Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Individuals on the cusp of retirement are turning to a growing number of free online programs to help them maximize their Social Security benefits. Yet before implementing these recommendations, it is important to verify the results with a financial advisor or service with expertise in Social Security.
Online tools typically generate similar results, however, some of the tools do not handle projections for widows, widowers, divorcees and spouses with age gaps. Provided below are a few of these tools and their overall effectiveness:
- Social Security Calculator. User friendly but does not allow you to input estimates of your future salary or longevity.
- SSAnalyze! User friendly and easy to customize.
- Social Security Planner. Easy to use, but it is not as customizable as some.
- Social Security Benefits Evaluator. Easy to use, but it does not always produce optimal results.
- Social Security Maximizer. Deals with many situations, but the system has various glitches.
See Anne Tergesen, Free Online Tools for Optimizing Social Security Benefits, The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2014.