…this calculator is meant to be an easy-to-use resource. In the future, I look forward to developing add-on components that are more comprehensive. For now, I don’t want to “muddy the waters” with too many inputs or outputs. Thanks for stopping by and checking it out!

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick Larson

Hi Rick…this calculator is meant to be an easy-to-use resource. In the future, I look forward to developing add-on components that are more comprehensive. For now, I don’t want to “muddy the waters” with too many inputs or outputs. Thanks for checking it out!

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Diana Longwell

Thanks for checking it out Diana! There’s no question that this is a simple tool that is meant to deliver only one of the many data points in the filing decision. When you have spousal or survivor benefits, the usefulness of the break even data declines.

Devin Carroll
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  tim berglund

I think so as well. As I note in my article, failing to account for benefits increases due COLAs skews the final numbers. As an example of the impact of COLA, consider an individual’s $2,000 benefit at a full retirement age of 67. When comparing the break even age of 62 versus 70, a 2% cost of living adjustment decreases the break even point by 19 months. So does it change the result by a large number? No. But is it correct without inflation? Not at all. In fact, the result of not using inflation could be the tipping point… Read more »

John
John
3 months ago

Devin always respect and appreciate your input. One of the major problems in SS system is the WEP for teachers and the school districts that did not withhold SS and provided a pension. In essence cheating the teachers out of a reasonable retirement. My wife get 1,000.00 per month pension from Calsters in California and her SS after working 20 years is reduced by 600.00 because of wep to 400.00 -medicare of 170. If I die she would not get much of my SS $3600.00 due to wep and it would be impossible for her to live on $1,400. pension… Read more »

Diana Longwell
Diana Longwell
3 months ago

I appreciate the tool. Yes, it’s simple and only takes in a few things, but it helps a lot in deciding when is best to file. I’m checking spousal benefits since that’s what I’ll be using so I plugged in my age but 50% of my husband’s full retirement age benefit. Ultimately, as you said, each person needs to weigh their own situation and what they may need now to cover expenses or whether you want to count on having to live pretty long to benefit the most. Thanks for making this available Devin!

Craig Steven Smith
Craig Steven Smith
3 months ago

I been working since 1977 until 2022 and I what to collect my social security in 2024, I am starting to get tired due to all my jobs have been standing. I went to social security and they said, that they base my retirement age for my gross from my paychecks. I got the new formula, I will have to wait until 6/24 to get what I am making gross today in 2022. I am shocked by it!. I just started my 45th year this year. I feel like a energy battery bunny that is on a treadmill but cannot… Read more »

Rick Larson
Rick Larson
3 months ago

klunky. I don’t trust the numbers. Inflation varies, it’ not a constant. Needs more work.

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