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Thread: Social Security Projection Down

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Social Security Projection Down

    Has anyone heard of this?

    I check my projected earnings at least a couple times a year so I can finesse my workometer - in the spring after I file my income taxes and in November after SS COLA's are determined. Each time it goes up a little, because I have worked longer and my average wages have overall gone up a little as well. (Once when I changed jobs and my earnings went down some my projection stayed flat.)

    So I got locked out of my Social Security account and so called the SSA. It takes a couple weeks for my new PIN to arrive, so in the meantime I want to know this information. After two days of trying I reach a live person and she is not helpful at all.

    She tells me my projected benefit at 62 is down 6% from what it was in the spring. My projected benefit at 67 is down 7%. My projected benefit at 70 is down 7.7%. My projected disability benefit is the same.

    I asked her why and she didn't know. I asked her is it going to keep going down and will it get to zero? She couldn't say. I asked to speak to a supervisor. She resisted. I asked again. She transferred me back into the long phone queue instead of to a supervisor.

    I emailed the SSA asking should them to give me a direct line for a supervisor I can call to get answers to my questions and asked should I just kill myself instead of slowly starve to death in my old age as my benefits decrease. Their website says they have many emails and don't expect a response anytime soon. I am not interested in taking a day off work to go in person to their office to find out because they still require people to wear masks, any old random cloth or surgical mask that does nothing will do, because it's all about virtue signaling.

    This is pretty ridiculous.

    Also found out this week that while my auto insurer increased premiums an average of 3% in the state, mine are going up 16% despite a perfect driving record. Couldn't get answers on that either for a few days. Now they are saying it's due to increased parts costs for auto repairs. Whatever. Called a competitor and they would charge me double so guess I am stuck getting scalped with my existing company.

    And can't get an answer from the state about my state tax refund (not a regular refund, this is a special refund as the state broke the law by collecting too much tax from everyone last year). As I always have to pay a little in I wanted to know do they pull the routing and account number off the check I send them and send me a direct deposit, or will I get a check in the mail and for how much? They didn't know. They didn't know when they would know.

    So I guess I work until I drop dead.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I have not heard of this. It seems weird, given the COL increase for SS recipients this year has been very high.

    I'm assuming your annual reportable income has either been the same or increased over the most recent time period?

    Are they building into the model the fact that eventually SS won't be able to pay for itself? I don't know what year you are planning to retire.

    "A recent report found that starting in 2034 retirees will only receive part of their benefits.".

    https://www.cnbc.com/select/will-soc...-need-to-know/
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I have not heard of this. It seems weird, given the COL increase for SS recipients this year has been very high.

    I'm assuming your annual reportable income has either been the same or increased over the most recent time period?

    Are they building into the model the fact that eventually SS won't be able to pay for itself? I don't know what year you are planning to retire.

    "A recent report found that starting in 2034 retirees will only receive part of their benefits.".

    https://www.cnbc.com/select/will-soc...-need-to-know/
    I was trying to read up on this - seems some inflation factor is included in projections but I don't understand it. Maybe because I got a 4% pay increase but inflation is more than that it went down? It seems the SSA employees should be able to explain it to me, but they said only a claims specialist can do that and I can only talk to a claims specialist if I am nearing retirement age. It's frustrating. Yes, my income has increased, I have not been out of work.

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    That is so strange. My benefit went up from still working while collecting, but only by 1.6 percent.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Jeppy: Have you been with the same auto insurer for a long time? If so, they do tend to raise your rates year after year, and it would probably be worthwhile to shop around a bit more. We have saved thousands of dollars on our auto and HO insurance over the last several years after I learned this tip from someone on the forums here.

  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Jeppy that is weird about your Social Security projection. Keep us informed as to what you find out as to the explanation

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    I am checking now with a different agent same insurer, as different company was higher.

    Got an explanation I still don't understand from Social Security. For starters, I don't know which method their agent used, but it seems the statement amount I got in the past without plugging in data would be the lower of the amounts, so either way what they quoted me should have gone up?? When my PIN comes if I can get back into my account I will see what it says then. Not going to hold for hours again to try to find out.

    "Most of the difference between the Online Calculator’s estimate and the estimate on your Social Security Statement is due to differences in the projected wages used in the calculation.

    Social Security retirement benefits are based on your highest 35 years of inflation-adjusted earnings. Because benefits are based on so many years of earnings, we have to project future wages for you when we prepare your annual Social Security Statement. The Statement uses the most recent earnings posted to your record as your earnings in all future years. Due to delays in how earnings are reported to us, this earnings amount may be up to two years old.


    Page 2 of your Social Security Statement will tell you the amount we used for your estimated taxable earnings after a certain year. It appears under “We based your benefit estimate on these facts:” directly under your date of birth. Compare that to the future earnings you entered into the Online Calculator. The amount that is more realistic will give you the more accurate estimate.


    Our Online Calculator uses the amounts you provide for your current and future earnings to compute your benefit estimate.


    If you used "future (inflated) dollars" for your calculator estimate, that estimate will naturally be higher because the estimate on your Social Security Statement is in today's dollars.





    The Online Calculator produces an estimate similar to the estimate provided on your Social Security Statement. Assuming you correctly entered all the information required, the estimate generated is reasonably accurate.

    Keep in mind that estimates are based on assumptions that may or may not apply at some point in the future. For this reason, the closer you get to retirement age, the more accurate the benefit estimate generated by the calculator will be.


    While these are our best estimates, your actual benefit amount is determined when you apply for benefits and may be more or less than the estimate generated by the calculator.


    We do not provide benefit estimates using e-mail because e-mail is not secure enough to protect your personal information."

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Jeppy I did a little bit of poking around the Internet and saw no reason that your benefit, estimated though it is, would have gone down. I think when you get your pin you can get into your account and I bet you’ll find it didn’t go down. I hope. Do let us know because this is really weird.

    Only thing I can think of is that when the SS employee ran your estimated amount, she ran it a though you stop working today. That would be using your current salary as your highest salary. The online estimator projects you to keep working and your income to keep going up to age 67, 68, 69 etc.


    And I do not think that you visiting a government employee in person at an SS office would’ve helped anyway. They are programmed to do XY Z and you’re asking them about E. They won’t be able to grok it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Insurance agent can only save me $1 in premiums, so I guess I am stuck with the 16% premium increase. Part of this is that in Massachusetts it doesn't matter how good a driver you are, a lot goes by your zip code. So people in affluent suburbs pay less than poor people in cities. I think I will write my state legislators about this.

  10. #10
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    Our collision only auto insurance goes up about 12% every year no matter what and that is for a ten year old car. I have looked to compare but when combined with house it is all about the same.

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