Discover the Formula to Calculate Your Social Security Benefits

Social Security is a vital program that ensures financial security for millions of Americans, including many residents of Louisiana. Calculating your Social Security benefits is crucial because it allows you to estimate how much you’ll receive in retirement, and make informed decisions about when to claim those benefits. This is particularly important in Louisiana, where retirement benefits are a critical source of income for many residents. 

At E. Orum Young Law Social Security Disability, we understand that Social Security benefits can be confusing. We have been helping people in Louisiana get the money they deserve for many years. Our team knows the ins and outs of Social Security rules and can help you calculate your benefits. We have seen how getting the right benefits can make a real difference, giving you and your family financial peace of mind as you age.

If you want to make sure you’re set for your financial future, don’t just guess about your Social Security benefits. Reach out to our skilled legal team at E. Orum Young Law Social Security Disability today, and together we’ll make sure you get the money you deserve.

What is Social Security? 

Social Security is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance to retirees, disabled individuals, and the families of those who have passed away.

How Do I Calculate My Social Security Benefits?

Multiple factors come into play when determining your Social Security benefit. Here, we will discuss the factors that determine your benefit amount. 

Earnings History

  • Your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) is a major determining factor for your Social Security benefit amount.
  • Your AIME is calculated by taking your total lifetime earnings and adjusting them for inflation. 
  • The higher your AIME, the higher your Social Security benefit amount will be.

Calculating Your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME)

When determining the benefits for an insured worker, we start by adjusting or “indexing” their earnings to account for changes in general wage levels during their years of employment. This is done to ensure that all workers are treated fairly, regardless of when they earn their income.

How to Calculate AIME?

  • To calculate the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME), we collect earnings data for up to 35 years. 
  • Once we have identified the relevant years, we select those with the highest indexed earnings, add them together, and divide the total by the total number of months in those selected years. 
  • The resulting average amount is then rounded down to the nearest whole dollar.

Determining Your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)

Once your AIME has been determined, Social Security will calculate your primary insurance amount (PIA).  

  • Your PIA is the initial amount that you will receive from Social Security at full retirement age. 
  • Full retirement age varies based on your birth year, but it ranges from 66 to 67 years old. 
  • If you choose to begin receiving benefits before full retirement age, your benefit amount will be reduced.

PIA Formula 

For an individual who becomes eligible for old-age insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits in 2023, or who passed away in 2023 before becoming eligible for benefits, their PIA is determined by adding the following components: 

(a) 90 percent of the first $1,115 of their average indexed monthly earnings. 

(b) 32 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings that exceed $1,115 but do not exceed $6,721. 

(c) 15 percent of their average indexed monthly earnings that exceed $6,721.

This total amount is rounded down to the nearest multiple of $.10 if it is not already a multiple of $.10.

It is important to note that AIME does not directly correspond to your benefit amount, and two people with the same AIME may have different PIAs and benefit amounts depending on their eligibility years and other factors.

To calculate or get an accurate estimate of your Social Security benefits, you can create a mySocialSecurity account on the SSA website and use their online calculator. Additionally, you can contact the SSA directly or consult with a Social Security lawyer who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation.

How Much Is My Monthly Social Security Benefit Amount?

In Louisiana, your monthly Social Security benefits will depend on the following factors:

Monthly Benefit Amounts

  • Monthly retirement benefits are determined based on your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA).
  • Benefits can vary from the PIA, with reductions if you retire before full retirement age.

Age of Eligibility

  • Retirement benefits cannot be collected before reaching age 62.

Early Retirement Impact

  • Retiring at age 62 in 2023 results in a benefit 30 percent less than the PIA.

Delayed Retirement Benefits

  • Benefits can exceed the PIA if you retire after the standard retirement age.
  • Delayed retirement credit increases to 8 percent per year for those born after 1942.

No Delayed Retirement Credit After 69

It’s important to note that no delayed retirement credit is granted after the age of 69.

Remember, your monthly benefit amount is based on your lifetime earnings and the age at which you start receiving benefits. If you have specific questions on how to calculate Social Security benefits or want an estimate, the SSA website provides tools and information that can help. You may also seek assistance from our Social Security attorney at E. Orum Young Law Social Security Disability to guide you in determining your monthly benefits.

How Much Social Security Will I Get at 70?

The highest benefit you can receive is based on the age at which you decide to retire. For instance, retiring at full retirement age in 2023 would give you a maximum benefit of $3,627. On the other hand, if you choose to retire at 62 in 2023, the maximum amount you could get is $2,572. But if you retire at 70 in 2023, your maximum possible benefit would be $4,555.

What is the Full Retirement Age for Social Security Benefits?

The full retirement age varies depending on your birth year.

  • If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 66. 
  • If you were born between 1955 and 1960, the full retirement age gradually increases until it reaches 67. 
  • For individuals born in 1960 or later, full retirement benefits become payable at age 67.

Your full retirement age determines your monthly Social Security benefit. Claiming benefits before it results in a reduction, while delaying can increase your benefit until around age 70. Stay updated on Social Security rules by checking the official website for your specific birth year’s full retirement age or simply reach for an attorney to guide you.

How Do I Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

To qualify for Social Security benefits in Louisiana, you must earn the required 40 credits by paying Social Security taxes during your working years. These credits are earned based on the amount of income you receive in a year, and you can earn up to four credits per year. 

What Factors Can Affect My Social Security Benefits?

Social Security benefits can be complex. It’s crucial to understand how various factors impact your benefit amount. These factors include:

  • Age, retirement age, and lifetime earnings affect your benefit amount.
  • Working while receiving Social Security benefits may reduce your benefits if you exceed specific earning thresholds.
  • Note that Social Security benefits may be taxable based on your income, with potential tax implications.

To maximize your benefits, consider the following:

  • The timing of your benefit claims.
  • Spousal and survivor benefits.
  • How earned income affects your benefits.

Additionally, have a long-term plan in place to optimize your benefits over time. Understanding eligibility requirements and nuances can help you prepare for retirement and make the most of your benefits.

Learn How to Calculate Your Social Security Benefits with our Attorney at Monroe, LA

In today’s complex world, understanding how Social Security benefits work can be overwhelming. For many residents of Louisiana, knowing how to calculate Social Security benefits is not just about money; it’s essential for securing their financial future.

At E. Orum Young Law, our dedicated team is here to simplify the intricate rules and numbers, ensuring you receive the Social Security benefits you deserve. We are committed to making this process easier for you, and helping you fully understand and maximize these benefits.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced attorney at E. Orum Young Law Social Security Disability today. Schedule a free case review with us, and we will address your concerns and ensure you receive the financial support you deserve. With our assistance, you can rest assured that your future is in capable hands. Learn how to calculate your Social Security benefits—contact us today!