Entry of Future Earnings

In both ESPlanner and MaximizeMySocialSecurity, the program asks the user to enter "future earnings" following prior entry of "past covered earnings". Given my spouse' s relatively high earnings, any number entered for "future earnings" is way higher than what her covered earnings will be. As an example, let's assume her earnings in 2014 were $175,000 and her covered earnings upon which she was taxed were 117,000. Is the correct entry for "future earnings" and the estimate of real growth rate called for really the higher number, i. e. the $175,000 figure? If so how does the calculator " handle" it in estimating true " covered earnings" and therefore the resulting benefit?


Input the higher total gross income. We limit the covered Social Security earnings within the program. The total income is particularly important in ESPlanner in order to calculate the 1.45% Medicare Part A portion of the FICA tax.

Thanks Mike and Chris. Chris, I think Mike answered my immediate question but yours made me think of another area. Thanks for sharing.


I record salaries as gross and create excludable special expenses representing pre-tax annual payroll deductions. For flexible spending deductions, I add offsetting non-taxable special receipts. The result reflects the net cash available to my economy, while still providing ESP with the information required for accurate tax treatment.

I list the deduction expenses separately. That allows health insurance to grow faster, for example. You could enter them all as a single lump sum but that may require use of Excel spreadsheets or something similar. I prefer to track everything directly in ESP, where I can.

I hope you find this useful.

(a user)

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