For Mark Roberts’ Use: For most of us, our retirement income will be generated from at least two sources. We frequently focus on the sources that you can establish for yourself, such as utilizing a 401(k), IRA, annuities, and other options. But you will probably receive Social Security benefits as well, so let’s shift gears today and talk about that part of your retirement income.

At some point before you establish your target retirement date, you should evaluate your expected income from all sources. With regard to Social Security benefits, the Administration has established a simple way for you to do that. Log into their website at, input your information, and the tool will estimate your potential Social Security benefits. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • your name
  • your Social Security number
  • date of birth/place of birth
  • your mother’s maiden name
  • your expected age of retirement
  • additional information about your future earnings

After you answer these questions, the website will display an estimate of your monthly benefits from Social Security. And, the estimates will be broken down into categories according to the following retirement scenarios:

  • You retire early at age 62 (the earliest age at which you can file for benefits)
  • Your wait until your full retirement age to file for benefits (age 65 to 67, depending on your year of birth)
  • You continue working until age 70 before claiming your benefits

These estimates will be based upon your highest-earning 30 years of employment. If you will be continuing to work a few more years, your future earnings will affect your averages when you retire. So, if you earn more money now, your benefits could increase from these current estimates. Of course, the opposite is also true.

The main thing to remember is that Social Security is not intended to fund your full retirement. So, check out your estimated benefits, but continue to make other plans for retirement income as well. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can help you decide how much you need to save, and how to accomplish that goal.