Calculating Your Life Expectancy with the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator

What Is the Social Security Administration?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent government agency that administers social security. It is an insurance program that consists of retirement, disability and survivor benefits. In order to qualify for these benefits most workers pay into the system through social security taxes.

The head offices of the social security agency are located in Woodlawn, Maryland and are referred to as the Central Office. There are tens of thousands of workers employed by the social security agency and it is the largest government program in the United States.

It is estimated that by the end of the 2022 fiscal year the agency will have paid out $1.2 trillion in benefits to 66 million citizens and legal residents of the United States. An additional $61 billion is expected in SSI benefits and $7.5 million to low-income individuals.

This government agency is a vital part of the country's economy and without it millions of already struggling Americans would have nothing. It is a program that many have paid into for decades in preparation for retirement and as an insurance policy against sudden disability.

History of the Social Security Agency

On August 14th 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law as part of his New Deal initiative. This led to the creation of the Social Security Board (SSB), a presidentially appointed group of three executives tasked with overseeing the social security program.

With zero budget, staff or even furniture the SSB finally obtained funding from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. It was on October 14th 1936 that the first social security office opened its doors in Austin, Texas.

In January of 1937 social security taxes were first collected. Just a few years later the first social security check was issued to Ida Mary Fuller of Battleboro, Vermont. Ida’s check was dated January 31st 1940 and she received $22.54.

The SSB in 1939 merged with the U.S. Public Health Service, the Civilian Conservation Corp and other government agencies to become the Federal Security Agency. In 1846 under President Harry S. Truman the SSB was named the Social Security Administration SSA.

In 1953 the Federal Security Agency was dismantled and the SSA was placed under the banner of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Finally in 1994 President Bill Clinton made the Social Security Administration an independent body once again.

What Is the Full Retirement Age?

The main reason for the social security life expectancy calculator is to help us estimate how many years of income we may need after we retire. It is probably wise then to clarify what is meant by full retirement age. Full retirement is the age at which you can start to receive your full benefits without suffering any reductions.

Those who retire earlier than full retirement age will actually have a smaller monthly payment as a result. Americans can retire as early as the age of 62 for Social Security purposes but full retirement age can vary based on when you were born.

The full retirement age in the United States is actually being decreased so although right now it stands at 70 for those born between 1954 – 1960 it is now going to be 67 years of age for those born after 1960. Individuals who are about to turn 62 in 2022 will be at full retirement age when they turn 67.

Is It Worth Working on Social Security?

Some people continue to work beyond retirement age even when claiming their pension but is this worth it? Everyone's personal circumstances are different and the amount of money they need to live a comfortable life is different. You can try and live frugally and perhaps the Social Security benefits will be enough but even then maybe not.

The Social Security Administration gives generous limits when it comes to potentially adding to retirement income. If you balance the earnings well and avoid over earning and even with additional taxes you may well benefit from continuing to work.

Some individuals may even like the idea of remaining in the workplace as a way to stay active and social. Financially speaking there is no doubt that when done correctly you will have more money and hopefully enough to keep you comfortable.

When it comes to earning while on disability benefits this might be a different set of circumstances. The mere act of being able to earn while receiving disability benefits flies in the face of the reason you are getting that benefit.

Exceeding earning limits of disability could result in you losing benefits and being denied for these programs in the future. It is often hard to even receive disability benefits in the first place and there are certainly those who do so fraudulently. As such the government is very strict when it comes to additional earnings and working while on disability then may not be worth the risk.

What Is the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator?

In the simplest terms the social security life expectancy calculator is a simple tool on the Social Security Administration website. This tool uses a couple of basic variables to determine how many years beyond full retirement age we may potentially live.

Known officially as the Retirement & Survivors Benefits: Life Expectancy Calculator, this very simple tool factors in a person's gender and their date of birth to estimate what age a person is likely to live to. Inputting my own details the calculator estimates that I will live until 81.7 years of age. This is roughly 14 years beyond full retirement age.

When you use the calculator you will notice that four ages are displayed with four slightly different estimated total years. These in my case are my actual age, 62, 67 (full retirement) and 70. The estimated total years increase as you hit certain age milestones but why? The simple answer is that as we reach certain age brackets our odds of living longer increase.

The difference between my current life expectancy and the expectancy should I reach 70 is 81.7 – 87 just over 5 years more.

Is the Calculator Accurate?

In the most basic terms with the limited factors used for calculation this is accurate based on statistics but on an individual level it does not take in enough variables. We are all different and have varied levels of health. Our personal habits, diet, family medical history and many other factors can have a huge impact on our life expectancy.

Essentially this calculator can only give us a broad idea of how long we might live based on our gender and how old we are already. It doesn’t factor if we do a dangerous job, perhaps drink a little too much or are in poor physical health. It therefore is a very loose estimate and certainly should not be relied upon as we may not live as long or we might even live much longer.

Final Thoughts

The social security life expectancy calculator is an interesting tool which illustrates the possible ages we might be able to achieve based on current government statistics. Its accuracy on a personal level would be purely coincidental should it turn out to be correct. Given more variables about a person's health and lifestyle you might be able to get something close to an accurate estimate but in life there are too many unknown variables.

Reference SSA Locator

If you use any of the forms, definitions, or data shown on SSA Locator, please make sure to link or reference us using the tool below. Thanks!

  • "Calculating Your Life Expectancy with the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator". SSA Locator. Accessed on May 21, 2024.

  • "Calculating Your Life Expectancy with the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator". SSA Locator, Accessed 21 May, 2024

  • Calculating Your Life Expectancy with the Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator. SSA Locator. Retrieved from