Lifetime Planner: Resources for Setting the Social Security Retirement Benefit Assumption

Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta

Lifetime Planner:  Resources for Obtaining, Optimizing and Setting the Social Security Retirement Benefit Assumption

Here are a few resources for obtaining and setting Social Security assumptions in Lifetime Planner.

If you have not yet filed for SS, it's a good idea to check and update your SSA earnings record and benefits yearly.  This year, benefits for those younger than age 60 experienced an 8.89% increase in their projected benefit!  Do a "What-if" on your LTP plan to see how much this kind of increase moves the needle for you.


Many users know that they can obtain their personalized SS statement online. If for some reason you are not able to do so, you can call the SSA and obtain a printed copy. However, SSA quotes a 6 week lead-time for printed copies whereas going online only takes about 6 minutes. Note that registration is required.

In 2021, SSA updated how they illustrate filing age vs. benefit. This new graphic makes it very easy to choose and enter your benefit and related filing age in the retirement benefits dialog in Lifetime Planner. Image.

If you plan to retire early (stop working) before age 60 and don't have any planned SS earnings, then you might need to go online to and adjust your earning record to reflect future 0$ earning years. This will affect your default benefit report since SSA makes some earnings assumptions between your current age and assumed filing age.

If you have filed for SS and are receiving it, simply enter your actual benefit amount and age in the Retirement Benefit dialog in Lifetime Planner

Again, for either case, it's a good practice to update this figure at least yearly.


Entering filing age and benefit into Lifetime planner is easy. Image. You may enter benefits for self and spouse as either an annual amount or monthly amount. The annual amount is shown in the image below. Simply click on the "estimate" link to enter the benefit as a monthly amount. Doing so, will auto-populate the Annual Benefit field.

It's important to note that in the Retirement Benefits dialog, you must ensure that the benefit amount you enter coincides with the benefit's filing age. So, be careful if you are doing "what-if" scenarios with differing SS benefits. Make sure that you adjust both SS benefit and your filing age! This is an easy mistake to make!

One last note. Lifetime Planner allows you to reduce the estimated benefit by some percentage, if you believe that full stated benefits for your filing year will not materialize for whatever reason. Image. Simply check "yes" and enter a percent reduction in the box.


Until Quicken implements this idea, an SS optimization feature that optimizes filing age and benefit in context of your plan,  you can quickly do a "stand alone" optimization yourself by using this free online tool: Open Social Security.  Whether single or married, the tool optimizes filing age(s) for total lifetime benefit.  You can also test alternative strategies as well.  Take the results (filing age and benefit) and plug it into LTP's "What-if" feature to see how it plays out versus your baseline plan.   

Note that you will see some differences between LTP's plan result tables and the OSS tool, especially around survivor and spousal benefits.   The differences are a result of models and simplifying assumptions made in LTP, primarily. OSS may provide a good starting point for optimizing filing age in Lifetime planner.   Nonetheless, even without OSS, it is fairly quick to do "what-ifs" for different SS filing age combinations directly in LTP and see for yourself the end of plan balance result.

Share your thoughts on this topic, resources you use!


  • Scooterlam
    Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta

    Review your 2024 Social Security benefits statement by logging into, link below.

    Projected benefits increased 5.32% for those younger than age 60. Note, this increase is higher than the updated COLA adjustment for those after 60.


    If you have not yet filed for SS, it's a good time to review your SSA earnings record and update your "Retirement Benefits" assumptions in Quicken's Lifetime Planner, among other assumptions!

    My Social Security

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