Is there an online free retirement pay calculator for a person to enter such data as age, select an age to receive social security (SS), income and other necessary information to determine the best age at which to initiate payments from SS? – Joseph


The Social Security website has a number of calculators that can help you compare beginning benefits at different ages. Basically, you’ll just need your age and earnings history to look at different scenarios. Obviously, your health and outlook for longevity are important – the longer you live the more sense delaying benefits could make. If you’re married, making a decision that maximizes benefits for both of you is also important. In the end, Social Security is one part of your retirement income plan. This plan should also include your other income streams (pensions, military retirement, etc.) and assets (IRAs, 401(k), etc.). While there’s no definitive answer, ensuring that your overall strategy is synchronized is important and making sure this is the case could involve working with a financial planner.