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RETIREMENT | The Math Behind your Social Security

More specifically, the calculations are based on your 35 highest-earning, inflation-adjusted years. After calculating your average indexed monthly earnings over the 35 highest-earning years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) applies a formula to determine your basic benefits or primary insurance amount (PIA). The PIA is the amount you would receive at your full retirement age (FRA)[1].


Individuals can enroll to start receiving Social Security benefits at any time after age 62, but their PIA will reduced on a prorated amount based on the difference between enrollment age and FRA. The maximum reduction for early enrollment is 30%. Additionally, individuals who delay enrollment can increase their Social Security benefits by approximately 8% for each year they delay enrollment beyond FRA, but before age 70.


To check your SSA records, you can go to the SSA’s website.


Deciding when to begin receiving Social Security benefits is a complicated, multifaceted decision. Don’t hesitate to call our office, we’re happy to help.

[1] FRA is 65 years or older depending on your year of birth.

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