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Lifetime Planner - Social Security Reduction Assumption Incorrect

ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
When looking into another issue with Lifetime planner, I ran across an error in how Quicken calculates the reduction in Social Security (SS) benefits for those working (earning income) in retirement (after starting SS benefits).

It appears that Quicken begins to limit SS benefits at an income of $14,160 - too low according to SSA.   The reduction formula Quicken uses is correct in that for every $2 earned above this income level, $1 is reduced from the SS benefit.  This reduction occurs for those working after starting to take SS benefits and before age 67, full retirement age.  I noted that Quicken does correctly reinstate full SS benefits the year of and after full retirement age.

Now,  the problem is that the income trigger Quicken sets for the reduction of SS benefits, in Lifetime Planner, is too low.   In 2017, that income level is $ 16 920, as indicated in the SSA.gov link below.   Quicken, in their help article on SS, states that this reduction starts at $10680.   So, at some point, it appears that Quicken folks updated this figure but then stopped at $ 10680.

I suppose this is not the most egregious mistake in since it has limited time duration and errs conservatively.  But still, it is purposefully modeled in Quicken and it should be updated and managed (just like the 401k and IRA contribution rate flaws should be fixed and managed - and are not).  

For those who wish to confirm, testing is straightforward.  I created a salary starting at age 63 (Jan of that year) and made the assumption to take SS benefits at 62. Then, adjusted salary from Quicken's documented trigger level to the SSA trigger levels, indicated above, and observed the change in SS benefits from 63 through 67. $14160 is the income level where Quicken starts reducing SS benefits.

As for a fix, I suggested this in a long lost post in one of the prior versions of this forum. Either 1.   Quicken development to update this and other tax related variables in quicken each year's version or otherwise provide a release update during a year (preferable) OR  2.  allow an "advanced" menu selection for the end-user to modify default assumptions like this one and like the contribution limits et al., so that the end-user can verify and correct mistakes in assumptions.

Please don't just "set and forget" these things without a plan to keep them current !  It's really hard to believe that the figures associated with these variables are not updated.

Scott
QW2017r4, USA, Windows 10

SSA.gov:  https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking.html
Quicken SS Article;  https://www.quicken.com/support/social-security

(Please Preserve-Part of an active Idea)

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Comments

  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Scott, thanks for posting this issue and especially for including the info on how to duplicate the issue.



    I'm curious, when was the long lost prior post on this topic?
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
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  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    mshiggins said:

    Scott, thanks for posting this issue and especially for including the info on how to duplicate the issue.



    I'm curious, when was the long lost prior post on this topic?

    mshiggins,  

    Hope you or someone else can confirm this error.   Re: "long lost topic", my error in writing. I meant to refer to a similar approach or fix I suggested related to the IRA/401K contribution bug.  That was prior to the change in forums (where I seem to loose visibility to some of my earlier posts).   Sorry, but can't seem to edit my original post now.

    Scott
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