Individuals can estimate their future Social Security retirement benefits by utilizing the benefit calculator on the Social Security website, explains the Social Security Administration. The retirement estimator gives estimates based on the person's actual Social Security earnings record, but the amount is only an estimate, not an exact amount.
When people estimate their future retirement benefits, the amount estimated may be different than what is actually received because a person's earnings may increase or decrease in the future, notes the Social Security Administration. Benefits are adjusted for cost-of-living increases, and estimated benefits are based on current laws. Laws may change, because by the year 2033, payroll taxes collected are enough to pay for only about 77 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits. A person's benefit is also affected by railroad employment, military service or pensions earned through work on which the person did not pay a Social Security tax.
Those who have enough Social Security credits at the time they want to estimate their benefits, as well as those currently receiving benefits on their own record, can use the retirement benefit calculator, says the Social Security Administration. Those who are currently receiving benefits on their record, waiting for a decision about their own application for benefits, or receiving Medicare are not able to use the retirement calculator.