Social Security question

In my ESPlanner report, it shows SS benefits starting in 2021. Is the amount shown in current day $ or has it been inflated by 6 years (2021 - 2015)? I'm trying to reconcile the amount show to what I'm seeing from the SSA estimator website. The SSA site shows a number that is much lower and it says this is the number I can expect to receive in 2021. I like your number better, but SSA is going to be cutting the checks. I have checked and made sure that the income amounts in past and future match. Thanks

Comments

The amount shown is in current (real) dollars.

This post may answer your question as to why the results are different:

https://www.esplanner.com/question/social-security-differs-ssagov-estimate

Best,
Brian

Thanks Brian. Just to make sure I understand what you mean by "current (real) dollars", can you confirm this calculation? Say that the ESPlanner report shows benefits starting in 2021 of $1,000 / month. If the inflation variable is set to 2.5%, does that mean that the actual amount to be received in 2021 would be $1,160 / month? Or, do I have it backwards. Does the $1,000 / month shown in 2021 mean that the current value is really $859 in 2015 dollars? Thanks again. Mark

Hi Mark,

If inflation is a constant at 2.5%, $1,000 in current (2015) dollars will grow to $1,160 in 2021 in "nominal" dollars. However, your purchasing power in 2021 (after inflation) will be the same as $1,000 today.

So..."real" dollars (after inflation) mean $1,000 in 2015 and $1,160 in 2021 are considered the same given the above assumptions.

ESPlanner shows everything in real dollars based on the current year (2015). That way you can see if your standard of living/consumption goes up or down in "real" terms after taking inflation into account. SS benefits are cost of living adjusted (COLA) to inflation (CPI-U) each year.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Brian

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