Online tool eases Social Security application

An online benefits calculator available on the Social Security Web site since late July is set to ease the process of retirement planning, according to the Chicago Tribune. The calculator automatically pulls retirement data rather than users having to enter it manually. The Social Security Administration is also releasing an updated online application in October that should reduce application time to 15 minutes.

The calculator has some limits, however. Estimates are less accurate when considering retirement dates further in the future. It also doesn't take into account annual wage inflation, or allow Medicare recipients to use the calculator. Married couples are unable to test all the benefits options available to them.

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