The Social Security website has an online calculator where you can estimate your retirement benefits by first verifying your identity and inputting the requested information to estimate how much you might receive when you retire, the Social Security Administration explains. You can use the calculator if you have enough credits to qualify and are not currently receiving Social Security benefits. You cannot use the estimator if you are age 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record.
The online retirement estimator only gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record, according to the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration cannot provide the actual amount of benefits until you apply for benefits.
The estimated amount may differ because your earnings may decrease or increase in the future, there may be an adjustment of the amount for cost-of-living increases, and the law may change. As it stands, by 2034 the payroll taxes collected are only estimated to be enough to pay about 79 cents of each dollar scheduled to be paid in benefits. Your amount may also be affected by railroad employment, pensions earned through work that you did not pay Social Security tax on, or by military service, reports the Social Security Administration.