Are social security monthly benefits really this low? Trying to calculate the monthly SS benefit of a hypothetical worker who earned $100k every year from 1983 to 2017.

by I_need_one_dollar

  • Found this link on the ssa.gov website: www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf
  • There are step by step instructions on Page 2 (imgur.com/IsptZqk.jpg). I followed all of the steps. Created an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns: Year, Maximum Earnings, Actual Earnings, Index Factor, and Indexed Earnings.
  • I copied and pasted the Year, Maximum Earnings, and Index Factors from 1983-2017 from the SSA.gov website into my Excel spreadsheet.
  • I put 100,000 into the Actual Earnings column every year from 1983 to 2017 (35 years of earnings). For years where 100,000 was greater than the Social Security Maximum Earnings (1983-2007), I used Maximum Earnings as Actual Earnings. Screenshot of Excel spreadsheet here: imgur.com/AgRopfK.jpg
  • Calculated Monthly Benefit based on the rest of the steps from the pdf, screenshot here: imgur.com/2MjWSDH.jpg
  • Got a total monthly benefit of $2,364.70. Is this accurate or did I do something wrong? Seems low for someone who earned $100k a year for 35 years.

EDIT: Should be $2,879.95, instead of $2,364.70. Turns out I added up Actual Earnings instead of Indexed Earnings in my original calculations. Updated screenshot here: imgur.com/FZTNQec.jpg

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