Clifton Park, NY asked in Social Security for New York

Q: Hi yes I have a couple questions I will be 65 in a couple months Every time I call Social Security to see how much money

I will make it’s always the different amount I asked him what was the formula they use and they said 35 years of your year work and divide by 12 that would give me my monthly benefits well it’s not the same as theirs

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1 Lawyer Answer
Susan Michele Schaefer
Susan Michele Schaefer
  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Prattville, AL

A: Try calculating your Social Security retirement this way:

Step 1: Use your earnings history to calculate your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). Use your earnings statement that Social Security has - you can find your record on your My Social Security account. The AIME calculation includes the highest 35 years of earnings history that you have. Total the highest 35 years of indexed earnings and divide this total by 420 (which is the number of months in a 35 year work history) - this will be your AIME.

Step 2: Use your AIME to calculate your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). Use a formula to determine your PIA. This formula is based on something called "bend points." See, (The dollar amounts in the formula change annually with changes in the national average wage index.) PIA is the amount you will receive if you begin benefits at your Full Retirement Age (FRA).

Step 3: Use your PIA and adjust it for the age you will begin benefits. Here is information about retirement ages at

Keep in mind that there are two things that will affect your PIA:

Higher Earnings - Earnings in years between age 62 and 70 that are higher than one of the 35 highest earnings year’s previously used in the formula will change your AIME which is used in the PIA formula.

Inflation - Your PIA will be adjusted by the same Cost of Living Adjustments applied to people who are already receiving Social Security benefits.

Social Security has calculators and estimators for retirement at

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