Posted on March 7, 2019
The Social Security Administration does a great job at letting you know what your future benefits will be if you plan on retiring at 62 or 67 with the assumption you will be working until at least age 62. What if you plan on retiring sooner than that? How would you know what to expect? The Contrarian Project created an early retirement calculator to give you an understanding of what your future benefits will be, in today's dollars, if you retired right now or within the next 5 years.
The AIME is your lifetime earnings subjected to social security tax indexed for inflation. You will need to know your AIME in order to use the calculator. Unfortunately this step can't be simplified and requires a little bit of work on your end to calculate. However, with access to my Social Security and this spreadsheet (upload it to Google Drive if you don't have Excel) you can easily calculate your AIME. Sign in or create an account if you don't already have one, click the "View Earnings Record" link and import the "Taxed Social Security Earnings" numbers in the spreadsheet to calculate your AIME. You can also estimate your earnings for the next 5 years in the spreadsheet if you plan on retiring within that time frame.
Please note the calculator will not work if you were born before 1960.