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How To Use A Little-Known Gem In The Social Security Calculator

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I’m always chuffed by finding little nuggets within seemingly mundane things.

For example, every year I get a Social Security benefit statement. It’s nicely detailed, showing how much I could expect to receive at various ages. Spoiler alert: The highest benefit is paid at age 70; the lowest at 62.

Online, there’s a neat feature within the Social Security “Retirement Estimator” that drills down a little more. It allows you to estimate your life expectancy.

Based on your current age, the calculator will tell you how long you may live. For me, it was 84 years, which was based on a rough national average for men of my era (Baby Boomer).

Of course, you can do much better in the longevity game based on lifestyle, health and genes. It really helps if you’re a non-smoker, have no chronic diseases, eat well and keep your weight down. That way, you could live much longer than average.

What the Social Security calculator doesn’t tell you is what you can do to increase your odds of living longer. But what’s really useful is the ability to project your Social Security income based on the age when you take benefits. As I mentioned earlier, those taking benefits at 62 are taking a big cut compare to those retiring at the “normal age” of 66.

As always, it pays to compare income levels based on when you plan to retire. It can go a long way to making your retirement more comfortable.

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